Some wounds never heal for West Ham United fans, Frank Lampard, Paul Ince and now Dimitri Payet. After lighting up Upton Park during his first season in East London, the 30-year-old Frenchman left the club in controversial circumstances to return to Marseille.
Payet recently stirred up old wounds in an interview with a French magazine where he described his final days at the club - Quotes via Sports Witness.
Describing Bilic, Payet said:
“He managed me like a father. We spoke every day. He quickly understood how I worked. You saw that straight away in how quickly I adapted. He’s a cranky guy. He’s from Croatia… He can shout, but he’s good at man management”.
Payet added that he didn’t take it personally when the manager called him out the press conference, but can make a manager’s life very difficult:
“I know how to be a dickhead. It’s one of my specialties. It’s a little game. When I want to piss everyone off, I do it. My managers understood that: when I sulk, they talk to me. It’s a way for me to be heard. Those who know me play along, and, in the end, it goes well”.
Paye explained that things started to go wrong after Euro 2016, where he became homesick and resolved to leave the Irons:
“I left Marseille feeling unsatisfied. Playing in Marseille during the Euros brought all that back, and I saw the fans were still behind me despite me changing clubs. I told myself when I left that I would return to OM. Leaving was never in my plans, anyways.
“No one ever forces me to do anything, but leaving the club [Marseille] was done out of love. I knew there was a need for money, and the most expensive players would be sold. I could have said didn’t want to leave, but when you love OM, you can’t even think about leaving it in the shit.
“I left for many reasons, but the main one was about football: West Ham’s objectives weren’t the same as the last season, and I felt in danger for my football and my chances with the national team. I had a choice to make.”
They say honesty is the best policy. Payet has been very honest, (verging into the unprofessional) since he re-joined Marseille; previously stating that he became bored with West Ham’s defensive football. Hammers fans probably couldn’t think any less of the French international at this point. Nine months after the leaving the club, he’s still slagging us off in the press. Class act.