Dimitri Payet caused a storm in January when attempting to force a transfer away from West Ham United by going on strike.
Despite the Hammers being desperate to hold on to their star player, the Frenchman’s move away from his former employers was inevitable and he rejoined his former club, Marseille, on January 30th.
After remaining quiet for the first few months of his move, the 29-year-old has finally revealed why he was so desperate to leave London.
He told L’Equipe:
“The way we played, the defensive system we used, didn’t please me. You could say I was bored.”
West Ham’s form since
Many tipped the club to struggle, but the loss of Payet hasn’t sent the Hammers into turmoil. In fact, since dropping him on January 12, the club has only been beaten in two of their seven games.
Those defeats came against Manchester City and Chelsea, who were made strong favourites in both fixtures anyway.
However, although they haven’t been losing games, they haven’t always been winning them either.
Draws at home to West Brom and away to Watford will be seen as points dropped by Slaven Bilic’s men, meaning the Hammers have picked up a total of 11 points from a possible 21 without Payet.
They’re now positioned 11th in the Premier League. Compared to last March, when West Ham were pushing for a top-four place, a mid-table finish come May will be disappointing.
With two-and-a-half months left this season, Bilic’s men really need to push on.
Manuel Lanzini has replaced the departed Payet behind first-choice striker Andy Carroll, but his attacking flair hasn’t quite reached the level of his predecessor.
He’s only scored six goals and made two assists in 24 appearances this season.
With matches against Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool still to play, someone else may have to step up and shine in Payet’s absence to ensure a strong finish to the campaign.