Here at Ladbrokes, we’re not often ones for superstition but when it comes to West Ham United’s chances of survival in the Premier League, the arrival of Roger Johnson on loan could be cause for concern, given the supposed ‘relegation curse’ the player carries.
The Hammers are currently priced at 11/8 to go down this season, but with Johnson on board, fans may be advised to get out the rabbit’s feet, four-leaf clovers and search out any nearby wishing wells in a bid to boost their survival prospects.
After all, while the defender brings three years of Premier League experience to Upton Park, it’s worth noting that in his previous two spells with clubs in the top-flight, the 30-year-old has suffered relegation with both teams.
Back in the 2010-11 season, the Englishman was part of the Birmingham squad that won the Carling Cup but suffered relegation from the top tier.
The following season saw Johnson depart for Wolverhampton Wanderers, but the curse followed him, with the club following their Midlands rivals into the Championship.
You would think that was as bad as it could get for the defender, but you would be wrong, with Wolves suffering yet another catastrophic campaign that ended in the near-unthinkable – relegation to League One.
Prior to his move to West Ham, Johnson was also gearing up for what would have potentially been his fourth relegation in as many years with Sheffield Wednesday.
Currently struggling in the lower reaches of the Championship, the club has already dispensed with the services of manager Dave Jones and could yet fall down into the English third-tier – thanks in no small part to the efforts of the seemingly cursed defender.
It all makes for concerning reading if you are Big Sam with Allardyce priced as the 4/11 favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post – something which could be accelerated by the arrival of the blundering Johnson.
With West Ham next in top-flight action against the 30-year-old’s former club Cardiff, and priced at 12/5 for the away win, this weekend’s game could set the tone for what is to come.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date
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