West Ham defender on Masuaku: 'It is not like him. He is not such a person'
PUBLISHED: 19:00 28 January 2018
Hammers centre back Angelo Ogbonna says his team-mate must take responsibility for spitting incident
West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna insists that team-mate Arthur Masuaku acted completely out of character after he was sent off for spitting at an opponent against Wigan Athletic.
The incident, early in the second half, stalled West Ham’s attempt at a comeback in to their FA Cup tie at the DW Stadium as they ended up losing 2-0.
And it certainly left Ogbonna perplexed.
“It is not like him, I think he is not such a person,” said the 29-year-old centre back.
“From the pitch I didn’t see anything so it is difficult for me to judge, but I am surprised that Arthur can do something like that.
“Everybody knows him and I think even the manager was surprised at what happened.”
It seemed to be an innocuous incident on the touchline, but whether something was said by Wigan’s Max Powell to Masuaku is largely irrelevant, spitting at someone is never an acceptable action.
“He apologised in the dressing room,” said Ogbonna. “He is a good guy and it was a mistake so he has to take responsibility.”
He will with a long ban, but on the day, Masuaku let down his manager, his team-mates and over 4,000 West Ham fans who had travelled north to watch this game.
Perhaps the only positive on the day was the debut of Portugal international midfielder Joao Mario who came on at half time and showed some silky touches, despite the horrendous situation he faced.
And Ogbonna thinks that West Ham have made a top signing.
“He looks good, not just to me, but for the whole team,” said the Italy international. “He is a good player who keeps the ball well.
“In this game he didn’t get the chance to show himself, especially when you are one man down, you cannot take the whole team on your shoulders.”
Like Mario, who has arrived on loan from Inter Milan, Ogbonna also came from Serie A after signing from Juventus in the summer of 2015.
So how difficult is it to adapt from Italian league to Premier League?
“To adapt, I think everything is mental and he is already prepared for this change,” said Ogbonna. “He already spoke with Jose Fonte and with me as well. There are lot of people to talk to him, including the captain; it is our job to help him.
“It is not just us though, everybody in the stadium on Tuesday, all of our supporters must get behind him to help him out.
“I think on Tuesday he is going to show himself.”
With a host of injuries and now Pedro Obiang added to that list, he will need to show what he can do.
For Ogbonna it is just another game where he is looking to show the consistency that has made him one of the outstanding players this season.
“Tuesday is another big game of course,” he said. “The Premier League just doesn’t stop. Every game is a big game for us and it is a huge game for Crystal Palace as well.”