Ben Johnson has admitted that the West Ham players were shell-shocked when Eintracht Frankfurt scored first in the Europa League clash on Thursday night.
The Hammers were beaten 2-1 by the Bundesliga outfit last week and we now have to win either by two clear goals or on penalties after extra-time in Germany if we are to progress through to the final.
In all fairness to West Ham, we easily could have won the game on another day. Frankfurt were just far more clinical in the final third than us.
Conceding inside the first minute obviously didn’t help either.
David Moyes would have been fuming at the manner in which his team allowed the visitors to take the lead so soon after kick-off. And he probably won’t be too happy with the reaction of the players either…
Ben Johnson admission is a concern ahead of West Ham vs Eintracht Frankfurt clash
The 22-year-old played during the defeat to the Bundesliga side at the London Stadium on Thursday night.
And Johnson lifted the lid on how he and his teammates felt when Frankfurt took the lead early on, as quoted by WHUFC.com:
“Of course it’s not over. We’ve got another 90 minutes to play, so we’re optimistic of course and we’re confident we can do it for sure. It’s very strange conceding in the first minute, but sometimes it happens and, although we didn’t lose confidence, it made us think ‘Wow’. We weren’t chasing the game, but we knew we had to score.”
That’s a big concern, it really is.
The lack of European experience in this West Ham team aside from Tomas Soucek, Vladimir Coufal and Kurt Zouma was a huge factor in our defeat on Thursday night.
What if West Ham go a goal behind early on in the second-leg clash with Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday? Will the players be shell-shocked again?
It was certainly an honest admission from Ben Johnson but perhaps a naive one at the same time. I know that sounds harsh but in elite level sport, you will get found out if you make it obvious that your opponent has effected you.
It’s now time for the West Ham players to throw a counter-punch and show Eintracht Frankfurt what they’re all about.
Hopefully the boys have what it takes to win the game in Germany. It wont be easy though and if we do end up going 1-0 down on the night, it could well be curtains for us.