Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The return of Johnson

Amidst last nights victory saw the albeit brief, but nonetheless significant appearance of Michael Johnson, who was introduced with little over two minutes remaining.

I must confess to being an unabashed Johnson-ite, and have waxed lyrical about his talents throughout his period of absence through injury.

Although we have strengthened the squad tremendously over the past twelve months - especially so in the midfield/attacking departments, Johnson truly offers something different and his loss during 2007/08 was a major catalyst in our loss of form and subsequent slide down the table.

Indeed, if he can recover his fitness and break into the side, he could have a similar impact that we saw Stephen Ireland have during 2008/09.

What Johnson does offer that we do not possess elsewhere is a 'two-way' threat. It may be ice-hockey terminology but the description fits his style precisely. From our midfield players we have the defensive players (de Jong, Kompany, Barry) and then the attack minded ones (Wright-Phillips, Petrov, Ireland). A 'two-way' player is someone equally adept both in the defensive and offensive (attacking) areas and Johnson could provide the perfect bridge and link between the two aspects - think the role that Stephen Ireland has been handed but has yet to fully get to grips with.

There are no guarantees of course though. For one, Johnson has to get fully fit - and I suspect he will be brought along very slowly - and then force his way into the side. But if he can achieve this, he could be a very big part of our success both this season and beyond.

vote it up!


Unknown said...

Looks as though he's been eating a few pies during his lay-off. I saw a pic of him a few weeks ago and thought "who's that middle aged fat guy" it was MJ, and when I realised that, my heart sank..........

Anonymous said...

I agree with Tim..MJ had a couple of great touches even in the 2 mins v WHam but he has a huge mountain to climb to achieve his capabilities..the problem is I don't believe he has the drive and desire to get there. Roque for example was warming up for ages and sweating before he came on...MJ managed a few stretches and seemed to think he had made it by the time he left the field at the end...all I can say is you've got a v long way to go MJ ! have the capabilities but are you prepared to work at it like SI has done??