English Premiership

Johnson set for Hammers debut

2014-01-07 16:12
Roger Johnson (Getty Images)

London - From getting the cold shoulder at third tier Wolverhampton Wanderers, 30-year-old defender Roger Johnson is set to make his West Ham United debut at Manchester City in the League Cup semi-final on Wednesday.

Johnson, who played in the Premier League for Wolves and Birmingham City, was not even given a squad number at the start of the season and was subsequently loaned to struggling Championship side Sheffield Wednesday.

However, after agreeing a loan deal with injury-hit West Ham on Monday the centre half has the chance to impress against a City side boasting a formidable array of attacking firepower.

As debuts go it could hardly get any more daunting with free-scoring City able to call upon the likes of Edin Dzeko and Alvaro Negredo even if Sergio Aguero is injured.

Yet West Ham's embattled boss Sam Allardyce reckons Johnson, part of the Birmingham side to beat Arsenal in the 2011 League Cup final, could be the man to help the Hammers cause a surprise and also lead them away from the Premier League relegation zone.

"He is very determined and very excited about the opportunity he's got after being frozen out at Wolves and pursuing his career at Sheffield Wednesday recently," Allardyce told a news conference on Tuesday.

"Our central defensive situation has been so difficult recently and it's one of the main reasons why we haven't achieved the results we wanted.

"All of our other efforts in securing a central defender, prior to knowing that Roger was available, were difficult," said Allardyce ahead of Wednesday's first leg.

"The one big thing about Roger is his Premier League experience at Birmingham City, his height in terms of being a central defender which has been one of our weak points recently and his desire to come and show he has still got the capabilities to play at this level.

"He's also not cup-tied so we're going into one of the biggest games of the season with somebody of his experience, height and aerial dominance against, let's face it, one of the biggest sides in the Premier League.

"If you look across the board with Dzeko, Negredo, Yaya Toure, Kompany and Nastasic we have to be aerially very competent on Wednesday and Roger will be a great help in that area."

West Ham are only one place off the foot of the Premier League and a weakened line-up was thrashed 5-0 by second tier Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

Even the most diehard fans give them little chance of toppling City over two legs but Allardyce said they hope to at least get back to Upton Park with the tie still alive.

"We don't have to beat them on Wednesday night, we have to come back with something realistic to beat them at home if we can," he explained.

"We have to stay as focused as we can and we have to nullify what is a great attacking force."

Read more on:    west ham united  |  capital one cup  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
19 April 2014
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham, White Hart Lane 13:45
West Ham United v Crystal Palace, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Cardiff City v Stoke City, Cardiff City Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Swansea City, St. James' Park 16:00
Aston Villa v Southampton, Villa Park 16:00
Chelsea v Sunderland, Stamford Bridge 18:30
20 April 2014
Norwich City v Liverpool, Carrow Road 13:00
Hull City v Arsenal, The KC Stadium 15:05
Everton v Manchester United, Goodison Park 17:10
21 April 2014
Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Which team do you think will win the English Premiership?

 
 
Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.