It’s official. Dimitri Payet is leaving West Ham United. While I’m sure many supporters thought this would happen eventually with the way the season has gone, nobody expected that Payet would turn his back on all the fans. Despite the anger many supporters feel towards Payet, the past year and a half were full of many exciting moments. Here are the top 5 Dimitri Payet moments in a West Ham shirt.
Number 5 - The Rabona Assist
As we all know, it was a very rough start to the season for the Irons. That includes the home fixture against Watford, where West Ham blew an early 2-0 lead to lose 2-4. Still, this Payet assist to Michail Antonio is something to drool over.
Number 4 - Put The Team On My Back
As mentioned above, the beginning of this season was a rough one. After going 1-0 down to Middlesbrough at home, Dimtri Payet pulled this beauty out of the bag. This was a moment in which Payet would not be denied, and would do anything he could to get the club back into the game, and back into the swing of things.
Ahh how times change...
Number 3 - “Way too far out”
A very good friend of mine is a Manchester United fan. As we watched the quarterfinals of the FA Cup together, Payet was fouled very far out from goal. He put down the ball and stood behind it. My friend was worried that Payet would score a banger to put West Ham in front. I looked at him and said “I know Payet is good at free kicks but there’s no way he shoots from here. It’s way too far out.”
Shows what I know.
Payet could not have hit this any sweeter, and to score from that far out against one of the best goalkeepers in the world, makes this free kick special.
Number 2 - The Comeback
One of the things I noticed about West Ham last season is that they never quit. There were multiple times they seemed out of the game, but Bilic and the boys would claw their way back. That was best exemplified in the 3-2 comeback at Goodison Park.
Payet spearheaded the comeback, giving West Ham their first league win at Goodison Park since 2005, and showed the will of last years West Ham squad who came from behind many times, including the memorable 3-2 win in the last game at The Boleyn Ground.
Number 1 - The Free Kick
Before this free kick, Dimitri Payet had already built up quite the reputation for his free kick ability, and after Crystal Palace gave away a foul right on the edge of the box, Palace did whatever they could to prevent him from scoring. Palace put 7 men in the wall, and put goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to cover the far post. It would be very difficult for Payet to get that ball up and over the wall so close to goal, and if he tried to go around the wall, Hennessey would be able to catch it easily.
And then he pulled out this beauty.
As Payet struck the ball, I could have sworn that it was going wide. As it curled back into the top corner, I made a noise I don’t think I have ever made before. It is one of the greatest free kicks I have ever seen.
Dimitri Payet was only a Hammer for a year and a half, and while many West Ham supporters no longer love him like they used to, he provided some exciting moments that many will never soon forget.
Thank you, and goodbye, Dimitri Payet.