Angelo Ogbonna has “failed to impress” during West Ham’s preseason campaign, according to Football.London journalist Sam Inkersole.
The 6’3″ Italian [Transfermarkt] has been called upon by Manuel Pellegrini in the absence of Fabian Balbuena, who was part of Paraguay’s Copa America squad and who has been on a mandatory three week break in the aftermath of the tournament.
But writing in a piece for Football.London, Inkersole has claimed that Ogbonna has not made good on his chance in the starting line up.
He said: “Angelo Ogbonna has failed to impress in the absence of Balbuena at centre back alongside Issa Diop and Winston Reid.”
Ogbonna can be such a frustrating player sometimes. Clearly, the man has talent – you can’t carve out a four year career in the Premier League, play for Juventus, or pick up 13 caps for a country like Italy without it – but far too often he is criminally off the pace. Maybe that is partially due to his age, and at 31 he isn’t getting any younger, or perhaps it is more a reflection on his lack of concentration sometimes. Last season, he made an average of 4.1 clearances and 1.5 interceptions per match [Whoscored], so there is clearly a player in there capable of reading a game and defending adequately. But there is also a player capable of switching off at the drop of a hat, and of mixing the dependable with the farcical. When Balbuena is back properly, and with Issa Diop looking like a real prospect, it’s hard to see where Ogbonna’s future lies in east London.