West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic has revealed that Jose Mourinho once presented him with his watch–and he still has it.
West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic has revealed that Jose Mourinho once presented him with his watch, after the Austrian arrived for training five hours early.
The gesture reportedly happened when Arnautovic was at loan at Internazioanle from FC Twente back during the 2009/10 season, Mourinho's last in charge of the San Siro club.
Arnautovic claimed in an interview with the Daily Mail that he was desperate to avoid a telling off from Mourinho following a succession of punctuality issues during a pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi.
The Austrian striker claimed: "We were at Abu Dhabi for pre-season with Inter in 2009. I overslept for Breakfast. Late number one.
"Then there was the team meeting. The hotel was huge and my room was on the 75th floor. I am waiting for the lift and I press and I press and still I have seven minutes so I am okay. But then I still didn't make it. Disaster. Number two.
"Then, before we meet for the game, it was happening again and I was like: 'He is going to kill me'. So then we fought a little bit and I was out of the team that day, training on my own."
It appears that string of incidents had an effect on Arnautovic in the aftermath of the pre-season tour, and in his desperation to avoid another confrontation with Mourinho, the Austrian claims he arrived at Inter's training ground for a morning training session, rather than the scheduled afternoon one.
"Back in Milan, I thought we were training in the morning and I went in just perfect. There were no cars there. We were actually training in the afternoon that day!" he revealed.
"Mourinho is there with his staff and he stands up and starts applauding and laughing. He said: 'You are my man. You come here five hours before training. I love you! Here, take my watch'. I still have that watch in my house."
Despite his dedication to impressing Mourinho, Arnautovic would make just three appearances for Inter, who declined to take up a permanent deal on the Austrian, with Mourinho describing him as 'a fantastic person. with the attitude of a child.'
Instead, Anrautovic moved to Werder Bremen, where he spent three seasons before moving to Stoke in 2013, where he remained until this summer, when West Ham paid a club record £20m to bring him to the London Stadium.
Arnautovic's watch hasn't provided him with much luck yet at his new club, and he has failed to find the net in six outings.