Cheikhou Kouyate issues damning verdict on West Ham boss Slaven Bilic

West Ham United's Cheikhou Kouyate

Cheikhou Kouyate has piled the pressure on West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic ahead of Saturday's crunch clash against Crystal Palace.

West Ham United manager Slaven BilicWest Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

Bilic is a man under pressure after overseeing West Ham's worst start to a season with five defeats from their opening seven Premier League matches.

With only four points from 21 so far the Hammers are facing up to what could be a long hard season.

The East Londoners were also embarrassingly dumped out of the Europa League by Romanian minnows Astra Giurgiu for the second season running, although now that looks like a blessing in disguise with the way things have panned out.

West Ham United's Adrian, Dimitri Payet and team mates look dejectedWest Ham United's Adrian, Dimitri Payet and team mates look dejected

The club's struggles are in sharp contrast to last season when they bid farewell to their beloved Boleyn with their best ever Premier League points total and a first positive goal difference since 1986.

But now one of the club's key players, Cheikhou Kouyate, has heaped more pressure on his boss after reportedly telling Senegalese media he plays better for his country than West Ham because his national team manager is a better motivator than Bilic.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic and Cheikhou KouyateWest Ham manager Slaven Bilic and Cheikhou Kouyate

"It (Senegal boss Aliou Cisse's relationship) is close to the players," Kouyate told EnQuete.

"I'll tell you a secret: as club (West Ham) it will not, I had a discussion two hours of time with him on this. If you see today Kouyate from the national team and the club, you know it's not the same. He found the right words to really motivate and boost us."

Interviews while away on international duty are often lost in translation.

But Kouyate's comments are unhelpful in the extreme with West Ham in the bottom three ahead of the tip to Selhurst Park to face former manager Alan Pardew's high-flying Eagles.

West Ham's Cheikhou Kouyate with West Ham manager Slaven Bilic after being substitutedWest Ham's Cheikhou Kouyate with West Ham manager Slaven Bilic after being substituted

But perhaps Kouyate should look closer to home for someone to blame for his below par club performances this season.

He was arguably one of the East Londoners' most crucial players last season and it is no coincidence that the team has struggled without him at full tilt.

His all-action lung-busting displays are becoming a distant memory and the Hammers need to rally around eachother not pull in different directions if they are to arrest their worrying slump.

Bilic has already fallen out with Kouyate's close friend and compatriot Diafra Sakho and the last thing he needs is another key player not towing the line.

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