PAUL MERSON COLUMN: End of season awards and Benitez will leave Newcastle

Best Goal

IT’S got to be DIMITRI PAYET’S free-kick against Crystal Palace at the start of April.

It looked like it was going to hit my car in the car park, until it curled back in. Absolutely unbelievable.

I still watch it now and think: How did you do that? There have been loads of other top goals, but volleys into the top corner you see everywhere.

With a bit of luck, you’ll hit a screamer at least once in your career, even if nine times out of 10 they end up in Row Z.

But you don’t see free-kicks like that every day. You have to learn that. It takes pure practice. You can’t hit and hope and get that result.

It was one of the best set-pieces I’ve ever seen. Some people had Payet in the running for player of year.

But while he’s a great player, he’s not in the running for me. He’s too much of a luxury player and I don’t think he stays in games enough.

He drifts in and out too much for me. Payet’s had a great first season for West Ham, but they didn’t win anything and teams know all about him now.

He’ll have to make sure he doesn’t suffer from second-season syndrome.

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