Written by Farehamhammer @farehamhammer
I’m afraid that I believe that Dimitri Payet’s antics started much earlier than we were led to believe, and we have paid a dear price for them. Look, I don’t want Slaven Bilic sacked, he gave us some incredible moments last season, and I think he will become a better manager because of the trials and tribulations he has faced this season. Contrary to popular opinion I don’t think he handled the Payet saga at all well.
I think that Payet started playing up during the last few games of last season, around about the time he got selected for France’s Euro Squad. We were facing Stoke City in a game that would have meant automatic EUFA League qualification. Yet all sorts of stories emerged regards Payet: Payet had a slight knock, was ‘tired’ and needed to be ‘rested’ for the Euro’s. Nothing about West Ham’s needs of qualifying directly for The EUFA League! Already then Payet was calling the shots in my opinion. Fatal for any manager. We had Bilic at The Euro’s standing on the table while a Pundit for ITV, arm’s outstretched, shouting “P –A-Y-E-T! P-A-Y-E-T! ”Yes, it looked impressive and the manager meant it. I like you and many others roared our approval!
Who could be blamed us or the manager? Payet was one of the finest player’s to have donned the claret and blue…till the last four or five games of last season anyway. A superstar in anyone’s language! “Our Dimi! We were not bothered with such niceties as, Payet has ALWAYS been loyal to Payet only. Strikes and threats has always been what Payet reverts to if he doesn’t get his way. Almost like some youngster knowing their partner has a history of cheating, somehow believing that this time it would be different. Because the serial cheater really loved them. We believed that this time it would be different, because Payet loved the club and us! How wrong we were .With Bilic bending over backwards to please Payet, putting him on a virtual pedestal how do you think the rest of the squad felt? Resentment? You bet they did! Off to The Euro’s went Payet where he performed fantastically. No doubt at that point Payet and his agent start really intensifying his efforts to leave West Ham. It took forever him to reappear for the club pre-season. When he did against Juventus at the London Stadium, his body language was terrible. The message was clear: I don’t want to be here. I believe this could have had a knock on effect on our transfer activity. What does the club do? They have the no 27 shirt hanging at the London Stadium and plan to build a team around the club’s super star. If they sell him they would get slaughtered and people would moan we are a selling club. The only way out would be if they could get £50-£60M for the player and bring in two or three top players in his place.
Reluctantly the Club were forced to draw up two transfer list, one with the Payet money and one without. The club in virtual limbo as far transfer activity was concerned. Payet had West Ham at virtual gunpoint. The Club waited and waited for the bids to come in and the transfer clock was going tick tock. Unfortunately it seems they never did. Small wonder our transfer activity was an utter shambles. No doubt Payet was ALREADY threatening to strike .In an effort to appease Payet the club gave him a million pound ‘Loyalty bonuses’
No doubt The Club’s reasoning if Payet kept up his EURO form the club would more than get their money back in January. So we had an uneasy truce. We had Payet who was person not grata to the rest of the players and seen by some no doubt as the manager’s pet. A Club in disarray we most certainly were, no surprise then that results were poor on the pitch. Payet of course did not bother his arse on the pitch. Forcing the club to sell him for virtual peanuts at the end of January. Slaven Bilic eventually outing him during the January transfer window. Felt like lancing a boil, the poison being let out. Things have not been perfect since Payet left. Often setbacks in life see’s people emerge stronger, As a Football Club we undoubtedly learnt a few valuable lesson’s due to Payet gate. But I have no doubt we will emerge stronger as a Football Club because of it. We are more than a football club, we’re a way of life! COYI’S!!