French media's withering riposte to Sky Sports pundit's Dimitri Payet claims

West Ham United's Dimitri Payet looks dejected after a penalty appeal is not given

The French media has hit back at claims made by a Sky Sports pundit about under fire West Ham United star Dimitri Payet.

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic before the matchBubble bursting? West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

The Hammers are suffering a torrid second season under Slaven Bilic and currently sit 17th in the Premier League, one place and one point above the relegation zone.

Eight defeats from 13 games, an early exit from Europe and the second worst defence in the top flight tells its own story.

Supporters are fed up after the club's heralded move to the 60,000 seater Olympic Stadium proved somewhat disastrous, mirrored by West Ham's form on the pitch.

West Ham United's Dimitri Payet looks dejected after a penalty appeal is not givenWest Ham United's Dimitri Payet looks dejected

Even talismanic star Dimitri Payet has come in for criticism from fans and pundits alike with many suggesting his attitude is all wrong and he is looking for a move away.

One such pundit, Paul Merson, told Sky Sports last week: "Dimitri Payet doesn't look interested - at all.

"I would advise him to knuckle down and help get West Ham out of this relegation battle.

"He looks like someone that wants to be moving on his way. If it wasn't for West Ham nobody would have ever heard of Payet - he wouldn't even be playing for France."

Many agreed with Merson's sentiments but some feel the criticism of Payet is harsh given he is still the leading player in Europe's top five leagues when it comes to chances created this season.

Paul Merson - All Stars XIPaul Merson

And now the media outlet back in the former Marseille player's homeland, Get Football News France, has hit back at Merson's claims.

In an opinion piece on GFNF, the lengthy response said: "Sorry, what? If that’s the case, thank god that Real Madrid got Gareth Bale out of English football, if it wasn’t for them then no-one would have heard of the Welshman.

"Sounds absurd, right? That’s because it is.

"Now it’s not right to call out Merson for not watching French football, he has a job that involves watching the Premier League on a regular basis and that’s where he will be pulling most of his knowledge from. However, in this modern age, many would have known about Payet before he joined West Ham.

West Ham United's Dimitri Payet looks dejectedPayet's pain

"Even Hammers fans will not argue that he made them a better football team last season, his nine goals and 12 assists lifted them to the next level rather than the stature of the club, which shouldn’t be disputed as being great in its own right.

"West Ham fans may feel he deserves partial blame, even with five assists and a goal to his name, but he is not the only one at fault. Only seven players have scored all season, two being defenders, with Michael Antonio and Manuel Lanzini the only two with more than one goal to their name.

"Payet is still averaging 3.9 key passes per game which all just shows how goal-shy their strikeforce has become. Add to that the second-worst defence so far this campaign and there are obvious reasons as to why they have been a disaster this season.

"Then again, why we listen to the opinion of a person who can’t even be bothered to learn how to pronounce player’s names, I will never know."

West Ham United's Dimitri Payet celebrates scoring their first goal with Mark NoblePayet celebrates his goal of the season contender against Middlesbrough

A withering riposte if ever there was one, but what GFNF must remember is that Merson was a player of the highest quality himself who had a very good career with the likes of Arsenal.

Merson was also a number 10 midfielder like Payet so knows the mentality of that kind of player in certain situations.

Where Merson went wrong was to single out Payet after the Manchester United cup game, where barring Winston Reid and Pedro Obiang West Ham were awful all over the pitch in the second half.

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