West Ham United defender Angelo Ogbonna has spoken out about the impressive season that he is enjoying in East London, ahead of the club’s Premier League trip to face Liverpool and their frightening attack at Anfield.
In an exclusive Interview with West Ham’s Official Club Website, the former Italian International had this to say about staying fit and on the top of his game over the last few months.
“I feel very good, when I am fit I am prepared to play every game. Of course, I feel a little bit tired sometimes, but everything is mental, so if you are prepared mentally, you can perform to your best physically, proclaimed Ogbonna.
A huge component of the ex-Juventus star managing to stay in shape physically and mentally has been the surgery that he had on a long-standing knee injury which kept him out of the final few months of the 2016/2017 campaign.
“I am definitely benefitting from having the operation on my knee, because I needed that surgery. Everybody knows it was an injury I had for a long time and they advised me to have the surgery, so I had it done and it has really helped me.
The physical centre-half continued, “Since I had the surgery, our head physiotherapist Dominic Rogan has worked with me many times on my rehabilitation and he helped me to do the things right and get myself ready to play at 100 per cent.”
The fact that Ogbonna has played almost every minute since Scottish manager David Moyes replaced Slaven Bilic at the helm at the London Stadium in early November, is testament to his fitness.
The knee problem is something that had limited the Italian’s playing time during his first two seasons as a Hammer, but much more so last season, where he only figured 27 times in Claret & Blue.
Due to this being sorted out, the centre-back is now enjoying arguably the form of his time in East London, contributing greatly to many recent clean sheets and his team’s turnaround in fortunes since the arrival of Moyes, lifting the side from the cusp of the bottom three to mid-table.
In the Interview, Ogbonna was quick to heap praise on his new manager and the job that he has done so far, stating the following about his successful methods in East London,
“When the team was doing really bad, we changed the manager and he has brought a lot of energy and a lot of positive things, but the most important thing he brought was discipline because with discipline, you can build whatever you want.
“Every manager has his type of method, but the important thing was the discipline, because with this you can train harder or train less, but you know what you have to do.”
Under the guidance of Moyes, the defender is now heavily contending for his first Hammer of the Year award for his efforts, having put his early-season poor form far behind him.
But, he has not just been able to win over supporters with his defending, but his actions at the other end too, enjoying his highest-scoring term so far in Stratford with three goals.
Two of these came in convective rounds of the Carabao Cup, the opener in a home triumph over Bolton Wanderers and the winner away at Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, not to mention a header against PL leaders Manchester City in early December.
Supporters will be hoping that Ogbonna can continue to be a real presence in both boxes for the remainder of the 2017/2018 season, and if he does so, he may just prove pivotal in West Ham United’s bid for survival in the English Top-Flight.