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Q: 2021/22 What competition should we prioritise this season?
a. The league is our bread & butter, so this year let's have a club sandwich
b. We're owed an FA Cup after Gerrard nicked our last one in 06, our name's on it in 22
c. A bye to the League Cup 3rd round gives us a good start, let's make it count
d. The Europa is our best ticket to the Champions League, this is the one
e. What's wrong with you, let's do the lot, has the quadruple ever been done

Irish Hammer 6:17 Fri Oct 1
Nice Article on Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson turned down suitors this summer. Now he looks ready to play more for West Ham

On a night when Declan Rice and Said Benrahma stole the show, Ben Johnson quietly served another reminder why West Ham United will be keen to retain his services.

The 21-year-old is entering the final year of his contract, although the club have the option to extend his deal — and Johnson showed his quality in the 2-0 win over Rapid Vienna. The young defender constantly attempted to thread long balls for Michail Antonio and was embraced by captain Mark Noble and first-team coach Kevin Nolan at full-time after a mature performance.

With Vladimir Coufal sidelined with a knock and Ryan Fredericks unavailable due to a groin injury, Johnson knew it was a great chance to give manager David Moyes a tough defensive conundrum. With Johnson ostensibly third choice in the right-back position, he has patiently had to wait for his chance. But the full-back also caught the eye in the Carabao Cup win at Manchester United and will be starting to feel he can fight for his place in the team. He will feel vindicated that he stuck around to do that.

In the summer Johnson had interest from an unnamed Premier League side, but was given assurances by Moyes that he will be part of his plans. There have currently been no talks over a contract extension, but if Johnson continues to impress it won’t be long before the club decides to activate the clause in his deal. Johnson is at the age where he needs regular first-team football, but the fact he can operate in both full-back positions increases his chances of getting it.

His key strengths are his pace and decision-making, and having been converted from a winger to an attacking full-back since his days at Davenant Foundation School, his crossing and comfort on the ball make him an attacking threat. This was evident in the 3-0 pre-season win at Reading when the defender scored a terrific solo goal.

But the area that Johnson needs to work on is providing assists. Coufal and Aaron Cresswell provided a combined total of 15 assists in the league last season, the most by a full-back duo in the league in 2020-21. If Johnson is to dislodge Coufal in the team, this is the area of his game he needs to improve most. The full-back is yet to provide an assist in a competitive game for the first team.

Against Rapid Vienna, Johnson initially appeared to be at fault for giving away a penalty. But replays showed the defender made no contact with second-half substitute Marco Grull when he tumbled in the area. The referee, Tobias Stieler, reversed his decision.

Johnson was the recipient for the Young Hammer of the Year award last season, making 20 appearances in all competitions. Arguably his best performance was in the 3-0 win over Sheffield United in February having received a standing ovation from his team-mates when he was substituted for Fredericks in added time. Modest as ever, he opted not to celebrate the award, instead using it to fuel his motivation to break into the team.

The youngster, who has former England internationals Paul Parker and Ledley King among his close relatives, made his first-team debut at Manchester City in February 2019. He played so well Riyad Mahrez had little joy getting past the full-back and was taken off. Johnson was rewarded with a new long-term contract the following month.

Johnson has been with West Ham since the age of seven and has impressed staff with his maturity, athleticism and work ethic. His father, Mark, was a broker for BGC Partners, while his mum, Sharon, worked for Mitsubishi Corporation in banking. The full-back has two older brothers, Matthew and Christopher.

Those close to Johnson say he is quiet, that he goes to church every Sunday with his family and his desire to be a part of the West Ham first team is longstanding. When Johnson was eight, he bumped into Freddie Sears after a training session and told the then-West Ham striker: “I want to be like you.”

Johnson, who scored his first Premier League goal against Brighton & Hove Albion in December 2020, will hope to feature in the starting XI once more for the upcoming league game against Brentford. His only league appearance so far this season was a late cameo in West Ham’s opener against Newcastle United.

“We made a few changes and we gave other people opportunities, and they’re all contributing to the squad and to the team, and I’m going to need them,” he said. “I think we’ve got a better team, so the big thing is we try and find consistency and regular form. You have to give the players loads of credit, because they’ve been so consistent now for a long period of time.”

When asked about his chances of getting regular game time, Johnson simply said: “I’m ready to play.”

The adage slow and steady wins the race is rarely fruitful for one’s playing career, but in the case of Johnson he is belatedly starting to reap the benefit for his patient approach.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

zebthecat 10:13 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
Weird isn't it.
It wasn't all that long ago that we didn't have a single decent right back and now we have 3.

chim chim cha boo 9:40 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
I love young players coming through the academy as much as anyone but I don't think he can play both full back positions.

He's a right back and playing him at left back makes him look not quite as good as he really is.

You can't blame him for trying but as I have said a few times on here we need a dedicated left back and a striker because as much as I admire Cressy he's 31 and not getting any younger.

Joe C 4:11 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
⚒️ 4:07 Sat Oct 2


⚒️ 4:07 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
Meanwhile, JEREMY Ngakia can’t get a game at Watford.

angryprumphs 4:05 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
Never understood some of the shit he got last season, looks like a solid fullback. Good on the ball, good defensively, positioning is a lot better than most young fullbacks, think he has a genuine chance of making it.

gph 3:58 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
Manuel throws a hissy fit, calls people poofs.

Next, he'll be proving his masculinity by threatening to scratch people's eyes out.

chedylan 2 3:32 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
I thought he was one of the best players on the pitch on Thursday. Very skillful player. He should start Sunday.

⚒️ 2:03 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
I think Johnson will certainly make it as a second choice full back at PL level. The fact that he can cover both sides will be a massive string to his bow.

eusebiovic 1:24 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
He is definitely a right back/right sided centre back - I can only hope that his experience of playing out of position on the left has given him some extra knowledge when it comes to players who cut inside.

The Dutch teach their youths to play out of their natural position so that they know how to deal with opposing players and how to improve their own thinking too.

That's what I'm hoping anyway!

Sir Alf 1:06 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
Johnson has every chance of being first choice right back over the next few years IMHO

He has some improvements to make but has all the attributes needed to make it at Premiership level.

Of course, this could be the Sir Alf “kiss of death” ;-)

Sydney_Iron 7:51 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
Should have stayed off the drugs, would still have won gold in 88, and a World record to boot!

Coffee 7:11 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
gph 2:44 Sat Oct 2

Spoke too soon?

Manuel 5:35 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
gph - Dry your eyes you big fucking poof. It really is getting more bent on here by the day. And why the fuck would anyone be jealous of a poster for slinging up articles?? what a very odd thing to say. Fucking cretin.

As for he 'could' be something special, I'd say very unlikely. He 'could' also not make it and drop down the leagues. Could, could, could..

gph 2:44 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
PS It looks like the jealous cretins who gave Irish grief for posting stuff like this are taking a rest.

Which is good.

gph 1:46 Sat Oct 2
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
He's NEVER been awful, and is improving.

Could develop into something special, even if we have to wait a bit.

Lily Hammer 9:31 Fri Oct 1
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
Good lad. He’s really coming along nicely.

He should start Sunday. No point in rushing Coufal and Frederiks back with an international break coming up, when they’ll have chance to fully recover, hopefully.

I do hope Coufal doesn’t play for the Czechs this round.

Leeshere 8:06 Fri Oct 1
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
Missed the club have the option to extend the deal, makes sense to do that.

Leeshere 8:04 Fri Oct 1
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
Hopefully this doesn’t turn into another Ngakia situation. Why is Johnson in the final year of his contract with no offer of a new one?

147man 6:18 Fri Oct 1
Re: Nice Article on Ben Johnson
Thanks Irish

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