With the way West Ham started their pre-season and Premier League campaign in defence, Hammers’ fans will surely be delighted with only conceding once in consecutive games.
A draw against Brighton was followed by an impressive 3-1 victory over Watford, in which West Ham weathered a Hornets’ storm and went on to pick up all three points despite losing their early lead.
Pellegrini continued with the same defence for the second week as he looked to build some continuity to solve his side’s apparent defensive problem in leaking goals.
That didn’t seem to have work when poor positioning allowed Andre Gray to score for the home side, with both Angelo Ogbonna and Arthur Masuaku taking some blame.
Many West Ham fans have taken to Twitter during the past two games to tear apart Ogbonna, who has come in to replace Fabian Balbuena, with it being suggested by Claret and Hugh that Pellegrini prefers a left and right-footed partnership at the back.
The Italian international doesn’t deserve much of the criticism he appears to be receiving recently as he has actually excelled for the Hammers in the heart of the defence.
The 31-year-old has averaged two tackles per game, as well as 1.5 blocks and a single interception according to WhoScored, with the enforcer looking more solid as each game passes.
More impressively, it has been Ogbonna who has stepped up when his side have needed him towards the end of games – averaging 8.5 clearances per game, a stat that surely deserves more credit from the Hammers’ faithful.
West Ham could have been in a heap of bother without him in their last two games, and the Italian has been the one to take control as one of the more experienced heads in the side and has helped guide the Hammers to four crucial points at the beginning of the season.
Ogbonna has taken some unfair criticism in recent weeks, with West Ham fans surely wrong to slam the 31-year-old after his solid performances.