Angelo Ogbonna admits he is ‘astonished and bitter’ after Italian boss Roberto Mancini knocked him down from Euro 2020 roster and insists ‘meritocracy must prevail’ after solid West Ham season
West Ham defender Angelo Ogbonna has expressed his dismay at not being selected for Italy’s Euro 2020 squad despite sending West Ham United to European football.
Former Juventus player Ogbonna, 33, was in inspired form as the Hammers spent most of the campaign challenging Champions League football but fell out in recent weeks.
Ogbonna has now been candid in his assessment of Italian boss Roberto Mancini’s squad, noting that Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri was selected into the preliminary squad despite rarely playing for his club.
Defender Angelo Ogbonna was not included in Italy’s preliminary squad for Euro 2020
“I am very surprised and also bitter, maybe he did not consider the West Ham championship,” Ogbonna told the Italian publication. Corriere dello Sera.
“We fought to the end for the Champions League qualifier with Jorginho and Palmieri’s Chelsea, who finished higher, but we showed that we can beat any team.
“In sport, meritocracy must prevail, based on the championship in which one plays, on the statistics, on the value of the player.
Ogbonna has 13 caps for the national team and hoped to replenish that after a good season
“And this time, I don’t think it won.” added Ogbonna.
He was a big reason behind the Hammers finishing sixth this season, bolstering European football after fending off London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham.
Ogbonna provided a consistent base of protection as West Ham lost just 11 games over the season and pushed for a top four finish.
Mancini will further narrow his roster by two more players this week before submitting an official and final 26-man squad for the tournament.
Everton striker Moise Kean, who was successfully loaned out to Paris Saint-Germain last season under Mauricio Pochettino, has been sent home despite a friendly 7-0 win over San Marino on Friday.
Italian boss Roberto Mancini will further narrow his selection by two more players on Tuesday