Dimitri Payet has conceded that he knows “how to be a d***head” while reflecting on a controversial spell at West Ham.
The France international captured the imagination of the East End natives following his arrival from Marseille in 2015, with his robust appearance and eye for the spectacular making him a firm fan favourite.
He was, however, to last just 18 months in England before returning to his homeland under a cloud as he forced through a January exit.
Payet has now conceded that he is a difficult character to manage, with petulance sometimes getting the better of him.
The 30-year-old playmaker told So Foot: “I know how to be a d***head. It’s one of my specialties.
“It’s a little game. When I want to piss everyone off, I do it.
“My managers understood that: when I sulk, they talk to me. It’s a way for me to be heard. Those who know me play along, and, in the end, it goes well.”
Payet admits that Hammers boss Slavan Bilic found that out the hard way during his time in London.
He is, however, of the opinion that a man currently fighting for his job on the back of a disappointing start to the 2017-18 campaign is a good coach.
“He managed me like a father,” added Payet.
“We spoke every day. He quickly understood how I worked. You saw that straight away in how quickly I adapted.
“He’s a cranky guy. He’s from Croatia… He can shout, but he’s good at man management.”
While a fan of Bilic as a person, Payet was not all that taken with his tactical approach and admitted after returning to Marseille that he had grown “bored” in England.
He told L’Equipe in March: “I had no desire to play in the lower reaches of the Premier League.
“The defensive system that we put in place did not give me any pleasure. With a 5-4-1 in front of our box, I could have had all the freedom in the world, so it’s difficult for me to explain. You could say that I was pissed off, yes. I worked hard in every game without taking any pleasure.
“You could say I was bored.”
Payet managed five goals in 17 appearances after returning to France, but is still waiting to open his account in the current campaign.