Tuesday, 1 June 2010

AJ misses out

Disappointing news, though, for Adam Johnson. When Theo Walcott was trimmed off it looked as though Johnson might make it, but it was his City team-mate Wright-Phillips who made it instead.

Ultimately this must have been more of a decision against Johnson than for Wright-Phillips: based on recent form and performance in friendlies Wright-Phillips did not present a compelling case for his inclusion. Rather, Capello must have seen something that halted his enthusiasm for including AJ, an indication from somewhere that Johnson was not quite ready for a World Cup squad yet. Capello's comments that Johnson found it 'difficult to breathe' are instructive, and I imagine that Johnson's uncharacteristic refusal to dive in the box showed Capello that he cannot quite play his natural game at international level.

Adam Johnson's collapsing Jenga tower act won us valuable penalties in the home games against Bolton Wanderers and Aston Villa last season. He could well have won us another at the Boleyn Ground, and bought us a decent crop of free-kicks too. It's a big part of his game and something he does well. But when Gerardo Torrado hauled him back at Wembley he did not have the confidence to go down and win us that penalty. He stayed on his feet and nothing came of the opportunity.

Maybe I'm reading too much into too little but that one moment could well have convinced Capello that Johnson does not yet have the confidence to play for England as he does for City, something you could never say of Wright-Phillips.


StanMCFC said...

Totally disagree about Johnson lacking confidence. Just he isn't a cheat - and i don't think Capello is that cynical (or stupid) a manager to have left him out for trying to stay on his feet and pass to a teammate in a goal scoring position.

Whatever the reasoning behind it, ridiculous decision when Upson included as a fifth choice centre-half and has zero chance of seeing any game time, whereas AJ would have given Capello a left-footed option for last ten mins of games should we be trailing and needing someone to beat players and ping in an accurate cross.

Blue Phoenix - Moving on up! said...

I am amazed that aj didn't make it. He clearly has more than enough ability and enthusiasm by the bucket load. All I can think is those that have gone ahead of him have more experience at a higher level than aj. He was up against cole for me and joe will have just pipped him.

I do believe aj will continue to improve and we will all be sat here next year thinking why the hell didn't capello include him.

If aj is Reading the blogs I would like to say that I and other city fans I'm sure are gutted for you and your time will come I'm positive about that.

fulafalonga said...

I think one reason Adam didn't get the nod could be his performances for us in the "big" games. Sure, he was outstanding in quite a few games but up against stronger opposition he was not the same player. Think Chelsea, United, Arsenal, all games in which the "real" Adam Johnson just didn't turn up. He didn't seem to have the same confidence to go past players. Until he proves can perform as well in "big" games (and it doesn't get bigger than a World Cup), it's not worth taking him to a World Cup. I'm so pleased for Shaun, after he missed out last time. Although I hope to watch the English get royally stuffed every game, I would love to Shaun shine. And I think he's a far better chance of that than Adam.

Rob said...

The penalties against Bolton and Villa were obvious. Going down under contact isn't a dive. You should take more caution before effectively calling him a cheat.