By Dominic Toner
Dimitri Payet has defended his use of the rabona assist in West Ham’s 4-2 defeat to Watford last weekend.
Hornets captain Troy Deeney made comments on Payet’s eyecatching cross for the second Hammers goal after the match and said that West Ham’s arrogance allowed them back into the game.
Denney revealed that he appreciates the skill shown by Payet but thought it was wrong to be doing it with the game still in the balance.
The Hammers had taken a two-goal lead thanks to a double from Michail Antonio which included a header from Payet’s rabona cross, but Watford completed a remarkable turnaround to take the three points.
Payet, 29, has said that the cross was an instinctive decision and defended the use of the rabona, which is when a player kicks the ball by wrapping one leg around their standing leg.
“It was something that came instinctively to me at that time in the game,” he told West Ham’s website. “I thought that it was the best thing to do at that moment and I did it and it worked. When it works, the skill becomes even more impressive.”
Payet’s undoubted talent saw him named as a PFA Player of the Year nominee last season and much of his game centres around his skill.
The Frenchman has now returned to full fitness after recovering from his exploits with the hosts at Euro 2016.
West Ham supporters have high expectations for the new season, with the move to the London Stadium completed, and are keen to follow up their seventh-placed finish lsat season.
Slaven Bilic has been dealt with several injury blows at the start of the campaign and his side have already lost three games in their opening four Premier League matches.
The return of Payet and Manuel Lanzini should provide an extra spark in the West Ham midfield and the pair will be focused on the next league match against West Brom.
In other West Ham news, David Gold gave his verdict on Twitter to the club’s defeat against Watford.