There can’t be a scenario for a first-team football player that’s more embarrassing than being demoted to the U21s, but that’s exactly what happened to one West Ham star on Tuesday evening.
The Hammers first-team have one of their toughest tests of the season on Thursday as they head across town to play a resurgent Tottenham Hotspur.
With Ange Postecoglou’s side decimated by injuries to key players, David Moyes and his squad might fancy their chances of pulling off an upset, though they’ll need to do it without Ben Johnson.
That’s because he was playing for the U21s against Colchester in the delightfully named Bristol Street Motors Trophy according to Hammers News.
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Whilst it’s true that Johnson has been on the fringes of the first-team rather than a fully paid up member in 2023/24 – WhoScored note he’s played just 169 minutes this season – he can, at the very least, be an option if required.
What his demotion clearly indicates is that he doesn’t have any type of future at the London Stadium unless a new manager comes in during the summer and happens to wipe the slate clean for everyone.
There was a time when Johnson was being spoken about in reverential tones around east London but, like so many others under David Moyes, his career has nosedived through lack of games and a lack of belief from the manager.