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Bitter feud can inspire Irons to victory over Saints

By Allen Cummings
There’s there’s the prospect of an intriguing and possibly highly influential sub-plot to the game tween West Ham and Southampton – a personal duel that’s bound to add a bit extra spice to the already eagerly anticipated encounter.
And it may play a big part in deciding define the destination of three passionately points. Mauricio Pellegrino’s recent sacking by Southampton and the installation of Mark Hughes as his replacement means Marko Arnautovic will once again be coming into conflict with his former boss at Stoke City.
The last time they were on opposite sides, when the Hammers visited the Britannia Stadium in December last year, made for a very eventful afternoon to say the least. There was clearly an atmosphere between the two that day, an edge that Arnie turned to his and ultimately our advantage.
Obviously fired up by the Stoke supporters, who relentlessly booed his every touch, Arnautovic was just as keen to prove a point to Hughes himself. Comments his former manager had made about Arnie’s eventual transfer from City to West Ham had clearly riled our Austrian international.
Hughes wasn’t happy his star striker had made the move south. A move he described as being nothing more than a “sideways” step.
Spurred on by his determination to prove a point, Arnie set about that game like a man possessed. He was everywhere running the Stoke defence ragged He was involved in all that was good about the Hammers that day.
He scored the second goal of three, but on another day he could so easily have had a hat-trick or even more. When Arnie was finally substituted and left the field with a triumphant swagger, Hughes frustration spilled over and he had a few more personal words to say to our new hero. Words that maybe still ring in Arnautovic’s ear.
That must come close to being arguably Arnie’s best day so far in claret and blue. It was a performance we could certainly do with seeing repeated against Hughes’ new charges.
We need all the inspiration we can get. Arnautovic is clearly a player who loves the big occasion. He loves a challenge. He loves an appreciative audience. He loves the spoils of victory.  That must happen when we take on Southampton… and Arnie will get to sample and enjoy all three.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

One comment on “Bitter feud can inspire Irons to victory over Saints

  1. Hughes knows all the snidey ways of football from his years at ManU and Stoke. He will get his players to target Marko in a bid to see if he retaliates. This is such an important game.

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