With David Moyes’ West Ham United side securing a famous 3-2 victory at the London Stadium on Saturday afternoon, it feels somewhat harsh to take aim at one of the club’s less experienced players for his display against an incredibly impressive Chelsea team.
However, it is, unfortunately, an unavoidable conclusion to draw from the fixture that 21-year-old Ben Johnson had something of a shocker against Thomas Tuchel’s side, a fact that, in being pointed out, is quite literally adding insult to injury – as the right-back was withdrawn shortly before half-time after pulling his hamstring.
Indeed, while it cannot be argued that Johnson is one of the most promising defensive talents to graduate from the Hammers academy in recent seasons, over his 45 minutes on the pitch against Chelsea, the versatile right-back far from enjoyed his finest game in claret and blue.
Being deployed on the opposite flank against the then-table-toppers, the £2.7m-rated man endured a rather torrid afternoon up against Hakim Ziyech and Reece James, managing a grand total of just 26 touches of the ball – 12 fewer than Lukasz Fabianski between the West Ham sticks – completed a mere six of his 12 attempted passes and lost possession of the ball on ten separate occasions.
The £19k-per-week defender also lost both of his two attempted duels – a failure rate of 100% – made no tackles, failed with all three of his attempted crosses and gave away one foul.
These returns saw the youngster receive a very disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.4, with no other player who started for the Hammers earning a lower score.
Indeed, Football.London journalist Tom Clarke also awarded the fan-favourite the joint-lowest score in his own West Ham match ratings, stating of Johnson: “Unfortunate to be injured and out of position for Mason Mount’s goal but had found himself beaten a couple of times by Ziyech on the left – 6.”
As such, while the 21-year-old who Moyes dubbed a “really important” player will undoubtedly bounce back following his recovery from injury, this was far from his finest display for the Hammers, and is a performance he will be hoping to put behind him as quickly as possible.