Sunday, 1 May 2016

Payet Responds to Criticism

It's pretty difficult to find fault with Hammer of the season Dimitri Payet. His footballing skillset is simply jaw dropping and surely unmatched in the Premiership. However, it is his effectiveness that really catches the eye. With nine goals and ten assists he is the principal reason the West Ham are on the verge of qualifying for European football.

Payet's precision from set pieces keeps the opposition constantly under pressure not to concede free kicks or corners, in turn creating space for his attacking colleagues with only the most foolhardy defenders daring to lunge into the challenge once we are in shooting range. Perhaps his contribution in defence is less visually impressive, but his ruthlessness on the break seriously discourages opponents from pushing too far forward and makes for an easier ride when we are defending a lead.

However, just recently Payet has been criticised for trying too hard with some of his efforts described as Hollywood in their flamboyance. In the lead up to the European Championships, perhaps Payet is trying to grab the attentions of Didier Deschamps? As such, it was reassuring to see him get back to basics yesterday where he played a key role in two of our goals by letting the ball go early.

Poor West Brom need the season to end so that they can rebuild. Despite a bright start whereby Adrian had to be at his best to prevent the Hammers falling behind, once Kouyate scored there seemed to be only one likely outcome as a ruthless Hammers inflicted an embarrassing defeat on the home side.

Next up Swansea at home. In truth, Arsenal's win yesterday probably ended our Champion's League hopes. Barring a collapse by Manchester City West ham fans will be left rueing those four consecutive draws where crazy refereeing robbed us of 8 crucial points. Europa League qualification looks very likely with any finish above eighth but with all sorts of records still at stake (highest Premiership finish, best ever Premiership goal difference, longest home run unbeaten in the league etc) Slaven Bilic will be trying to maintain the hunger. The prospect of Man United in a fifth place decider to finish the season also provides ample encouragement to keep our focus - especially after the recent cup exit.

All of which is undoubtedly bad news for Swansea who come visiting Fortress Boleyn next week!

 

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