Ben Johnson Departure Could Prove Costly

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As reported this morning, Ben Johnson has left West Ham United on a free transfer.

I can’t help but feel a little disappointed by this turn of events because, as I’ve stated on numerous occasions, I don’t ever feel the player was given an extended run in his chosen position.

Johnson was a player who had been at West Ham since the age of eight, and there would have been numerous times when he’d have been happy to have extended his West Ham contract. While we can’t know his precise reasoning for him leaving, the lure of first-team football must have been significant.

There were times during the last campaign when West Ham was truly awful in defence, yet despite impressing from the bench, Johnson was never really given the chance to secure a first-team spot.

Johnson was believed to be the second lowest-earning player at West Ham last season, with only Divin Mubama earning less.

I’ll never fully understand why West Ham are seemingly willing to waste large sums of money on the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Danny Ings, yet are unable to pay an amount of money which is not unreasonable to an academy graduate.

It may well be that West Ham secure an excellent replacement for Johnson in the shape of Kyle Walker-Peters and I hope we do. But I still can’t quite shake the belief that the club have allowed a Premier League standard academy player to leave by not dealing with the situation 12 months ago. It seems like the Hammers negotiating team panicked about losing an asset towards the end of last season rather than rewarding a person who’d been at the club for 16 years.

I can only hope that West Ham learn their lessons or we may find ourselves in a similar situation with the likes of George Earthy.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Ben all the luck in the world in his new career, and I have little doubt that he will enjoy an excellent debut season for his new club from the start.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose


  • Anon says:

    Sullivan and part time Brady

  • Charlie Farley says:

    First team football at the age of 24 would be everything to Johnno. He obviously wasn’t guaranteed it by J Lo. I can’t help feeling that his second season away from West Ham will be in the Championship.

  • John Lattimore says:

    That just about sums it up. Very sorry to see him go.

  • Mikey says:

    This site spent all last season telling us how bad Johnson is. Now he leaves, the club is making a mistake. Seriously.

  • Ian says:

    I agree with you entirely on this. B.J has only shown over a very long time
    he has only wanted a fair crack of the whip and an equitable salary . a glance at
    at the evidence is blatantly obvious that these were the very things that he was
    Refused. while reasons. have to rest in the past what was obvious is that B.J. is a
    Good Character . for his considerable voluntary work with young people, and can be summed
    in his leaving statement. I am certain he will continue with his career successfully. and west ham
    will. sadly be the lovers.

  • Ian says:

    For lovers read losers ( Freudian Slip. ).

  • Hammerpete6 says:

    A decent player, gave his best whatever was asked if him, and all he wanted was to be treated equitably in wages and opportunities. But Moyes misused him terribly. I really object to fellow fans calling him useless; well who was good? Who else was asked to play one-off games in four different positions then dropped? Were Ings and Phillips each worth five times Ben’s wages? His farewell statement showed him to be a decent young man too. Good luck Ben

  • D says:

    Spot on another one of Saint Moysie’s numerous mistakes.
    He should have been given far more chances but Moyes preferred to flog the usual dead horses

  • Tim says:

    I disagree ! Most of his time on the pitch Johnson wasn’t taking the games seriously. In one game he was standing around laughing in the middle of a match and I think Moyes gave him a rollocking about it. He just was not concentrating on the game. He is a young man who West Ham spent a lot of time and money on and then he thought he was better than the manager saw in him. Basically he just didnt listen to the coaches and got his finger out and then he wanted a huge increase to £60k per week. If he does not do well at Ipswich he could end up on a slippery slope out of football and no doubt blaming others. The ball is completely in his court to make a career from soccer. Lets hope he learns and does not waste the chance.

  • Mr Buddy Lurve says:

    What short memories we have.

    He didn’t get a run in the team because he was NOT GOOD ENOUGH to unseat Coufal who, at times, looked very shaky last season. Our problems in defence were central, not on the right.

    Ben is a Championship player at best (on what I’ve seen so far), and demonstrated it in numerous performances in the early part of last season when he was truly woeful. Pace aplenty, but no concentration and a dodgy touch. If he’s the kind of player we are aspiring to in order to progress, we’re in real trouble.

    Hundreds of players come (and go) through our academy. He had a shot and blew it. It means nothing where a player comes from – only how they perform on the pitch.

    I don’t dislike the lad – I wish him well – but come on…

  • Jellied Eel says:

    He was given half a shot, that’s all. His main problem was lack of concentration, which can be overcome if someone else in the team keeps an eye on him. It doesn’t help that WH seems to have no one of captaincy material. Or is that owing to young people being too focused on themselves?

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