Any captain of a football team generally knows the goings on of all of his teammates, but in West Ham United’s case, skipper Mark Noble has not spoken to unsettled star Dimitri Payet for “two or three weeks”.
The Frenchman has caused a stir in East London by declaring to manager Slaven Bilic that he no longer wants to play for the club.
Payet, who is widely regarded as the Hammers’ best player, is not expected to even train with the squad until he changes his attitude, but it seems as though he has also cut off contact with his teammates.
Noble has backed the manager’s decision to keep Payet out of the team, and in fairness, they did not look as though they missed him against Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Bilic’s men claimed a 3-0 win, which included a stunning scissor kick from Andy Carroll, over Crystal Palace at the London Stadium.
It was hugely morale boosting after a difficult week for West Ham, who could sell wantaway Payet before the end of the month.
When asked about the situation, Noble told reporters:
“I am angry and disappointed, because I have always said that he is one of the best players I have ever played with.
“I had – and I say I had because I haven’t spoken to him for two or three weeks – a great relationship with him but I don’t know his reasons why he wanted to leave. I do know if someone doesn’t want to play for the team they are better off not even playing.”