The way Dimitri Payet finished his time at West Ham was very sad. If it was for personal reasons, as we’re being led to believe, then I think many fans can understand why he wanted to leave – but the way he went about it was all wrong.
As a professional you can’t refuse to play and I don’t think there was any way back for him in the dressing room once he had done that. Certainly when I played there wasn’t anybody who came out and said publicly – or even privately – that they didn’t want to play. But there were one or two I played with that I felt possibly didn’t want to be at the club any longer. They didn’t, however, say anything because once you do that, you leave yourself open.
The whole saga has galvanized the players and seemingly united everyone at the club – including the fans. It is the only positive to come out from this as the players are working even harder for one another and the results have picked up as well. Th ere are also a few players like Sofiane Feghouli and Manuel Lanzini who have benefited from Payet’s absence.
Players need to have the chance to shine and a run in the side and for Feghouli, he’s had that chance now and shown us a bit more of what he’s about. Let’s hope that we can continue to turn this negative situation into a positive and keep looking up the table.