Hammers hit hard by Argentine whirlwind, says Mullins

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Hayden Mullins, the West Ham midfielder, hinted yesterday that the arrival of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano had affected the club's form this season.

The West Ham futures of both Tevez and Mascherano are in doubt following the £85m takeover of the club by Icelander Eggert Magnusson. Both players are part-owned by Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian, who was involved in a rival takeover bid.

Tevez and Mascherano , both Argentina internationals, have performed below expectations at Upton Park as West Ham have struggled in the Premiership - and Mullins admitted that their arrival in August had not helped.

"When Carlos and Javier came in and the whole whirlwind started, it did have a bit of an effect," Mullins said. "The takeover speculation has been going on for a while now, and the players didn't really know too much about what was going on, so to have it resolved is a relief.

"But we certainly can't blame the takeover for the eight-match losing run we had between September and October.

"We know we are a good team, and now we are starting to prove it again. We can get on with the season now, and not have any uncertainty flying around, which can only be a good thing for the manager [Alan Pardew] and the team."

Mullins should be one player certain about his Upton Park future after signing a new four-year contract with the club this week. The 27-year-old was an integral part of the Hammers side which prospered in the Premiership last season, as well as the one promoted from the Championship in the previous campaign.