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Sustained Disdain: The Dimitri Payet Saga Continues

Seven months after the once beloved French International Dimitri Payet refused to play for West Ham and was moved out, the hate is still on for West Ham players. Of course, instigated by the recent events surrounding the managing capabilities of Slaven Bilic, Payet gave his opinion on his former manager and team. He stated Bilic was a good man manager, but possibly more interesting, Payet admitted that he liked playing and acting like a “dickhead” on the pitch. This attitude is how he forced his move through to Marseille and how he earned the nickname ‘snake’ from West Ham supporters.

Now, his attitude aside, what cannot be denied is his incredible talent on the field. He has an offensive vision that is steps ahead of defenders and can improve the entire quality of his team. West Ham fans are well aware of this as he, alongside the spirit of the Boelyn drove West Ham to a 7th place finish in the last season at the team’s historic ground. So, with the current state of the club, mired in a terrible start to the season with an 0-3 record while shipping ten goals against, it has to be asked, would a West Ham fan want Payet back on the team.

As a staunch yes voter, allow me to explain a vote towards reinstating the fickle Frenchman back into the West Ham starting XI. Adding a playmaking midfielder along side the enigmatic Manuel Lanzini would solidify the West Ham attack. With Lanzini and Payet in the middle, Marko Arnautovic on the left, Antonio on the right, and Chicharito at striker, West Ham would line up with one of the most intimidating attacks in the Premier League. This up top attack would also solidify the defense for the squad as well. West Ham would likely run one central defending midfielder and a standard back four. With a CDM anchoring the defense and moving the ball forward, West Ham would be like a new club.

However, when taken to Twitter, the West Ham collective seem to disagree with the opinions expressed here. With the asked question being “If Payet wanted to come back to West Ham would you want him?” the result was a resounding 70% no, to 30% yes in the 250 vote poll. Not entirely surprising of the West Ham faithful, this result aligns perfectly with the attitude of the club’s supporters. Created by the working class, for the working class, West Ham takes that blue-collar prideful nature into the support of your players. If the club’s players work hard on the pitch and show they want to be in East London, the faithful will back them to the end of the world. The flip side to this attitude is that when a player acts like Payet did, disrespecting the team and the culture of the club, the fans will buy you a plane ticket to leave the club.

In that cultural sense, I feel swayed to sympathize with this stance. With Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain stacking the deck in their favor to win the French League, Payet’s ability to win the league is really out of contention. So, a switch is possible, however, Marseille is unlikely to move the attacking midfielder as they are primed to contend for European competition.

The question is a fair and timely one, however. West Ham is awaiting the suspension of left winger Arnautovic to be passed, and that position was occupied by Payet last season. It is clear the team is thin on left attacking options, and a reunion with the disrespectful player who abandoned his team sounds most attractive now than ever. Also, with the transfer window gone, often injured and attacker with a poor attitude Diafra Sakho has been offered a new contract or will be shortly. This coming after a deadline day where he flew to France on his own, conducted a medical with French club Rennes, and failed to return to meet with club officials until his horse ran (and won) a race. These disrespectful actions surely suggest he should be moved away from the club, however, it seems he will be rewarded. The club ownership clearly would rather have players they value over club tradition, as they have now changed the location of the team and the team badge.

The move is not going to happen, and from what research I’ve conducted, most are happy with that fact. It was never an option for West Ham, but surely the attacking options could cause an East Londoner to salivate looking at the team sheet with the snake added to the starting XI

Adam Smith
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Adam Smith

West Ham United Writer at The Runner Sports
Proud supporter of the Claret and Blue, West Ham United!
Actively interested in transfer news, match reports, developing story lines, and all things West Ham United!
Adam Smith
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