It is a two-horse race for West Ham’s Hammer of the Year between last year’s winner Declan Rice and defender Angelo Ogbonna. The Italian Stallion edges out Rice, though and takes the prize so far this season.
The renaissance continued! Angelo Ogbonna’s return to form that started last season has carried over exponentially this year, pushing West Ham’s Italian defender back into his country’s international team and to the top of the form charts for defenders.
It is a simple game played extremely well for Ogbonna. At the club, Ogbonna acts as the central centre-back in a back three or the left centre-back in a traditional back four. His duty is cutting out the aerial balls over the top, covering over for Cresswell on the left, and dominating the aerial duels on crosses and setpieces.
He has mastered this role, anchoring the Hammers to six clean sheets this season, with a shutout streak of over seven hours to start 2021 as well. He has also been a massive factor in the Hammers only allowing 22 goals against and having a +5 goal differential thus far.
His tenure with Juventus and the Italian national team, mixed with his long time with West Ham allows him to bring a winning mentality, appreciation for history, and focus on games regardless of manager or system used.
The head-and-shoulders above nominee for Hammer of the year is enjoying fully acknowledged success with two FIFA 21 in-form cards, shouts for top centre-back in the league and outside the traditional top-six, and joint credit for pundits counting West Ham in for European football this season. It has been a masterful first half of the season for Angelo Ogbonna.
As mentioned, it has been a two-horse race at West Ham for Hammer of the year. Angelo Ogbonna is the clear favourite at the halfway point, but Declan Rice, the homegrown talent that captains this team is the clear second choice. His durability, play, effort, and heart all add to his case for Hammer of the Year, but he is just shy of the Italian defender.