West Ham’s season can’t look any gloomier. We have hit rock bottom. A 5-0 mauling in the FA cup was followed by news, this morning, that Dimitri Payet has requested to leave. What happens next with the player remains to be seen, and, Bilic has set his stall out. You are staying, you have let us down so grow up or sit in the reserves is his very blunt message. It is a bitter blow to the fans, the team and the manager. Payet is after all the best player we have had for 15 odd years.
Whether he is justified to be upset after the poor recruitment in the summer is a different question. The world class players didn’t follow on from the owner’s promises, but that is the past. Can we change what happened in the summer window? No, it happened, we can only control (to an extent!) the present.
Following this news, it could be expected that the team crumble, but, they need to stand up and be counted. The players need to show the fans, management and Payet that they don’t need him. Now is the time to play for the shirt. Show passion, and drag West Ham kicking and screaming into a positive future. Look at Antonio, he has showed immense professionalism, Nordtveit too especially after his tough start. We all as fans of this club only want players playing in the claret and blue who want to wear it, and more importantly, those who are proud to wear it.
Fans of other teams will no doubt see this as a chance to mock West Ham and put us down. It was already happening, but the criticism will now get immeasurably worse. The worst thing that we as fans, players, or, management could do is let this get us down. We are West Ham UNITED. It’s in our name. Despite what others may say and, to be fair, what it looks like we are not a lost cause, we are not a joke. Be united, play united, support the team united.
The message to our players is fill Payet’s void. Don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Playing for West Ham is a privilege. You are all talented, make that talent count and, hey, you never know Dimitri Payet might see that and change his tune. We are not a one-man team, and now is the time to show it.