Is Dimitri Payet crumbling under the pressure of hype and expectation?


    Not long ago, Premier League was drooling over Dimitri Payet and his insane ability as a football player. We were in awe of his vision in the final third, his skill to take players on and perhaps we loved him the most for his insane expertise of scoring from jaw-dropping free kicks.

    His free kick against Crystal Palace has been regarded as the best free kick goal in Premier League since Cristiano Ronaldo’s signature strike against Portsmouth back in 2007/08.

    Yes, this is how good Dimitri Payet has been this season. But I wonder if the growing phenomenon around him and expectation to deliver week-in-week-out is getting to the Frenchman?

    we have not seen the typical Payet-like performance from him in last four matches and it is not a surprise that West Ham have failed to win all of those matches.

    While Slaven Bilic’s team may have dug deep to win a point in each of those four matches, but absence of Payet’s brilliance was the key reason for them not winning all three points.

    Payet’s numbers this season have been as good as anyone in Europe. Hammers star has averaged 3.41 key passes, 3.93 chances created and 2.51 take-ons per game this season. However, those numbers have deserted Payet in recent games and it has reflected on West Ham falling behind in the race for a top-4 finish this season.

    Payet will need to lift his game in coming weeks as he is being seen as France’s key player at the Euros this summer. More than lifting his game, Payet would need to deal with the hype and expectation surrounding him after his blistering start with West Ham.

    For the first time in his career his coaches and teammates have believed in him to be the main man for his team. Despite having the obvious talent, he was always criticized of not trying harder to reach the next level.

    It took Marcelo Bielsa to bring the best out him while their days in Marseille and we are now seeing what he is actually capable of. He has the ability to win games on his own and be the difference maker.

    His club and country alike would hope to see him regain his form over the course of next few weeks and be the key player in season run-in for West Ham and be a match winner for France at the Euros.

    Image Credit: Getty