Austrian attacker Marko Arnautovic has become the latest West Ham United player to etch his name in Hammers history by winning the club’s prestigious Player of the Year Award the Hammer of the Year at last night’s West Ham United Player Awards brought to you by Betway in aid of the Academy at the Intercontinental London – The O2 Hotel.
Arnautovic, who joined from Stoke City during last summer’s transfer window, claimed the award as predicted with almost 70 per cent of the overall vote after a glittering second half of the season in Claret & Blue and this was his reaction to being crowned Hammer of the Year, speaking to the club’s Official Website WHUFC.com.
“This award that I have received today, I am very happy and very proud, I want to keep doing my job for this club because I came here to do my job and everybody has seen what I can do and that I’m very happy to be here and I want to keep doing it.” Proclaimed the club-record £25 million signing.
“I want to thank every single fan who supports West Ham for this award. It means a lot to me. It was hard for me at the beginning of the season but now it’s going well and I want to do my job for many years to come. We are not finished yet.
“I try to do my best. The gaffer gave me some advice which was to run hard and do my best and I did it. All the players helped me. I love them and they love me – you can hear this.”
The No7 has scored an impressive ten Premier League goals this season, all of them coming in the last 16 matches and under the reign of David Moyes, the Scottish manager having turned around the player’s form and fortunes, but just what has been Arnautovic’s favourite moment of the campaign so far?
“The best moment? Of course, scoring goals is a good moment for me, but to receive these awards is the best moment so far for me. I’ll do my best in the last four games, I’ll give everything and then we’re going to go on holiday and come back and do better next season.”
“Thank you all for this and I love you all”.
Under Slaven Bilic in the first few months of 2017/2018, the star struggled for goals, assists and confidence, plagued by a red card in only his second competitive match in an Irons shirt at the St Mary’s Stadium.
It would take until December for him to net for the first time, doing so in front of the fans that would grow to adore him at London Stadium in the first win under Moyes against reigning champions Chelsea.
The one strike was the catalyst for nine more for the former Inter Milan man as he carried on the rampant form through the new year and well into 2018, helping the East Londoners climb away from the bottom three.
Further strikes followed in a win against ex-club Stoke and a loss and draw to and with Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth respectively, and then in triumphs over Huddersfield Town, Watford and Southampton.
Arnautovic made it ten for the campaign, surpassing last season’s top-scorer Michail Antonio’s total of nine goals in the most recent away loss at the hands of Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
However, it hasn’t just been goals that the aggressive front man has weighed in with over the past few months, he has also bagged his fair share of assists too.
This helped him to, in addition, pick up the Players’ Player of the Season Award at the ceremony, which was hosted by TV Presenter Gabby Logan and legendary West Ham defender Alvin Martin.
The favourite amongst the Claret & Blue Army also fought off competition from the likes of Pablo Zabaleta and Joao Mario to bring his accolades total on Wednesday evening up to three by collecting the Signing of the Season Award.
But, there can be little doubting that the one he will treasure the most is the sought-after Hammer of the Year as he becomes the 40th player to receive this premier Award.
Arnautovic’s name will now go down in the history books alongside the likes of England World Cup winning captain Bobby Moore, the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final Geoff Hurst, Sir Trevor Brooking, Argentina legend Carlos Tevez, his captain Mark Noble and more recently France star Dmitri Payet.
Last season, the accolade was awarded to Michail Antonio along with the Top Goalscorer prize which also looks to be heading Arnautovic’s way in the next couple of weeks, should he hold off competition from Javier Hernandez.
Chicharito has eight goals, two behind with four crucial matches of the English Top-Flight season remaining and with two of those being against the league’s top two teams, it is unlikely that he will be able to catch up.
The Mexican was also in the running for the Player of the Year with his touch in front of goal this campaign but missed out on a place in the top three, which was occupied by veteran Zabaleta in third and 19-year-old Irishman Declan Rice, who collected Young Hammer of the Year for the second season in succession, coming in second.
Arnautovic may well now be chasing another record after becoming the first Hammer in over three years to reach double-figures in a season in the league as he could become the highest scorer for a single Premier League term in over ten years.
With three more goals, the flamboyant Austrian will surpass the tally of 12 in all competitions set by the aforementioned Payet in 2015/2016 and striker Dean Ashton in 2007/2008.
However, securing the Irons’ survival will undoubtedly be the highest priority for the triumphant Arnautovic, starting with the visit of the PL champions Manchester City to London Stadium on Sunday afternoon, which you can follow live right here on West Ham Matters.
With the aforementioned four matches left to play off the back of the Awards ceremony, against the Citizens, Leicester City, Manchester United and Everton, the side from East London are 15th in the division on 35 points and six ahead of the Saints in 18th place, the first relegation spot.