The Loughton Lionel Messi: Moyes must give Johnson a chance

Ben Johnson is . . . The Loughton Lionel Messi

Whilst the news that Ben Johnson is soon to be offered an improved contract by West Ham is welcome, it will not be enough to keep him at the club.

How do we know this? Well, because Johnson told us as much himself in a leaked story three days ago. The versatile defender has been at West Ham since he was eight years of age, and while he wishes to be paid the going rate, it’s not his driving force.

Despite leaked stories to the contrary, Ben Johnson doesn’t expect to earn as much as the club’s top players. He is fully aware of the wages paid to squad members hovering on the brink of the first team, and he’d happily accept a similar sum.

Give him a chance

But what the 23-year-old wants more than anything is an assurance that he’ll get a chance in the first team. Johnson wants a run of games to try and cement himself in the team, and that’s it. Surely it’s not too much to ask, is it?

Vladimir Coufal is out of form, out of the next game, and unhappy with his current wage situation. Would it really be so difficult for David Moyes to guarantee Johnson a run in the team over the next 5-10 games?

Ben Johnson will sign a new contract at West Ham if manager David Moyes can guarantee him time on the pitch

The ball is in David Moyes’ court with Ben Johnson aka ‘The Loughton Lionel Messi’ seeking a run of games in the first team.

It’s not as if it’s a charity case either because the academy graduate has been our best player over the last two games. Johnson was one of two players to emerge with any credit during the mauling against Liverpool. His assist for Jarrod Bowen was delivered with his weak foot whilst playing left-back.

Against Bristol City, he came on as a substitute at right back and was instantly the Hammers’ best player. Rather embarrassingly for his teammates, he was also the side’s most creative player.

Then yesterday against Sheffield United, he played in an unfamiliar midfield position after coming on as a substitute for Maxwel Cornet. Not only did he perform well in the position, but he was better than our actual midfielders.

Both James Ward-Prowse and Tomas Soucek struggled to dribble and pass their way through the Blades’ midfield… Johnson did it with ease. He not only created the chance for Danny Ings to win a penalty. But following Coufal’s red card, he reverted to right back and swung in the cross which should have resulted in a West Ham penalty for Jarrod Bowen.

Sign him up, sign him up I say

Put simply, Ben Johnson was the best player on the pitch. He’s homegrown, versatile, reliable and getting better all the time so what’s not to like? Rumours suggest that two clubs in Spain want to sign him, as well as Crystal Palace, Wolves, and Everton.

His form has been so good that I’ve given him the moniker, ‘The Loughton Lionel Messi’. Who could have known that Johnson has so many tricks in his repertoire? He produced a backheel in the build up to the Irons second goal and even Cruyff turned his way out of trouble in central midfield.

So, David Moyes needs to pull his finger out and give Johnson the assurances he needs. If he doesn’t, he’ll look very silly when Johnson starts playing well for a rival Premier League team next season.


About Gonzo

Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose

2 comments on “The Loughton Lionel Messi: Moyes must give Johnson a chance

  1. Well done Ben! I always said he is a very good player and you don’t suddenly lose your talent because the manager has cast you out. It would have been criminal to have sold Ben and watch another Premier League club making him one of their very best players. He is very versatile and still young. I am so happy to hear that he will now be offered much better terms. We NEED Ben Johnson. I very much hope he will stay a Hammer!

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