Dinamo Zagreb coach Zoran Mamic thanked his compatriot and West Ham manager Slaven Bilic for helping the Croatian title holders beat Arsenal 2-1 in their Champions League Group F match yesterday.
“You can’t have more quality than he has got but the difference between him and (David) Silva is that he has done it in the Premier League for four years, whereas Payet has done it for five games”.
They are Man City. Previous year it was there also but they now have a few more players that have individual quality, pace, skill, solidness, whether that’s Nicolas Otamendi or Raheem Sterling or Kevin de Bruyne.
West Ham nearly delivered a real sucker punch just before the hour when Payet slipped Sakho into the clear, but as Hart stormed out to meet him, the striker could only poke his effort across the face of goal. Toure had another effort deflected wide and Aleksandar Kolarov had a penalty appeal turned down after tangling with Sakho.
However it wasn’t to be as Payet’s goals early in each half sealed the win for the Hammers to take them as high as fifth, while Newcastle drop to the foot of the table on goal difference behind North-East rivals Sunderland.
Clearly out on their feet, West Ham were defending on instinct and heart with Reid, Tomkins and Collins colossal in their own penalty area. To add to that Dimitri is playing in a position you have to close down, no matter who plays there.
West Ham defender Carl Jenkinson sees no reason why they can not upset City. We saw that in the second goal. “But my players did a great job too. We have already done it twice and I am expecting us to have a good game and if we play as well as we can, then we have a chance”.
“We didn’t nick it. It would have been fair if they equalised, but we also had chances”.
Bilic led Besiktas to victory over Liverpool in the Europa League last season but his West Ham side failed to make it past the qualifying stage in August after losing to Romania’s Astra Giurgiu.