Dian­gana drama keeps West Ham plot bub­bling

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Football - Ja­son Burt Chief Foot­ball Cor­re­spon­dent EastEn­ders EastEn­ders,

Af­ter a hia­tus, the long-run­ning soap opera about frac­tious east Lon­don folk has re­turned. No, not which is back on the tele­vi­sion screens af­ter a three-month break, but that other peren­nial and in­fin­itely more fas­ci­nat­ing east Lon­don drama: West Ham United.

When Mark No­ble posted his tweet at 9.13pm on Fri­day it should have been fol­lowed by the “doof doof ” drum beats of the open­ing bars af­ter a cliffhange­r at the end of an

episode. “As cap­tain of this foot­ball club I’m gut­ted, an­gry and sad that Grady has left, great kid with a great fu­ture,” No­ble wrote in a hammer blow for the club’s own­ers.

There was a sense of shock, although there will be no ac­tion taken against No­ble, who re­mains the cap­tain and, as is widely ac­knowl­edged, has done so much for a club he cares deeply about.

So of­ten the cri­sis club, fans – and clearly play­ers – were fu­ri­ous at the sale of Grady Dian­gana to newly pro­moted West Bromwich Al­bion for an £18 mil­lion fee that is ap­par­ently payable over three years – which will anger the sup­port­ers even more.

But, even by West Ham stan­dards, this was go­ing early. The sea­son has not even started while there was barely half an hour be­tween the sale of the winger be­ing an­nounced and No­ble’s re­sponse. De­clan Rice liked the tweet, Arthur Ma­suaku replied with a bro­ken heart emoji and a new fire was lit in the smoul­der­ing sense of dis­sat­is­fac­tion aimed at own­ers David Sul­li­van and David Gold.

It got worse. “Go and do your thing in a club that re­spects you. Big player with a big fu­ture,” wrote Jack Wil­shere on In­sta­gram, which may have felt even more of a kick to the West Ham own­ers given the in­jury-prone mid­fielder’s des­per­ately poor re­turn for the club he joined in

2018 on a three-year deal when they wanted to of­fer him only a 12-month con­tract.

It was Manuel Pel­le­grini who in­sisted on the longer con­tract for Wil­shere and there is no doubt that sell­ing Dian­gana is part of an ugly mop-up op­er­a­tion for the money wasted

Sac­ri­ficed: Grady Dian­gana was sold to West Bromwich be­cause West Ham need cash to sign a new de­fender

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