Both West Ham and the Premier League have snowballed this week towards a rapid return to football, but there are three notable non-returnees to the training ground.
With June 17th and the following weekend set for the Premier League’s return, West Ham and the rest of the Prem have ramped up their training to near-full capacity and contact. With this increase in action the social media team has ramped up and in their images and videos, there have been a few key faces missing.
For the Hammers, these absentees are Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell, and Michail Antonio. ExWHUemployee revealed some information on the West Ham Way Podcast this week, stating that Ogbonna and Cresswell are out with injuries while Antonio is away on compassionate leave.
This is all speculation, but the most outspoken Hammer upon discussions of the Premier League returning was Angelo Ogbonna. His absence wasn’t necessarily expected but isn’t all too shocking based on his initial reaction. It should be stated, however, that Ogbonna has two young children and has every right to prioritize their health over a return to football.
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The defacto Hammer of the Year this season would be greatly missed if he chose to skip out on coming back, but no judgement would be cast from us here. With Troy Deeney, the spokesman for player safety in regards to the Premier League’s restart seemingly relaxing his position after speaking with Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the UK government’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer.
Should Ogbonna find information that makes him feel comfortable to return to training while still feeling safe at home, his addition to the team will be welcomed!
This one is puzzling. Despite the league shutdown, Cresswell has been reported by Ex as out with injury. Sure, he is a little injury prone but this is completely unexpected. Cresswell was also outspoken on returning to play earlier during the shutdown so speculation could arise.
With reports emerging of the coaching staff losing patience with Arthur Masuaku, Cresswell is needed as much (if not more) than Ogbonna. Let’s hope he’s okay and is able to return ASAP to first-team training ahead of the restart.
Michail Antonio * has returned
Unfortunately for Michail Antonio, he is mourning the loss of his father after his passing earlier this year. This, compounded with the strict country-wide shutdown rules, has certainly made this issue worse for the Hammers forward. Our condolences go out to Michail and his family at this time.
When he is comfortable and ready to return, Antonio will bring the energy that seemingly radiates from his light-hearted, funny nature. Not to mention, the pace and physicality training will get boosted by the mere mention of his name around Rush Green!
*Michail Antonio has returned to training as of May 29th!