From the Newsroom

Italian sports journalist and author Gabriele Marcotti says Angelo Ogbonna earned his place in Italy’s Euro 2016 squad…
It’s a big transition coming to the Premier League and playing for a club like West Ham after being in a situation at Juventus where he trained a certain way.

They would have double training sessions and there would be a lot more tactical instructions and here the game is a bit different, so I think it perhaps took Angelo a little bit of time to get used to it. Once he found his measure, he started to contribute.

Something he has told me personally and that the senior players like Mark Noble and James Collins, who have been at the club a long time, went out of their way to make the newcomers feel welcome.

West Ham have had a lot of players from a lot of different parts of the world over the last few years and the senior players have gone out of their way to make them feel welcome and include them in the squad.

It’s a credit to them and it’s something we often under-estimate. Clubs sign players on good wages but often dump them in a new city where they don’t know the language, but his transition to West Ham was made easily because the leaders in the dressing room went out of their way to make Angelo feel more comfortable.

Once that became clear and he got into the starting XI, I think he has thrived.
Angelo has tremendous football and tactical understanding and is very comfortable with managers who provide very complicated instructions
Angelo is one of four centre-backs who have been picked by Italy manager Antonio Conte for Euro 2016, ironically alongside three of his old Juventus teammates.

One of the reasons he left Juventus was to get more playing time at West Ham, although ironically he came into a club with senior centre-halves in Reid, Tomkins and Collins.

However, he is a very versatile player and that’s a reason why he has been included by Italy. He can also play at left-back and it’s a position he played when he was younger, but West Ham fans haven’t seen that as they have a fantastic left-back in Aaron Cresswell.

Angelo also has tremendous football and tactical understanding and is very comfortable with managers who provide very complicated instructions, as that’s what he was used to in Italy. Conte knows he can drop fancy schemes and Angelo is a very intelligent guy and can take those on board very easily.

Without getting too granular, a lot of people see Italy playing 3-5-2 but it’s not quite like that – when they defend it’s a back four and one of the wing-backs will slot in and one of the centre-backs will go into a full-back position. When they attack it is going to be a 3-3-4 formation with the full-backs way up the pitch.

It’s a hybrid system and not easy to take on board, but Angelo certainly has the athleticism and intelligence to do it.

In my opinion this is the least-talented Italy squad in 50-60 years and they’ve lost two certain starters in midfield in Claudio Marchisio and Marco Verratti, so Conte has gone with a lot of versatile and intelligent players who can play multiple positions.

Now, we will have to see how that formula works in practice at Euro 2016.