West Ham United star Angelo Ogbonna has taken a swipe at former boss Manuel Pellegrini and backed David Moyes.
Ogbonna was one of the stars of West Ham’s torrid season which culminated in Premier League survival.
The Italian was so good he was pipped to Hammer of the Year by ever present Declan Rice.
The commanding centre half holds a special place in the hearts of West Ham fans.
Selfless Ogbonna speaks out for first time on Pellegrini and Moyes
He selflessly risked his career by playing on with a serious knee condition during West Ham’s relegation-threatened first season at the London Stadium.
Unbeknownst to his teammates Ogbonna risked his reputation on the pitch and his entire future career by playing through the pain until West Ham got to January and could sign a replacement – which they duly did in Jose Fonte.
Pellegrini was axed at the turn of the year with West Ham slipping into the relegation zone.
And Ogbonna has spoken for the first time on the change of manager midway through West Ham’s campaign.
When Ogbonna speaks, his voice carries some weight.
And the defender pulled no punches when assessing West Ham’s season, praising Moyes for simplifying things after Pellegrini in a not so subtle dig at the Chilean (whufc.com).
Defender takes swipe at confusing Pellegrini approach, lauds Moyes
“We stepped up since the lockdown and we showed that we can do it,” Ogbonna told the club’s official website.
“I want to say thank you to the manager because this is the second time he’s kept us alive. And I want to thank everyone on the staff for being so professional and making it totally easy for us to understand what we had to do.
“It’s been an unreal season, through this COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s good that everyone has stuck together and we’ll look forward to the next season.”
It is not the first time Pellegrini’s tactics and approach have been criticised.
Captain Mark Noble made his feelings clear on Pellegrini’s tactics on several occasions.
The skipper regularly used his column in The Evening Standard to question the Chilean’s influence.
Not the first time Hammers player has criticised Pellegrini tactics
Noble publicly criticised Pellegrini’s tactics despite knowing full well the pressure the Chilean was under (Evening Standard column).
In another of his column’s in The Evening Standard, Noble said Pellegrini’s message was simply not getting through to his teammates, who kept making the same mistakes time and again.
Reports claimed West Ham’s owners sought the opinions of senior West Ham stars before firing Pellegrini and replacing him with Moyes (The Daily Mail).
If true, Noble and Ogbonna would have been chief among them.
So it is no surprise they are now two of Moyes’s most staunch supporters following West Ham’s survival.