Why Bilic was right to dump the ‘trouble-maker’ Amalfitano

West Ham can afford to have no bad apples in their in-form squad

Slaven Bilic wasted no time in stamping his authority at West Ham United, as he banished Morgan Amalfitano from Chadwell Heath due to a falling out, and this has since led to the winger leaving the club by mutual consent. Amalfitano fell out with Bilic aft er he missed a team meeting in August. As a result, Bilic ordered the ex-France international to stay away from the club’s training ground and instead train with the Development Squad at Rush Green. Th e winger had appeared four times for the Hammers in the Europa League since Bilic’s appointment, but the fall out resulted in Amalfitano failing to appear in claret and blue again.

Since the incident, some have questioned whether Bilic was too quick to dismiss Amalfitano and if the new manager perhaps struggles to deal with egos. But Bilic got it spot on as recent history would seem to suggest that the former Marseille winger has attitude problems. Bilic’s predecessor Sam Allardyce labeled Amalfitano an ‘unprofessional’ player aft er he was sent off for lashing out at Chris Brunt in the embarrassing FA Cup defeat to West Bromwich Albion last season.

He also forced through a loan move to the Hawthorns, from Marseille, by handing in a transfer request after the French giants failed to qualify for the Uefa Champions League in the previous campaign. Amalfitano did show glimpses of what he can do last term. His best performance came in the 2-1 home win over Manchester City, where he grabbed the opening goal.

He did, however, seem to be disinterested at times when the Hammers were not in possession, and he could be slow to track back. The termination of Amalfitano’s contract has hardly made much of an impact at the club, as it is clear that he would not have been in the Hammers’ starting XI, whether there was a bust-up or not. Dimitri Payet’s displays have shown why Bilic made him the club’s number one transfer target in the summer. The France international has been involved in the majority of the East London club’s goals since his arrival and there is no way that Amalfitano could have displaced him.

Also, Manuel Lanzini has been a welcome surprise. Many were expecting the Argentinian to struggle in the Premier League, but he has settled in well and scored important goals in wins at Liverpool and, more recently, Crystal Palace. Victor Moses has often been on the left wing since the club secured his services (until the end of the season) on transfer deadline day. All three of them are versatile and are able to switch wings or even move in behind Sakho.

Amalfitano was not as versatile as those currently at Bilic’s disposal. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that he would have started ahead of any of the trio regardless of a bust-up. Moving Amalfitano on removed the possibility of his attitude bogging his teammates down. With the Hammers flying high, the club wants no distractions, and he could have been a big distraction for Bilic’s men. The Hammers need everyone to be on the same page and if one player is not then it is probably best for the club if they leave.

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