Ben Johnson can play in only one position for West Ham United in the future, and it’s not right-back or left-back.
The 23-year-old came on as a second-half substitute against Newcastle yesterday, in place of Thilo Kehrer.
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Johnson was used as a right-sided centre-back, operating alongside two other central defenders in the form of Angelo Ogbonna and Nayef Aguerd.
David Moyes now has no other choice in my opinion.
The Scot quite simply has to use Johnson as a central defender in the future, but only when he sets up with a back three…
Ben Johnson can only play in one position for West Ham
There have been concerns recently that Johnson isn’t Premier League quality, and Moyes should have him nowhere near the first-team at the London Stadium.
Every time that the 23-year-old has played in either full-back position, he has looked miles off the pace.
His positional sense is terrible and his awareness of space in behind him and his opponent’s position is off the scale bad.
It’s a shame really, because when Johnson burst onto the scene as a teenager at West Ham, he looked the absolute business.
However, there is a solution…
David Moyes needs to use Johnson as a right-side centre-back in a three, and he can’t afford to play him in any other position now.
Thilo Kehrer shouldn’t play for West Ham again as far as I’m concerned, and I would feel much more comfortable with Johnson alongside Ogbonna and Aguerd.
Maybe, just maybe, Ben Johnson isn’t done at West Ham. He certainly has the physical build to play as a centre-back, it just remains to be seen whether he has the football intelligence needed for the job.
However, one thing that is clear to see is that he’s better in the middle than he is either as a right-back or a left-back.
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