Opinion: West Ham defender’s starting spot may be under threat
Hammers manager David Moyes has some big decisions to make after a couple of poor defensive performances from centre back Angelo Ogbonna puts his starting spot under threat.
Following West Ham’s disappointing 2-1 loss to Brentford at the weekend, some supporters have called for a change in the starting lineup with the usually trustworthy Ogbonna making way.
The 33-year-old has been an excellent and vital member of the squad since he arrived back in 2015, and he is now one of our most experienced players.
However, there is truth in the fact that this season he hasn’t been on the boil as often as he normally is. The Italy international has started every Premier League game this season but the Hammers have only kept one clean sheet – a 0-0 draw against Southampton last month.
It seems that alongside new signing Kurt Zouma, he has felt almost second-placed in defence, compared to before where he was the stand out performer at the back. This is largely seen in his defensive mistakes and possessions lost, which have increased in recent game weeks.
Now, after a couple of poor defensive performances, other defenders are kicking at the heels of Ogbonna as they eye his spot in the starting lineup.
Who could replace Ogbonna at West Ham?
Two players that have been performing well when given the chance are Issa Diop and Craig Dawson. The former has been very impressive in all games he has played so far this season, keeping clean sheets in two Europa League games and against Manchester United in the EFL Cup.
Diop would most likely be the man to replace Ogbonna in the starting lineup, though, should he lose his spot under David Moyes. His French compatriots Zouma and Alphonse Areola could be players that would work well with him in the future, too.
Dawson, on the other hand, is also showing himself to be a worthy competitor. Although he lost his spot to Zouma at the beginning of September, he has put in good performances against United in the cup and Rapid Wien in the Europa League to further his cause to start.
With all this in mind, David Moyes has a healthy selection headache coming up. He has four centre backs that have proven to be good squad players this term, which only means Angelo Ogbonna may need to work harder if he wants to keep his spot in the starting XI.