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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Dirty Leeds Verdict – Bradley Johnson


As Leeds/Bradford’s Air Traffic Control Officer’s breathed a collective sigh of relief last week, at the news that Bradley Johnson has rejected the club’s latest offer of a contract extension, it seems The White Army’s opinion is a little more split.

Whilst browsing Twitter over the last 10 days or so you’d think Lord Mawhinney had deducted Leeds some more points, such was the outcry after Bradley “One average game in Ten” Johnson decided he wasn’t accepting the club’s offer of a new deal.

Now immediately fans will point to our infamously tight-fisted owner as to the reason that Leeds don’t compete enough financially to keep one of our young players, but presumably the club wouldn’t break the wage structure for him. Bradley played a leading role last season (I would argue more out of necessity as opposed to his performances meriting) so it’s a safe bet that Simon Grayson regards him as a first team player. Therefore, the club can’t possibly have offered him a reserve team wage or the wage of a fringe player working his way up the ladder. One can only assume that Bradley wanted to be one of the top earners (if not the top earner) at the club.

For those that complain about our lack of spending, please feel free to justify how a player who has seldom done anything on a football pitch that I’d feel was beyond me, can command a wage higher than that of Becchio, Gradel, Snodgrass or even Howson….

For what it’s worth, my opinion hasn’t changed since I first wrote on the subject back in November;

Leeds held to ransom by most deluded ‘star’ in club’s history.

Lets approach one of the craziest stories released by Leeds United’s press officer in recent memory; MIDFIELDER TRANSFER LISTED appeared on NewsNow this afternoon, the initial fear of what, or whom the article could be referring to quickly subsided upon clicking the headline. Thankfully, Robert Snodgrass, Max Gradel and Neil Kilkenny are all staying put and even Andy Hughes will remain at Elland Road… I can hear you thinking, “well who else is there!?!”

It turns out Bradley Johnson has rejected the club’s final offer of a 3 year contract.

Firstly, I’d have to question Simon Grayson’s thinking in offering Johnson another contract, never mind a 3 year deal!  For me, Bradley Johnson will always epitomise the ‘average’ players that have passed through the door at Thorp Arch since our decline to League One. He is by far the most infuriating player I have ever seen play, he obviously has some talent but it is totally undermined by his lack of vision, awareness and terrible decision making. I was hoping he would leave in the Summer on a free, so any sort of transfer fee would be a bonus!

Quite what goes through the head of some players is a mystery. Perhaps his agent has pointed to the amount of games he has started this season and that his wage should reflect that of an important first team member… he has obviously forgotten the game at Boundary Park a couple of years ago when Bradley turned in the worst performance of any professional footballer I have witnessed. Can anybody think of anything Johnson has done this season that would look out of place in an amateur game at your local park? Even his decent finish and steady game against Hull was undone by a comical own goal due to lack of concentration.

Out of the whole squad, I can’t think of a player who I would be less upset or concerned about leaving.

I’m sure he’ll find his rightful place back in League One again before long…

It has now come to light that Mr Johnson is off to Norwich City to play Premiership football next season (no, seriously). Presumably Paul Lambert saw his goal against Arsenal and the expiry date on his contract and took a gamble. For any Canaries reading this, you are getting a player who is very athletic but with zero pace, has good aerial ability and rarely gets injured but all that is totally undermined by a lack of vision and composure…

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