By Joe Roberts

22nd Sep, 2023 | 6:10pm

Angelo Ogbonna issues apology for self-confessed 'mistake' for West Ham in Europa League opener

Angelo Ogbonna has sent an apology to West Ham United fans after his mistake in the Europa League opener against Backa Topola.

Taking to X (21 September), the centre-back acknowledged his self-confessed “mistake” where his weak ball possession allowed Petar Stanic to go one-on-one with Lukasz Fabianski to put Backa Topola 1-0 up just after halftime.

Fortunately for the Italian, the Hammers did the business in the second half and secured a 3-1 victory to kickstart their European campaign, saving Ogbonna’s blushes.

Ogbonna said: “First 3 points in Europa League. Apologies for my mistake! We keep going.”

Lucky boy

A quick glance underneath Ogbonna’s X post shows the outpour of forgiveness and understanding from West Ham fans.

The Italian, who captained his side in this clash, has hardly put a foot wrong this season, so Hammers fans putting their virtual arms around Ogbonna’s shoulder is warranted.

That being said, the story would be a lot different if David Moyes’ men hadn’t turned the game on its head to avoid the upset, akin to Aston Villa fans’ outrage after their shock defeat to Legia Warszawa in the Europa Conference League.

Ogbonna’s mistake was a poor one. He looked quite unassured on the ball and seemed to be playing a fraction of a second behind everyone else. Stanic pounced at the chance to nab possession and had the cool finish to put his side ahead.

Ogbonna sat on the turf as he watched his mistake lead to the goal, but his honesty and transparency regarding the mistake is reassuring for fans.

Footballers make mistakes all the time, and often only high-profile or significant ones warrant a social media message to any fanbase. If it was the Europa League final, perhaps fans would expect some grovelling. In this situation, Ogbonna’s apology feels unnecessary, even if it does reflect the 35-year-old’s character.

Onwards and upwards for Ogbonna, who will be over the moon that his mistake was not too costly.

In other West Ham news,

Joe Cole has shared his view on an “absolutely perfect” Hammers star.