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Pablo Zabaleta insists constant speculation regarding the future of some players have unsettled West Ham United.
Marko Arnautovic hogged all the limelight with his rumoured China move. An unnamed Chinese Super League outfit reportedly had a bid rejected for the Austrian forward.
Speculations got really intensified as Manuel Pellegrini left the 29 year old out of the squad in the shocking FA Cup defeat to AFC Wimbledon. But the Austrian subsequently went on to sign a one year contract extension to extend his stay further at the London stadium.
Arnautovic is expected to be on the sidelines as he hobbled off in the 3-0 defeat to Wolves. Zabaleta said, “Honestly, I think so many situations off the field have been creating a little bit of a bad atmosphere.
“I’m not just saying that is the only thing – because we lost two (league) games. I remember in December, when we had a good run, you could see West Ham playing as a team.
“In January, it’s been tough on and off the field and the only good thing was the win against Arsenal.
“But the reality is if you want to be a better team and be in a better position then you can’t go from beating Arsenal to losing three games against two mid-table teams and a smaller team in the FA Cup.
“I can’t wait for February 1 and everyone is back on it again, we need commitment again from everyone.
“I understand January is a difficult month for clubs, because you can have big interest in your best players. But Arnie was out of the squad for two games, he’s been the main player for us.
“When you see so much speculation around the team, players moving on, or some coming in, that can distract a little bit with the atmosphere in the dressing room, it’s hard for the manager as well.”