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Diop departure leaves nasty taste in our mouths

By CandH’s top blogger Allen Cummings

Judging by the comments I’ve seen on this forum, and elsewhere, the Issa Diop episode has left a nasty taste in the mouths of many West Ham fans.

His proposed transfer to Fulham has been rumbling along for a while now – but yesterday the saga took a mysterious turn when we discovered Diop wasn’t included in what was clearly a depleted matchday squad.

That in itself raised a few eyebrows and some baffled head-scratching as to the reason why. Then later we learned via David Moyes the reason young Ben Johnson had been forced into emergency centre back duty was because Diop had claimed he was not in the right frame of mind to play.

That’s a bit like you turning up for work and telling the boss you don’t really fancy it today – so you’ll just sit back and watch your mates cover for you.

I can understand players wanting to play football, it’s what they do. But they are paid handsomely compared to most of the fans on the terraces – whether they play or not – and when they’re not playing they still have a duty to their employer.

Diop obviously saw an opportunity to move on when Fulham showed a keen interest in him – and possibly if Nayef Aguerd hadn’t been injured pre-season he would already be wearing a Fulham shirt by now.

But Moyes’ first duty is to West Ham, and with Angelo Ogbonna obviously not quite ready to return yet and Craig  Dawson troubled by a niggly thigh muscle, Moyes put a block on Diop leaving and further weakening our depleted defence – for the time being at least. Surely that’s what we’d expect of our manager.

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The question is was it Diop’s own decision to do what he did? Has he just been a silly boy or was he maybe be ‘advised’ – badly in my opinion – that direct action was the way to force the issue?

We will probably never know the truth of that one. Now it appears Moyes has sanctioned the move, understandably because there is no advantage in holding onto a player who doesn’t want to play creating the risk of introducing disharmony into the dressing room.

There is, as always, speculation around the fee involved – have we suffered another hit as some are claiming – or will the eventual difference in what we paid to what we’ll recoup not that much? I’ve seen a variety of figures quoted – so it’s probably best not to comment on that.

One point worth mentioning though is if I were a Fulham supporter I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with a player who has effectively downed tools once – for fear they might do it again. That might just be me though.

Sunday was certainly a day of contrasts at the London Stadium. On the one hand we had Maxwel Cornet’s obvious delight to be joining us – while unfolding behind the scenes we had the story of Issa Diop desperation to get away. Never a dull moment in the world of West Ham United.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

10 comments on “Diop departure leaves nasty taste in our mouths

  1. It is about time that our team stopped dealing with these mercenary players who have no affiliation to the club. We have been messed around by the likes of Kostic, Onana and Lingard, and now one of our own players is refusing to play for us!

    The first question we should ask potential players is “Do you really want to play for us?”. If the answer is no we should ditch them, no matter who they are.

    I hope that when Fulham visit the London Stadium Diop gets the East End welcome he deserves. We need a team of Bobby Mores, Bonzos and Nobles – not these moneygrabbing prima donnas.

  2. If you look at Diop’s social media response last week when he asked people to stop commenting on him as they don’t know what is going on (paraphrased) it could also be argued he was suffering a mental health issue, how much money anyone earns is irrelevant to that, Moyes has consistently made him second, third or fourth choice, he has every right to vote with his feet or his head.

    If any are at work and are consistently overlooked no matter how hard they try, why shouldn’t they ask for a move, it was a grown up decision to say my head isn’t right, against Halland we could have been stuffed 4 – 0 or worse if he wasn’t focused. As it was the defence only really gave the three good chances and a lot of pot shots from distance.

    It does pose a lot of questions though on that we can agree, in that we seem to be unattractive as a club despite having strong support 62,500 fans per game, a London base and European football on offer, we also seem incapable of buying cheap and selling high like clubs such as Leicester, Southampton and Brighton which asks further questions of how as a club we are run.

  3. I feel like alot of fans are living in the past footballers don’t play because they love the football club they are all money grabbers nowadays. It’s all self gain. Very very rarely do players stay at clubs because they love the club.
    I do believe David Moyes makes it more difficult for some players to break into the team because of his a few of them not being good enough.

  4. Because he’s another le sulk from france.

    What is it with french players and their sulking.
    We’ve already had it with Payet and other clubs have their issues as well.ie:Pogba at Man Utd.etc

  5. Agree apart from Kostic, I think Champions League being on offer is a fair enough reason not to join West Ham.
    Moyes had a cheeky go but reall this was not something to feel optimistic about happening.

  6. I have to say, I don’t quite feel the same way. Disappointed at best.

    We’ve already told him we don’t want him and he’s not good enough. He’s our last option in the role, we’ve been actively marketing him and now another club wants to buy him. Yes, he’s under contract and he should play when required but you can’t blame him for feeling bitter, he’s a human.

    The poor kid just wants to play, he’s not after a pay rise. I’m sure if we guaranteed him an extended run in the team he’d pull the shirt back on with pride. I can’t feel angry about that and certainly won’t call him out when he returns with Fulham. Good luck to him, never quite fulfilled his potential, I hope he does at Fulham.

  7. Is this a French thing? Payet also left a horrible taste in the mouth when he demanded to go back to Marseilles, refusing to play for the Hammers and the fans that idolised him.

    But then it has happened with other players refusing to play for their team, or at least taking some time off. Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo come to mind

  8. In Diop’s defence he has been told in every humiliating way possible that Mr Moyes doesn’t want him, but he is contracted and paid so no excuse accepted for ‘refusing’ to play. But all round Allen this is a shambles, Moyes’ man management shown up, and the window? Not a surprise event and it’s nearly gone!

  9. I agree with Snakeplex and echo your disgust also, Allen. The bubble that many of today’s footballers live in is an isolated one. The perfect example of this is Lingard. Lingard did well for us whilst on loan, which puzzled us all as to why a dysfunctional Manure team couldn’t find a place for him. Every man and his dog couldn’t understand Lingard not playing regularly for them.
    His recent decision has left us all puzzled but has shown that many footballers have very little awareness of how they are perceived by their supporters.
    Diop hadn’t quite cut the mustard with us, but his refusal to play for us on Sunday was treacherous. You would think that a player with something to prove is a highly motivated person. Most supporters will not look at him the same again as he has blotted his copybook and the title of “Professional” footballer no longer belongs to him in my opinion.
    I feel that Arthur’s move would’ve given him the impetus to force through his getaway from the club.
    Although Arthur’s time with us was mixed with many poor moments, there were also high points as well and for that, he still has my respect both as a footballer and a person.

  10. I don’t think it’s fair to lambast Diop for the way things have gone here. Certainly, the way things have been reported and the emotive language used, (e.g, “refused to play”) while probably technically correct, don’t help.

    I would have thought that removing yourself from contention to play is a sensible ploy if a move is imminent. To be honest, I don’t know why this wasn’t at the insistence of the club, rather than Diop. To have an uninjured player benefits both the selling club (max value, sale of an unhappy player) and the buying club (fit player). Why would either put the deal at jeopardy by playing him or allowing him to be played just before the transfer?
    Also, your example comparison with a “regular” job isn’t fair. The only situation I could compare it to is if you hand in your notice and the boss asks you to leave immediately (on full pay) for fear of compromising the business.
    I certainly don’t consider Diop in the same vein as Payet. Payet forced a move – Fulham’s interest in Diop has been well publicised for weeks. Diop has been a good servant, but he hasn’t exactly been first choice, has he? You can’t blame the guy for not wanting to be 5th choice CB. He should be applauded for not just being happy to sit back and take a paycheck.

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