Dimitri Payet wasn’t sure that West Ham fans hated him enough after his acrimonious departure, so he’s added insult to injury with inflammatory comments about his reasons for leaving the club. He has lashed out at Hammers boss Slaven Bilic and cited the defensive football employed by the coach as a primary motivation for leaving.
The Frenchman shocked the fans during the January transfer window by refusing to play for West Ham until he was sold. A £25 million transfer was eventually agreed with Marseille once it had become clear that the fans were furious about the situation. This is the very abridged version of a transfer saga that engulfed the club for most of January.
Since moving back to France, Payet has scored three goals in eight games including this beauty:
In case you were wondering, Dimitri Payet is doing just fine at Marseille. pic.twitter.com/OLFI9WjjrX— Brandon Boyer (@iBrandonBoyer) March 7, 2017
In an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe, Payet said:
“Our way of approaching matches, the defensive system put in place did not please me. You can say that it bothered me, yes. I got through games without any pleasure.
With West Ham at home against Hull, we won 1-0 and they hit the post four times. In the changing room everyone was happy, but the man of the match that day was the post.
I thought that I would not have room for improvement. On the contrary, I risked regressing. I need another challenge.”
I find it ridiculous that Payet would call out West Ham’s defensive organisation, when he was one of the players least interested in helping out at the back. He admits that he had given up this season and wasn’t putting in any effort, which was apparent to anyone watching West Ham this season.
He continues by saying that the club’s league position was beneath him and that he was bored playing in the system:
“I no longer wanted to play in a team at the bottom of the Premier League. Our way of approaching matches, I didn't like the defensive system put in place.
Playing 4-5-1, I could have all the liberty in the world – it was complicated to express myself. You can say I was bored, yes.
I was going through matches without any pleasure. Then I had contact with Marseille, especially with Rudi Garcia who has a philosophy I know well. The choice was quick. If I had waited six months, I was losing six months.
On the contrary, I took the risk of going backwards. I needed another challenge.”
To summarise Payet didn’t want to leave for ‘family reasons’ but to avoid the club ruining his career.
Fans on social media have been having their say on these revelations, I didn’t think people could have less respect for Payet, but I was wrong:
He was brilliant for us, but due to his actions, Dimitri Payet will go down as one of the most hated players in West Ham history.— West Ham Fan Zone (@WHUFCFZ) March 10, 2017
BREAKING: West Ham United have erected a statue in honour of Dimitri Payet at their training ground... pic.twitter.com/eC0UhvMnEa— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) March 9, 2017
Any sympathy and appreciate I had for Payet have been erased after these petty comments to the French media. The way he left was one thing, but to insult his former club and manager is disgraceful.
West Ham fans appreciate players who want to play for the club, look at Carlton Cole, he was never the best player. But he tried. We love seeing players who take the club seriously and are willing to pitch in when the going gets tough.
Payet was happy when the club was pushing for Europe, but as soon as relegation looked possible he threw a tantrum and left. Immediately the club started winning games without him. This isn’t a coincidence, the team is a lot better without Payet.
Still, it’s a sad ending for the best player I’ve seen in a West Ham shirt.