Filed: Monday, 14th July 2003
By: Matthew Kemp
Losing Glen Johnson from the fans perspective is a big blow to the club. £6 million for an 18-year-old is a lot of money, yet I have no doubt that his value will double (at least) given the progress he has made in such a small amount of time.
When he was farmed out to Millwall last season Glenn Roeder went on record stating that Johnson was still not ready for first team football, even though Seb "Archie" Schemmel had joined Lord Lucan and disappeared, and Lomas played as an emergency right-back.
With good reports coming from Millwall regarding Glen's progress and subsequent inclusion in the Under 21's Roeder caved in to the fans requests and gave the player his chance - which he grabbed with both hands. Even though Johnson only played 14 games last season, following the signing of Rufus Brevett from Fulham, it was noticeable that we looked much better defensively. The youngster emerged as a fan favourite with some even tipping him to go onto bigger and better things than Rio Ferdinand.
Indeed, Harry Redknapp once said of the player that he had the potential to emulate Rio, after good reports emerged from the England Under-19 camp.
West Ham's loss is Chelsea's gain, and it will not be long before Frank Lampard Jnr is quoted in the press expressing his delight at Johnson's signing, adding more salt to the wound.
Mistakes were made last year in terms of finance which Terry Brown openly admitted at the last EGM. Yet it seems that, apologies aside, the club have not learnt from them.
What annoys me more than anything is that Johnson had just signed a 4 year contract. With Joe Cole available on a Bosman next season it would have made more sense to raid Abramovich's war chest by touting Cole to Chelsea. Sadly, Brown and Roeder will almost certainly lose Cole's talents next season and will be unlikely to gain a fee.
Others will follow, as the West Ham hierarchy have cemented the belief that the club will always be a "selling club" or even worse a "nursery club" for other teams.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
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