By Alan Hutton

30th Dec, 2020 | 8:30am

Exclusive: Top pundit delivers Ben Johnson verdict after latest West Ham sighting

West Ham United wing-back Ben Johnson played well in his side’s draw with Brighton; commentators should be less trigger-happy when it comes to dismissing young players.

That is the view of former Spurs, Sunderland and Aston Villa full-back Alan Hutton, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

Ben Johnson scored his first goal as West Ham came from behind to draw 2-2 with Brighton on Saturday, before he was then an unused substitute for Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at Southampton.


Hutton was keen to reaffirm that Johnson had a good game and that it is not easy to make progress as a young footballer starved of first-team action.

“It’s always difficult coming in as a youngster. You need to find your feet, you need to play a run of games, which he’s not had,” he told Football Insider.

“The West Ham team has been relatively settled. So it’s always going to be difficult, but you need to give players time. We’re all too quick to judge players off the back of one performance. Why not give the boy ten games and then we can decide?

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“I do see what some people are saying that he slowed things down, but that’s because he’s not got used to it.

“You need to give people time to get used to the way the team play, whether it be switches or moving the ball quickly, this all comes with learning and playing games.

“But I think he’s done well, and I think Moyes trusts him otherwise he wouldn’t be playing him.” 

Johnson has been on the books with West Ham since 2007, being converted from a winger to a full-back throughout his time in the academy.

It was his first start for West Ham this season, having previously accumulated just 51 minutes as a substitute across three fixtures.

In other news, a top pundit has given his verdict on David Moyes’ curious recent team selections.