Friday, January 13, 2017

They Had Payet. Dimitri Payet.

What an ugly affair this turned out to be eh. I’m guessing most football fans know what I’m talking about but for the small percentage who don’t I’ll fill you in with one sentence; *ahem* Dimitri Payet wants to leave West Ham…
Dimitri Payet joined West Ham back in 2015 helping them reach 7th.
Last term the Frenchman had an absolute stormer of a season, gaining 15 goals and 17 assists in all competitions. He was West Ham’s main creative threat that saw them challenging for a European spot which they eventually got (albeit in the qualifying rounds of the Europa League).

He took this form into the European Championships in France last Summer, scoring some vital (and world class) goals to help his national side reach the final only to be beaten by Fernando Santos’ Portugal side.Now whilst Payet was playing for his country, West Ham were still busy at work bringing in players that would compliment Payet as well as take some of the pressure off his shoulders as being the main man the Hammers rely on.

Feghouli, Nordtveit and Arbeloa were seemed like good free agent signings from top European clubs as well as signing Lanzini on a permanent deal after impressing last year and bringing in Andre Ayew from Swansea for a hulking £20.5 million.

But after poor start to the season, the side in claret and blue found themselves in the relegation places, even at one point conceding 14 goals in just 4 games. Normally teams at least have the excuse of Europa League football for a bad season but West Ham were knocked out in the 2nd qualifying round by Astra Giurgiu.

Now West Ham are 13th in the table and after losing 2-0 at home to Manchester, Bilic is questioning the Frenchman’s commitment to the club. The other day The Irons boss had a ‘clear the air’ meeting with Payet only to find out that he no longer wants to play for West Ham…

Now I’ve read rumours saying he’s being tapped up my other clubs and that he was upset that a bid of £10 million from Marseille was rejected but at the end of the day that does not give him the right to turn his back on the club. I remember him scoring that absolute pearler against Romania in the first game of the Euro’s and crying when he got took off.
An emotional start to Euro 2016.
He knew at that time the year before he was a nobody, was struggling to find form, in-and-out of his national side and now look at him. One of the big hitters for his country, adored all around the world as being one of the most skilled players, and who does he have to thank for this turn around…?

Well you’d think he’d be at least a bit grateful towards West Ham United for playing such a big part in turning his career around but yesterday he showed the players, the manager, the fans and the entire club a complete lack of respect as he refused to play. Bit of a joke when you’re the highest paid player at the club. Fully deserved the £250,000 fine he received for it.

Now I’ve spoken to a couple of Hammers and got a bit of a feel for how they’re thinking right now and it’s clear as daylight that they’re not happy. Some saying they never want to see him in a shirt again, some saying if he changed his mind they’d welcome him back with open arms...none quite going for my suggestion of bringing back Kevin Nolan but hey-ho it’s their loss.

Now I personally didn’t think he was doing that bad at first. Yeah West Ham aren’t doing as well as they did last year but it’s unfair to expect Payet to put in the same level of performances as he did last season. But most Hammers told me he looked bored, unmotivated and just overall tired. Understandable after the Euro’s. Still despite this I thought it my duty to do a little research into how he’d been performing this season.

According to, Payet had an average of 3.9 key passes per game. When compared to some of the best creative players in the league it is quite a surprising stat considering West Ham’s league position. He plays more key passes per game than the likes of Hazard (2.3 per game), De Bruyne (3.1), Silva (2.5), Coutinho (2.5) and even Ozil (2.6).
Payet also makes an average of 2.6 dribbles per game, only beaten by Hazard (4.6).
(De Bruyne 1.2, Silva 1.2, Coutinho 2.5, Ozil 1.3.)
That stat does show that Payet is still carrying the team from a creative standpoint. If he was promised that the weight would be lifted off his shoulders with the new signings you can kinda understand why he may be annoyed.
~ Side note: I can’t stress enough though that what he has done is completely wrong! If you have any issues you need to air it out with the manager like a professional, not refuse to play like a child~

After reading the stats on WhoScored I thought briefly that Bilic has only confronted Payet because he’s worried about losing his job. If that was the case I’m sure he’d have nothing to worry about, he’s a great manager who has a connection with the fans and I’m sure the board know that. But with the fans saying it's his workrate being called into question, that just blew my theory out the water.

Now Payet looks set to leave West Ham. Bilic has said he’s not going in January so the Frenchman will most likely be going in the Summer. West Ham have already rejected a second bid of £20 million from Marseille which in my opinion should have been accepted. Payet is 30, looking for a way out, just let him see out his remaining years where he wants to be. £20 mil for a 30 year old is silly money to reject, although there have been rumours Marseille are willing to go up to £30 million.

The next question on West Ham fans’ minds is who to replace him with? For me they should be looking at in form, creative players. Gylfi Sigurdsson would be a good signing but West ham would more than likely have to pay well over the odds to prise him from Swansea. Conor Hourihane and Alan Judge are creative players from the league below, would be a gamble bringing them up to the Prem but with both of them in their prime there’s no better time to bring them up.

For me though the perfect replacement (well almost perfect) would be Matt Phillips from West Brom. Most people may be thinking ‘fuck off’ but when you look at how he’s been performing for West Brom this season you’ll understand why Tony Pulis’ side are currently 9th in the League.

He’s currently second on the Premier League top assists list, having only 1 less assist than Kevin De Bruyne, is a two footed player with the ability to play on either wing and has formed a lethal partnership with Rondon which could potentially be replicated with Andy Carroll. At 25 I think he’d be an ideal signing as long as the board don’t do their usual “£2.55 and a bag of monster munch” offers.

Anyways the last thing I want to say regarding Payet is that I’m gutted it's come to this. After only 1 season with the Hammers he was already down in the history books as a West Ham and Premier League legend and to spoil it for himself like's painful to see.

I know a few fans will forgive him if he changes his mind and I seriously hope he does, the Premier League is stronger with him in it than without it. My favourite goal of his was that free kick against Palace. He’s the only player I can think of who can kick a ball into row Z and it still end up in the top corner. How does that even happen? Just world class.
He kicks it 10 yard over and 10 yard's it end up in the top corner?!
Hopefully this whole issue is resolved with as little pain as possible, I’m sure Payet will realise his unprofessionalism in the coming weeks and begin to show his commitment once again. Hopefully the fans will forgive him and applaud him as he leaves to see out his years in France. Until then’s gonna be a bumpy ride for Payet.

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Cheers for reading.

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