Kieran Gill has claimed the West Ham players were out for revenge against Olympiacos, after telling him they were not happy with the way the opposition celebrated their victory in Athens.
The Daily Mail journalist suggested the players felt as if their opponents had over-celebrated that victory as if they had already won the Europa League, and they wanted to get them back.
This was shown in the way they celebrated Lucas Paqueta’s winning goal in front of the travelling Olympiacos support at the London Stadium.
Speaking via the Mail Sport Twitter account [9 November], Gill claimed: “West Ham won 1-0 against Olympiacos here at the London Stadium, and that’s their revenge mission complete.
“I was in Athens a couple of weeks ago when they lost 2-1, and we spoke to a couple of the West Ham players and they weren’t very happy with how Olympiacos celebrated that win. They thought they celebrated as if they’d won the Europa League.
“So this was about revenge, even though David Moyes wouldn’t admit that to us yesterday. Once confirmation came that it was 1-0, where did he [Paqueta] go? He sprinted straight to the away fans, along with all of his teammates, a little bit of revenge, Edson Alvarez was doing the hammers sign.”
These players have some bite
Players are often accused of being soft, lacking fight, and showing a lack of drive on the pitch, but none of those accusations could be levelled at the West Ham team last night. They showed their grit and fight and that culminated in those celebrations.
The fact that the players had taken a mental note of their frustrations with the way the opposition acted after the away fixture and used that to inspire their performance was a show into the mentality in the dressing room.
They do not take defeats, or taunting, lying down. This determination to seek revenge should see them in good stead for the Premier League campaign as well, with hotly-contested games often decided by one side taking control and using an extra bit of inspiration.
While the Premier League form hasn’t been impressive lately, this victory was one that shows this squad can turn their fortunes around regardless of the form, and they have an extra level if they need to reach it.