West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna admitted that he did not expect to lead the team out as captain, whufc.com reports. The Italian defender was given the captain’s armband in the absence of Mark Noble.
Aaron Cresswell was the Hammers skipper last week – against Manchester City – but he was dropped from the starting line-up. With Noble and Cresswell out of the team, Ogbonna was the captain and he told the club’s official website that he felt “excited”.
Angelo Ogbonna on the captaincy
Ogbonna told whufc.com: “I didn’t expect that! But I was so excited and was really, really focused. The captain is not just the person who has the armband, but we have a lot of leadership inside the dressing room from Nobes, Snoddy, Lanzini and Pablo Zabaleta.
“We have a fantastic squad with 24 or 25 players with a lot of quality and if we stick together and do our best, we have a lot of chances to do well. I used to be captain in Torino, but I think we had eleven captains on the pitch today, so that’s good for us.”
Captain but not guaranteed starter
Both Cresswell and Ogbonna are clearly considered to be captain material by Manuel Pellegrini. But neither player is a guaranteed starter at West Ham. In fact, when everyone is fit and on form, neither should be in the starting line-up.
West Ham’s best defensive partnership was Issa Diop and Fabian Balbuena last week. But after Balbuena’s struggles against Man City, Ogbonna was called back into the line-up. If Balbuena can get himself back to his best form, then Ogbonna will be back on the bench. By that point, Mark Noble will hopefully be back.