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15th Jan 2017

There are uncanny parallels between the Dimitri Payet situation and Slaven Bilić’s time as a player

How things change.

Tom Victor

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilić has been praised by elements of the club’s support for how he has dealt with wantaway playmaker Dimitri Payet.

But it seems Bilić the manager is very different from Bilić the player, based on reports about his own West Ham departure almost 20 years ago.

Payet reportedly does not want to play for the London club, and is thought to be desperate for a move back to France.

And Bilić has been happy to call out the player, who he left out of the squad for Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

However, Observer journalist David Hills has found parallels between the current situation and the storm around the Croatian when he was looking to force through a move away from East London.

In this week’s edition of the paper, Hills points to comments made by West Ham’s then-manager Harry Redknapp in March 1997, when Bilić was keen on a move to Everton, as well as comments from the player himself:

March 1997 – Harry Redknapp reveals he’s “bitter and angry “ with Slaven Bilic trying to leave West Ham: “He’s on a fantastic contract, the highest paid player in the club’s history. He signed it … Now he wants a move and feels Everton are a big club, so there’s nothing we can do.

“West Ham are a big club in our eyes, but he feels otherwise.” Bilic: “I had to do this. We are professionals – all players know, if anyone gets the chance of a big club, he must take it.”

Not too far from Bilić’s comments this week that he is “let down and angry” with Payet, wouldn’t you say?

Catch up with this week’s episode of Football Friday Live: