Johnson displays raise Cresswell doubts


Aaron Cresswell may have cause to worry given the situation surrounding the first two pre-season games when he has been forced to play second fiddle to 19 year old Ben Johnson.

The left back position has been a worry for too long but with Arthur Masuaku still on holiday and the boss choosing to play a teenager playing out of position rather than Cresswell may provide a big clue to the manager’s thinking.

Cresswell didn’t get a second of action in the game against Altach when Sam Byram eventually replaced Johnson after 68 minutes.

And yesterday against City he managed 28 minutes of action when coming on for the impressive Johnson with no suggestion that he had been injured.

The youngster has caught the eye in both appearances, defending solidly and filling Pellegrini’s preferred criteria of getting forward whenever possible.

That he has adjusted to the left sided role is also a sign of his maturity and it should be remembered that he did absolutely nothing wrong in the role when appearing against Man City at the Etihad last season.

Masuaku is far more of a Pellegrini-type player with his strength being his ability to get forward at pace so is likely to be involved in preference to Cresswell.

Johnson meanwhile looks as though he is being slowly weaned into the first team squad on a regular basis and  with the manager ready to gamble on young players one wonders whether Creswell’s long term future may be in doubt!

Meanwhile it may have been significant that Josh Cullen was the only  outfield player to miss out on minutes agajnst City yesterday.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • jonnyd says:

    Cullen’s omission is an odd one as you can only really judge with playing time. Giving playing time to Obiang who is apparently to be sold rather than Cullen adds to the mystery.

  • Ian says:

    If that is the case we are in trouble then as however much potential Ben Johnson certainly has, he was out of position more times than not, missed tackles and poor distribution. I personally think that Pelle is just trying him out and letting Cresswell completely recover from his injury.

  • Spotted Dog says:

    I’m inclined to think Pelle was using the match to simply see what young Ben has in his locker. I think we’re fickle if we ‘diss’ Cress; I didn’t see anything from Ben that Cress couldn’t do and let’s not forget the fabulous crosses into the box Cress has supplied at times.

  • razorwine says:

    Worst left back we have had at my club for years. When you look back at Lampard senior and Cantwell and dicksy this useless cresswell must be sold asp. Johnson can be used for a back up but we need a defensive left back who has pace and can stop crosses coming in and doesnt go AWOL and then blames his other defenders. Obviously if you watch this players performances over the last two seasons your see why he needs selling to probably a championship or league one side at best. So many of our goals against come from that left side especially when his involved. Get rid otherwise top four or six will never happen .

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