West Ham happier without Dimitri Payet, says Mark Noble
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 09/02/17 6:21pm
Mark Noble has admitted life at West Ham has become happier since the departure of Dimitri Payet.
Payet completed a £25m return to Marseille in January after telling Hammers manager Slaven Bilic that he would no longer play for the club.
West Ham have responded by winning three of their last four Premier League matches without Payet and Noble says the first-team squad are far more settled bunch following the exit of the France international.
"Obviously we were gutted. The manager, as you saw from his press conference, was obviously gutted as well," the West Ham captain told Sky Sports News HQ.
"He had a massive impact on our team because he was a big player in the changing room. The players loved him and would do anything for him.
"It got a bit disjointed and it was a tough time for all of us. But it has become a happy place again. I think it was on the manager's chest and mind.
"He didn't want to get rid of Dimi, but he wanted to get rid of the situation. Obviously we had to deal with all of that and the best way to do that was by winning games, that's what we've done."
Payet had been training with West Ham's U23s prior to his departure and did not feature in last month's wins over Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough.
Reports in the national press had claimed the West Ham squad had removed Payet from their WhatsApp text messaging group before his move back to the Stade Velodrome.
However, Noble has insisted that was not the case and says the 29-year-old was only removed once he had completed his switch to the Ligue 1 club.
"No, that is rubbish it's totally rubbish," he said. "I think he was only removed when he had actually signed for Marseille.
"That was once it was done and his medical was done because obviously you don't want hundreds of messages going to him when we are here."