When Angelo Ogbonna went off against Manchester United with a nasty looking ankle injury, many West Ham fans wondered how it would affect a very consistent and solid Hammers defence.
Ogbonna has arguably been West Ham’s best player this season and was surely one of the frontrunners for Hammer of the Year.
As the Hammers have kept their dream season going yesterday with a dominant 3-0 thrashing over Sheffield United at the London Stadium, one thing was clear to this West Ham fan.
West Ham need Issa Diop back at his best during this crucial period of games to continue our European dream.
Diop was fantastic in the match, scoring a beautiful headed goal to double the Hammers lead. Along with the goal, he made some great tackles as well, and showed West Ham fans a glimpse of what he can bring to the table.
Diop is a very different defender than Ogbonna. Ogbonna relies on a veteran savviness to make up for his lack of pace and does not take many chances on the ball.
Diop on the other hand is a bit more adventurous and likes to take more chances on the ball. What he lacks in experience he can make up for with his athleticism and pace. With Ogbonna rumoured to be out for at least another month, Diop will need to come in and fill a huge role in the Irons team next to Craig Dawson.
Although Diop is not the most technical defender at this stage in his career, he can still put in a shift and needs to be backed by West Ham fans. In a season where anything can happen, our solid defence cannot crumble due to one major injury.
I think part of the reason why Diop will succeed during this crucial spell in his career is due to the confidence that David Moyes has instilled in all of our defenders. The Hammers currently sit in 5th place in the Premier League table and need to keep picking up points to stay at the top.
As a squad that has a rock-solid defensive identity, Diop’s performances will be crucial to West Ham, let’s hope he will keep up the great work!