Dimitri Payet: The importance of being selfless on the field
“You must be selfless” – Dimitri Payet
Dimitri Payet makes as many goals and he scores as he dictates the play and racks up assists as the perfect No.10. The West Ham Playmaker explains to FourFourTwo the importance of losing the ego and knowing your teammates when providing the link between the midfield and attack.
“For me, a good No.10 – a real no.10 – is an unselfish player,” he said. “I’ve always said that I prefer to provide assists for the team than score the goals.”
Payet became the first West Ham player to reach double figures in assists in a season since Paolo Di Canio in 1999/00 and he believes this is down to his selfless behaviour on the field.
“You must be selfless if you want to influence the game from this position,” he said.
“It’s all about helping to put your teammates in the best possible situation to score a goal. Whether that means providing the assist for a goal or playing the penultimate pass in a move, the absolute priority is setting up the best chance you can.”
The French magician puts down his passing success partly to knowing his teammate’s movements and play style.
“At West Ham we do an enormous amount of work with the ball and that’s how you get to know your teammates,” he said.
“Pedro Obiang, Mark Noble, Alexandre Song and Cheikhou Kouyaté have all become familiar with my way of playing. When they’ve got the ball, they know where I’ll be and I’ve worked out the runs that the strikers make.”
“I know that when Andy Carroll plays, he’s a different profile to Enner Valencia. You learn these things in training and by playing lots of games.”