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5/10 West Ham man should never wear the shirt again

Written by on April 29, 2024

West Ham United’s chances of securing a fourth successive season in European competition are slender, with Saturday’s spirited and impressive draw against Liverpool in the Premier League widening the gap on seventh-placed Newcastle United.

Newcastle, whose season has been categorised by inconsistency and injuries, are four points clear in the final European football-qualifying position, holding a game in hand on the Hammers.

With trips to Chelsea and Manchester City still forthcoming for David Moyes, it would seem that a wonderful slice of history will draw to a close, though Saturday’s result highlighted the immense quality that West Ham – and whoever will lead the club from the dugout next season – boast.

At the forefront: Jarrod Bowen. The England international, quite simply, is a brilliant and irreplaceable player.

Jarrod Bowen’s stats vs Liverpool

Bowen has been in fine fettle this season. In fact, that’s quite the understatement, with the dynamic forward scoring 20 goals and supplying ten assists, the latest of which came one apiece against Liverpool.

Jarrod Bowen: Stats vs Liverpool

Stat

#

Minutes played

90′

Goals

1

Assists

1

Touches

32

Accurate passes

5/9 (52%)

Shots on target

3

Key passes

1

Dribble attempts

2/5

Tackles

1

Interceptions

1

Duels won

7/14

Stats via Sofascore

The 27-year-old only managed to complete five passes against Jurgen Klopp’s deteriorating side but this hardly matters given his clinical attacking moments and persistent defensive commitment.

Within a system like Moyes’, with West Ham ranking 15th in possession in the Premier League this season, such prolific authority has paid dividends – just imagine how Bowen might perform at the heart of a more expansive and progressive brand of football.

He must remain at the very kernel of the United project, though the same cannot be said for Angelo Ogbonna, who struggled against the Reds and must follow Moyes, should the Scotsman indeed leave when his contract expires this summer, out the door at the London Stadium.

Why Angelo Ogbonna must now be ditched

Ogbonna has entered the twilight phase of his career, nearly 36 years old, and while he has been something of a stalwart for West Ham after signing from Juventus in a £10m transfer in 2015, the Italian is out of contract this summer and to renew his terms would be a fatal error.


Angelo-Ogbonna

Having completed 247 matches for his east London club, the centre-back has been restricted to a bit-part role over the past several years, starting just five Premier League fixtures this term.

And it’s deservedly so. His mobility has been eradicated by the passage of time, while his once-robust skill set has left him averaging only 0.9 tackles and 1.8 duels per match this season.

Against high-level opposition in Liverpool, Ogbonna’s understandable fragilities were exposed, with The Evening Standard’s Dom Smith giving the veteran a 5/10 match score and writing: ‘Beaten in the air on a number of occasions and caught too high up as Liverpool easily bypassed him in the first half. Improved after the interval and was unlucky to be involved in the own-goal.’

As per Sofascore, the 6 foot 3 defender made five clearances and four tackles against Liverpool but he completed just 64% of his passes and was dribbled past. Were Liverpool not so profligate, his issues would likely have been compounded.


Jarrod Bowen with the Europa Conference League trophy.

With Konstantinos Mavropanos and Nayef Aguerd both expected to return from injury imminently, Ogbonna may well have played his last match for the club, which will fare better with their younger and most durable titans in the starting mix.

Ogbonna has been a brilliant servant for West Ham and he got to kiss silverware before his departure, but that exit must materialise this summer as the club prepares for a new era. Make it happen, Tim Steidten.

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