Sunday 12 May
Updated Sunday 12 May 08:00
Interviews

Issa Diop: I need to improve everything

Issa Diop

 

The vast majority of West Ham United supporters would agree that Issa Diop has had a positive first season in Claret and Blue.

Having crossed the English Channel from Toulouse at the age of just 21, the French centre-back has impressed with his athleticism, ability and maturity during his debut Premier League campaign.

Diop has started all but five of West Ham’s 42 games in all competitions and made a huge defensive contribution, leading the Hammers in interceptions and blocks made, while ranking second in clearances and third in tackles.

The No23 has helped the Hammers keep nine clean sheets, too, but the man himself is not happy with the level of performance he has produced, instead insisting he can play far better next season.

“I don’t think I’ve shown my best form to Manuel Pellegrini,” he confirmed. “We’ve conceded 54 goals. It’s too much.

“I need to improve everything: concentration, technique, I need to read the game better. I need to improve a lot.

“I’m happy but it’s never enough.”

I need to improve everything: concentration, technique, I need to read the game better. I need to improve a lot

Issa Diop

Impressing the manager who brought him to England is clearly high on Diop’s list of priorities, such is his respect for the vastly-experienced Chilean, while he is also eager to repay the support of the fans who have made him their hero.

“Pellegrini is like a professor.” the former Toulouse player observed. “He encourages you when you make a mistake so that you can improve.

“West Ham is like a family. They have a lot of fans and they love the Club. 

“They don’t necessarily want the best players but they want a good guy. Players who want to play for the shirt. Players willing to give everything on the pitch.”

Ideally, if he meets his own ambitions, Issa Diop would be all of the above.