West Ham Cottee: Payet deal shows real intent
12:30 17 February 2016
Our Hammers columnist Tony Cottee is delighted Dimitri Payet is staying put
There a lot of football supporters that complain about the huge wages that the players get these days, but I can’t imagine any West Ham fan moaning about the salary of Dimitri Payet now he has signed a new deal.
It is a huge statement of intent by the board and full credit to them by securing the talents of our best player for the next five years.
Everything is changing with the Hammers. As they move into a new stadium they are moving to a different level and that means keeping your best players.
Over the last 50 or 60 years, West Ham have been a selling club, but this is now changing. Everyone has their price and I expect there may be a huge buy-out clause in his new contract, but with a five-year deal and that means any team will have to pay an absolute fortune to get him.
Last Tuesday’s win against Liverpool in a pulsating game, shows that the FA Cup is still alive and kicking.
It was a cracker of a game and it has rewarded us with an excellent fifth round tie at Blackburn, where Slaven Bilic will surely field his strongest team.
We had a strong team out for Saturday’s league game at lowly Norwich City, but once again our start let us down and we went two goals behind.
It was a great effort to get back to 2-2 and we probably should have won it, but we really must make better starts if we are going to match the top six teams.
That seems to be the difference. We have dropped far too many points this season after going behind in games – Everton have been doing something similar this season too and if we want to rub shoulders with the big boys, we can’t afford to do that.
Payet showed his class with a goal and an assist, but I want to say a special word about Mark Noble who scored a cracker of an equaliser on Saturday.
For me he has been outstanding all season and I think he will play a vital part in making sure there is no complacency at Ewood Park this Sunday.
The battle for the title was thrown wide open at the weekend, with my old boys Leicester City being pipped by Arsenal in the last minute and I think the race is going down to the wire now.
Any one of the top four can still win it and it is going to be an exciting run-in.
Hopefully not so exciting will be West Ham’s FA Cup game at Blackburn. It won’t be easy but the Hammers have the better players and as long as they keep things quiet early on, I can see a comfortable 2-0 win for the boys.