Sam Inkersole has hailed “softly spoken” West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna, claiming he is back in his “pomp” for the Hammers.
Writing in a piece for Football.London, the reporter said: “The 31-year-old has ousted Fabian Balbuena, who was a shoo-in for a starting berth ahead of the new campaign, to partner Diop at centre half and has been putting in the performances to match.
“He was excellent against Aston Villa in the 0-0 draw on Monday night at Villa Park, leading the defence admirably and continuing his good start to the season (one iffy outing against Brighton aside).
“Ogbonna is often the quiet man of the Hammers side. He is very softly spoken but lets his talking happen on the pitch and he right now, he is showing similar form to when he was in his pomp as David Moyes steered the side to safety.”
When Ogbonna is at his best, he is a fine, fine defender. The issue the Hammers have had in recent times is that he hasn’t always performed at the top of his game, and that is term has led to periods of shaky concentration and calamitous displays. But this season he has looked much more assured at the heart of defence. As well as two tackles per game, he has also made 5.3 clearances, as per Whoscored, and oftentimes he has looked like the more dependable option alongside to partner Issa Diop, who has made 1.6 tackles and 2.8 clearances by comparison, as per Whoscored. Ogbonna is not perfect, of course, and he still has some improving to do, but if he keeps performing at the level that he is at the moment, then there is no reason to believe that he will be displaced from the starting 11 any time soon.