West Ham midfielder Hayden Mullins hinted today that the arrival of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano affected the club's form this season.
Tevez's and Mascherano's West Ham future is in doubt following Icelander Eggert Magnusson's £85million takeover of the club, as both players are part-owned by Iranian businessman Kia Joorabchian, who involved in a rival takeover bid.
Argentina stars Tevez and Mascherano have performed below expectations at Upton Park as West Ham have struggled in the Premiership - and Mullins admitted their arrival in August had not helped matters.
'When Carlos and Javier came in and the whole whirlwind started, it did have a bit of an effect,' Mullins told the club's official website.
'[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.
'It was just a case of going on a bad run, which all teams experience at one point or another. 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.
He continued: 'The club has moved on so much since I arrived [in 2003], and it was an easy decision to make.
'When I joined the club, we were in the Championship, and it was all ifs, buts and maybes.
'Since then, we've won promotion to the Premiership, played in an FA Cup final, and qualified for Europe.'