This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
West Ham United will have taken heart from Marko Arnautovic’s awful display for Austria on Saturday night.
The Hammers, of course, sold the striker to Shanghai SIPG for a fee of around £22.4m in the summer transfer window.
They accepted a reduced fee for his signature because of his behaviour over two transfer windows and he will not have been wholly visible to many supporters while playing in the Chinese Super League.
However, he started Austria’s Euro 2020 qualifying win over North Macedonia on Saturday and turned in an execrable performance.
Per SofaScore, he had three shots off target, missed two big chances and failed to even once trouble the opposition goalkeeper.
Arnautovic also contested 10 ground duels and won just two of them, while conceding four fouls and being flagged offside three times.
No player on the pitch was given a lower rating than his 5.9, as he spent the 90 minutes covered in something approaching a cloak of invisibility.
This just goes to prove that being enigmatic does not always mean you will change the game with a phenomenal piece of skill.
Indeed, it appears quite the opposite in this case, with Arnautovic barely involved in the play – he had just 41 touches.
He also failed to have a shot on goal and, for a lone striker that is as bad as it gets.
One has to feel that Hammers fans will have breathed a sigh of relief after seeing their former charge’s awful outing; he certainly isn’t missed.