May 25 2013 Latest news:
Monday, March 4, 2013
Bradley Johnson may not possess the technical gifts bestowed on top class operators like Wayne Rooney and Shinji Kagawa. But without his muscular presence, Chris Hughton’s preferred route to Premier League safety this sesaon would have been virtually impossible.
Johnson is the destroyer at the heart of a style foundered on resistance.
Alongside Alex Tettey he has forged a defensively resolute barrier to protect City’s backline during the high points of this campaign. Johnson is a fearless operator in that key central area of the field.
The range of passing may at times frustrate – evident again in the opening minutes at Old Trafford when he burst clear down the left but over-clubbed with Grant Holt sensing an aerial opportunity at the far post.
The propensity to shoot on sight is admirable if wayward, but Johnson’s value to the cause is underlined in his Premier League appearance record which would be faultless but for a suspension at West Ham. Johnson is also no respecter of reputations, as Marouane Felliani found to his cost recently at Carrow Road.
In any successful side you need hard-nosed campaigners. For 75 minutes he was as good as any in yellow but his exertions eventually took a toll, allied to Kigawa’s positional switch inside.
The will to resist remained strong but the way Wayne Rooney danced around him for the fourth underlined Johnson had emptied the tank.
In the second of a three-part series dissecting the Canaries’ successful battle to retain their Premier League status, Norwich City writer Paddy Davitt examines the relationship between the artists and the artisans in Norwich’s midfield.