The fact that Arsene Wenger spoke about his fellow countryman during the Arsenal press conference ahead of the match between Arsenal and Dimitri Payet’s West Ham just shows how much of a key player for Slaven Bilic is. It also tells you that Wenger sees Payet as one of the biggest obstacles between Arsenal and all three points in East London tomorrow.
So will the Gunners have a special plan to deal with the threat of the on fire attacking midfielder? Wenger would almost certainly say no, but then again he said the same about the Man City and Spain star David Silva last season and then we saw Francis Coquelin stick to the little man like a bad spell when Arsenal came up with a fantastic away win there.
I think you have to give Payet special attention, just as other clubs do with our own creative lynch pin Mesut Ozil. And I am pretty sure that it will be another Frenchman Coquelin who is given the job of keeping Payet from causing the Gunners too many problems.
With Elneny alongside Le Coq, assuming that Wenger does not have a brain freeze and start Ramsey, we should have plenty of defensive solidity to stop West Ham, but there is one more issue to consider and it is a big one. Every single Arsenal player must be keep in their minds the danger of giving away a free kick in and around the box.
Payet has been lethal from dead ball situations recently and you know that every West Ham player will be looking to get him a chance to do it again. So we need to be extra careful when they are in that sort of situation, as well as keeping Payet under wraps in open play.
Do that and Arsenal have a great chance of winning the match, but will Wenger make sure his players are switched on to this major danger? And will the players have the discipline and strength to snuff it out?