Sunday 26 June 2016

Payet Kisses Hammer Goodbye

The luck of the Irish ran out this afternoon at the Stade de Lyon. Having taken a shock lead, the Irish enjoyed the better of the first half and could easily have added to their lead by the break. However, the second half brought an inevitable backlash as France piled on the pressure in an effort to keep their Euro dreams alive.

That pressure eventually paid off as Antoine Greizmann scored a rapid fire brace between the 58th and 61st minutes before breaking free again to force the hapless Shane Duffy into taking a red card for his team. Thereafter the Irish huffed and puffed by were out of steam in the hot conditions and frustratingly just could not chisel out a chance for an equaliser as the game ended in a 2-1 victory for France.

Dimitri Payet was, by his high standards, relatively quiet throughout but found time at the final whistle to console Hammers teammate Darren Randolph with a kiss. Right now every last gesture from the talismanic midfielder is being subjected to intense analysis as Hammers fans fear that, despite his five year contract, Payet might be tempted into a move to join Zinedine Zidane at Real or to become a crowdpleasing replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic at PSG.

Today's events highlight Payet's class and perhaps suggest that he will repay the faith West Ham placed in him by leading our Premiership campaign as we move to the Olympic Stadium. Either way, commiserations to Darren Randolph who once again demonstrated his expertise between the sticks and thus reminding Hammers fans that he represents genuine competition for Adrian.

Let's hope Dazza enjoys a well-earned break before we come back for the new season.


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