Speaking in an interview with Canal Football Club, West Ham United’s new attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet took a swipe at French national team boss Didier Deschamps for leaving him out of the latest squad. Highlights below:
What are you first impressions of West Ham?
I am surprised. Surprised about the quality of the squad. It is a club with ambitions, set out notably by the new manager, with whom I spoke with a lot. It is true that it (the transfer) happened quickly. It is true that the initial idea was not to cross the Channel but to continue my adventure with Marseille.
On a possible Marseille contract extension…
The negotiations happened with the President yes, but Margarita (Margarita Louis Dreyfus – the club’s owner) saw otherwise. I gave my maximum to Marseille… today I can say that I accomplished everything that I wanted to accomplish there…
I think I had the best season of my career to date (last season), finishing as the highest assist maker. The transfer improved the coffers at Marseille, so I think everyone comes away happy.
What was your relationship with Marcelo Bielsa like?
Very good, very good, because he spoke to me by explaining things clearly. He was exigent with me, he did not want me to be less concentrated, less focused in training, any little thing that cropped up he would be on to it immediately…
He was like that with all of the squad, but with me, it felt different, he showed me that he needed me, for him the most important thing was that I was at 100% all of the time…
According to the president, Bielsa wanted to keep certain players, I might have been among them, but I don’t know if that had an impact on his decision (to leave).
On Didier Deschamps..
He spoke to me in the last two times that the squad assembled, that he wanted more from me, in the way I played for the national team.
Do you think it is made more difficult for some players than others?
Yes, yes for sure. Honestly, I am struggling to understand what he (Deschamps) is really asking of me. For me, it has been maybe a year now that I have been giving my all and I am probably in the best form of my career. I don’t know what more he wants, of course I can always do better but in the overall idea, I struggle to understand it.