Adam Johnson: Trapped in Wonderland?


The yearly transfer drama has started. With the super club culture on the rise, cash thrown around and tokens moved, the protagonists of the green pitch once again face “tough” decisions. Whether it’s about leaving a legacy, the quest for trophies, the lure of materialism, or simply, the inability to adjust to a culture far too different to one’s, passionate fans are only hoping for their heroes to still be integral to their team’s future endeavours. The slow transfer episode only comes as a torment to fans and managers alike (A thought to Arsenal fans).

Could it all just be the calm preceding a storm?

Either way, here we are, in the spectator’s seat once again, watching fate spin the wheel of football’s fortune as young talents are snatched from their homes, ready to be unleashed in the money-fuelled arenas, as yet another reminder of the ugly side in the beautiful game paints the horizon with tones of a sad reality. The only hope of  fairness seems to be in FIFA’s hands (Hello Platini! Hello Blatter!)… hands not deemed as safe, at least not by me.

The path of tomorrow’s legends is being forged as we breathe, with the Olympics kicking off in style, while a transfer market closing in a little bit more than a month could spell fortune for the only Englishman with a zest of Brazilian.

The creative midfielder’s career does not seem to be getting way brighter with Mancini. Of course, the man in question here is tricky feet, Adam Johnson. Why a move away from the Blues might be the only way for the sparkling midfielder to mark his generation?

2011/12 Premier League statistics for Adam Johnson

Games started: 10
Times used as a substitute: 16

Assists: 2
Shots: 35
Shots on goal: 14
Goals scored: 6
Goal accuracy: 43%

Fouls committed: 16
Fouls suffered: 19
Yellow card(s): 1
Red Card(s): 0

With the coming season holding everything but assurances for the young midfielder, a move away to a smaller pond should be one thing worth pondering about if first team football matters to Johnson, as last season saw his appearances limited by his league winning manager.

As a football follower, the sight of raw talent rotting on a bench never spells happiness. Competition at the Etihad Stadium never seems to get any better… at least not in midfield, with the last summers holding receipts of millions spent and still freshly engraved in the heads of many, including the investors at Manchester City.

The likes of Nasri, Silva, Milner and Yaya Toure top Mancini’s pecking order, and with justification being a manager’s foundation in this era, Johnson, sadly enough, only appears as a mirage in an Arabian desert, visible yet inexistent.

The curious effect of a CV laced with trophies seem to be keeping many gems unpolished, and flooding it all with humongous amounts of cash only seem to be promoting this silent phenomena.

The arguments here hold different weights when viewed from different angles. Players want to win trophies and squeeze as much money as they can out of a short sporting career, while fans want to enjoy their season tickets to the fullest with scintillating football and the sight of silverware in their club’s cabinet.

The rare pair of feet with an individual spark among England’s options has so far been shadowed by tactical approaches that have rarely promoted much individual brilliance. A zest of creativity à la Messi when positioned to promote attacking moves surprisingly seems to be valueless cards in the game of Poker Mancini and Hodgson host.

Leaving Middlesbrough for the bargain price of £ 7 million in 2010, Johnson’s expected progressive step turned out to be a book with no page numbers, a story full of excitement but with flavour lacking… like plain spaghettis, filling, yet tasteless.

With England’s recent demise in the Euros where Spain re-wrote the whole book of football by highlighting once again their supremacy without unleashing their strikers for most of their journey, questions being raised from pundits and footballing bodies about England’s tactical approach when pitted against teams such as Spain, Brazil and Holland; the murdering of a talent such as Johnson comes as strange and curious.

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  • Pauly Blue says:

    The problem with Adam Johnson that you haven’t mentioned is his inconsistency in tracking back and defending. He obviously has talent but he can be frustrating to watch at times when he makes a run and loses the ball and then doesn’t make any attempt to win it back or cover the right flank that he has left exposed. No doubt this is even more frustrating for Mancini to watch.

    I’d guess that he will stay at City, and if he wants to make an impact like the other players he should see the competition as a perfect incentive to work harder and prove himself with his performances. If he doesn’t make his mark I think he’ll defo be gone next summer.

    Johnson often shows glimpses of brilliance but he can also often disappoint and be ineffective. Messi can be always seen tracking back and pressing even when Barca are 3-0 up, it’s that attitude that makes him probably the best in the world and the first on the team sheet. It’s the current lack of that attitude that makes Adam Johnson simply an impact player with potential.

  • blueknight says:

    Adam is a one trick pony…
    No pace
    wont track back

    ok (only ok not great= as a sub..

    I would sell for around 18 million–)

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