Morgan Amalfitano's rollercoaster: the best and worst of French star's short West Ham career

Morgan Amalfitano's West Ham United career was something of a rollercoaster, filled with as many downs as ups.

The French midfielder, who had fallen out with new boss Slaven Bilic, left the Hammers by mutual consent after a short spell in East London which saw him make 32 appearances and score three goals.

He was actually included in Bilic's 25-man squad for the Premier League this season, which was something of a surprise given that the former Croatia boss had banished the ex West Bromich Albion star from the club's first team for a 'breach of rules' - as reported by the Evening Standard.

Amalfitano had established himself as an important squad member under Sam Allardyce, but did not play any part in the West Ham first team since the club's ill-fated Europa League qualifying campaign.

'It's my job to protect the club'

Speaking in his column in the Evening Standard at the time, Bilic explained the rationale behind his decision to ostracise Amalfitano, which ultimately led to a parting of the ways: “I would just say that my first and foremost job is to protect the whole team - myself, the staff and players.

“If I see anything or anyone threatening to harm the atmosphere and transgress those rules, then it has to be stopped."

The Hammers should have the squad to cope without him as he leaves for pastures new, and here we take a look back at his three best and worst moments in the claret and blue.

The Best

3) Amalfitano was full of beans when he signed a new two-year deal back in March. He was happy because the deal meant he would be with the club when they embark on their big move to the 54,000 seater Olympic Stadium next summer, and it was a contract he had earned after a decent start to life in East London. He said at the time, to the club's official website: "I've not had a chance to see the Olympic Stadium yet but apparently it's a very, very beautiful stadium. So I'm very pleased to be a part of the project and I always want to please our fans, as much as possible." Didn't quite work out like that though did it Morgan?

2) Amalfitano's second best moment was his second goal for the club, which came on October 25 at home to Manchester City, when he netted the opener in a 2-1 victory over the reigning champions. After great work by Enner Valencia, Amalfitano was lurking at the far post to roll in probably the easiest goal of his career. But what made it special was the celebration. Still seemingly unaware of the layout of his new ground, Amalfitano celebrated by launching himself into the Manchester City fans. The visiting supporters didn't take too kindly to what they thought was Amalfitano rubbing their noses in it and he quickly made his escape to the sanctuary of the pitch, much to the delight of West Ham fans.

1) Ironically, Amalfitano's finest West Ham moment came on his home debut last September. Coming on in the second half and scoring his first goal against Liverpool to seal a 3–1 victory and secure the club's first home win of the season. It was an impudent finish too, striding into the box and rolling the ball into the corner with his toe.

The Worst

3) Amalfitano was one of few first-team regulars from last season to be used in Bilic's Europa League qualifying campaign during pre-season, and it showed. While most of the other first teamers were taking tentative steps in pre-season training to getting fit again, Amalfitano was used as one of the senior heads for far flung trips to Andorra, Malta and Romania. It was clear, though, that he did not have the appetite for it and took umbrage to what he probably saw as a bit of a demotion. Instead of rolling his sleeves up and proving himself to the new boss, he looked disinterested and hardly got involved, even being subbed off after just 50 minutes in one of the games.

2) Amalfitano lost his way towards the end of last season and found himself unable to hold down a regular place in the team. His frustrations boiled over when he got himself sent off within minutes of coming on as a second half substitute in West Ham's miserable 4-0 defeat to his old club West Brom in the FA Cup. Sam Allardyce labelled him 'unprofessional' afterwards.

1) The Frenchman's worst moment, and most damning indiscretion came before the start of the current season when, according to a report in the Mirror, he gave Bilic 'attitude'. The paper claimed Amalfitano had a list of his misdemeanours read to him before he was sent packing by Bilic after his latest breach of discipline. While he will undoubtedly have clubs interested in his services, he will have to wait until January until he is eligible to play again as his contract termination did not take place before the close of the summer transfer window.

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