Dimitri Payet feared he would regress under Slaven Bilic's defensive West Ham tactics

He preferred the philosophy being sold to him by Marseille

Jack Austin
Friday 10 March 2017 11:02
Payet believed he would regress if he stayed at West Ham
Payet believed he would regress if he stayed at West Ham

Dimitri Payet has lashed out at Slaven Bilic’s defensive style of football and listed it as one of the main reasons he decided to leave West Ham United in the January transfer window.

The Frenchman rejoined former club Marseille in a deal worth around £25m after allegedly feigning injury so he would not have to play for West Ham – a move which was publicly condemned by his manager.

Payet signed an improved deal last season but had his head turned when the Hammers were unwilling to give him another pay rise following his Euro 2016 performances for France.

And Payet, who has three goals in eight games since moving back to Ligue 1, admitted he was frustrated by West Ham’s approach to games and that their lucky win over Hull in December was the breaking point for him.

He told French newspaper L’Equipe: “Our way of approaching matches, the defensive system put in place did not please me.

“You can say that it bothered me, yes. I got through games without any pleasure.

“I had had contact with Marseille and most notably with Rudi Garcia, who had a philosophy that I knew well. The choice was quick. If I waited six months I would lose six months.

“With West Ham at home against Hull, we won 1-0 and they hit the post four times. In the changing room everyone was happy, but the man of the match that day was the post.

“I thought that I would not have room for improvement. On the contrary, I risked regressing. I need another challenge.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments