It’s now been over two years since Angelo Ogbonna joined West Ham on a transfer from Juventus in 2015, with the defender getting over 70 appearances for the London side so far.
So that’s plenty of experience to have many stories about his time in England, and that was the subject of a nice interview with newspaper Tuttosport, which went out in Italy on Thursday.
Recalling his arrival to West Ham, the player said: “It has always been said that in England there’s more of the athletic factor, the dynamism, while in Italy, the tactical aspect has always been more important. Well, with the decision of some English clubs to bet on some of the strongest managers in the world of football, even the tactical and technical part has always gained more importance. It’s an obvious step in course: when you are strong physically it’s normal that you try to improve your tactics.”
“Three years ago when I was hoping to move to London I married the idea with enthusiasm. On a professional level, the Premier has always been a top championship. In England I also saw this: a launch pad. Take a look at the names of players playing here: you will find the protagonists of almost all national teams. West Ham, London, the Premier were opportunities no one could say no. And I never regretted it.”
West Ham’s bad form in the Premier League wasn’t a subject that could be avoided in the interview. But Ogbonna was very sincere about it, and gave a couple of good reasons why the results haven’t been coming.
“What problem do we have? Well, we can’t get points! West Ham is a team with sensational potential. The potential, however, must be trained and exploited. We all hope that with Moyes things can get better. We lacked a bit of organisation, which in football is crucial.
“Could it be affected by the abandonment of Boleyn Ground for the Olympic Stadium? I believe it’s physiological: to adapt to change it takes time. Have you seen Tottenham? Now that they play at Wembley while awaiting the White Hart Lane upgrade, they have struggled to win. Wembley compared to the historic Spurs ground is as big as an airport!”
“That’s why if you ask me what was the most beautiful stadium I played, I’m answering to Wembley, while the most amazing atmosphere I breathed is that of Anfield. It marked my debut on scouser ground: we won 3-0, Liverpool fans sang out loud, ‘You’ll never walk alone’, our supporters sang even louder ‘Forever blowing bubbles’. I will never forget it.”
Angelo Ogbonna certainly sounds very happy at West Ham, and is getting game time under David Moyes. There have been previous rumours about a potential return to Italy, but with a recently extended contract, and an outlook full of hope, the 29 year old seems happy to stay just where he is.