Angelo Ogbonna hailed a ‘fantastic night’ for West Ham United following the Hammers’ 4-1 Premier League victory over Leicester City on Monday evening.
The Irons went top of the table for the first time in almost exactly 15 years on a memorable night, punishing the FA Cup holders with a clinical all-round display that delighted the vast majority of the 60,000 fans inside a sold-out London Stadium.
For Ogbonna, the performance was the latest progression from the summer of 2020, when West Ham returned from the COVID shutdown to secure Premier League safety, before following that with a record-breaking 65 points and a sixth-place finish last season.
Two wins and eight goals from their opening two games of 2021/22 have sent David Moyes’ side top, and the Italian, who is in his seventh season in CIaret and Blue, was emotional when speaking to West Ham TV about how things have gone over the past 18 months.
This is the first time we’ve been top of the table since I’ve been here and it’s great!
“I think it was a fantastic night!” he smiled. “It was our first game in front of our own fans, so I think it has been fantastic and it’s what we wanted.
“This is the first time we’ve been top of the table since I’ve been here and it’s great! We needed to change things a little bit and I think it’s good. We will enjoy the moment, but I think we’ll keep our feet on the ground. Of course, we want to get as many points as we can.
“I think it’s a great time to be West Ham. I’ve been here for many years and I’ve seen a lot of things changing and my relationship here with everyone is like a family. When you’re in a family, you have good moments and bad moments, but you have to stick with it and you don’t give up.
“In every process, there are negatives and positives and that’s the way to get though things and this is the result of our process. I think all our fans are so proud of us.”
For Ogbonna, Monday’s win, and the opening-day 4-2 success at Newcastle United, were both the result of a true team effort.
While the goalscorers may make the headlines, the centre-back says there is a collective responsibility in this squad that means every player strives to do their very best, defensively and offensively, to secure the three points for their side.
“I think we carried on from last season and from two seasons ago when we stayed in the Premier League,” he observed.
“We threw our best into our performance and everything comes from the performance, win or lose. The best way to do things the right way is to perform well, and I think we performed well and most of the time when you do that, you get the points.
“I would like to play with many leaders, and I think we have a lot of leaders in our team, not just one. When we talk about defensive shape, it’s not just the back four, but all the team, and when we attack it’s all the team.
“When we press, when we play out from the back, when we counter-attack, the speed that we had with Said, Mikey, Jarrod and Pablo as well, the did a fantastic job and that is what we want.”
West Ham will seek to make it three wins out of three in the Premier League when Crystal Palace visit London Stadium on Saturday 28 August at 3pm. Secure your seat now by clicking on the graphic below!