Better service to come for City strikers as Adam Johnson shines for England
Reports from the England training camp in Austria appear unanimous in their praise for Adam Johnson. Interestingly, the Wearsider has been playing on the left and delivering a series of telling crosses.
“Playing on the left wing, he terrorised Liverpool veteran Jamie Carragher and rained in a string of pinpoint crosses.”
“#England training…obvious strengths: Rooney’s finishing, A Johnson’s left-footed crossing, Hart’s shot-stopping & Gerrard quarterbacking”
This may come as a slight surprise as crossing is a feature of Adam’s game which appeared to need the most work. At Middlesbrough, Stewart Downing was considered the better player on account of his superior delivery.
City have struggled for good crossing all season, and Mancini appears keen to improve on it both in training and with new signings. It’s never been a strength of Shaun Wright-Phillips nor Craig Bellamy, who has always been primarily a striker.
Mancini’s efforts to improve the situation in training were noted here, where those of us who remember him as a player could afford a wry smile.
The last group Mancini had were pure attacking, crossing and finishing and sadly as I have said before Mancini was the best crosser on view. Good to see AJ working from the left for quite a while but early on with him and SWP crossing Mancini stopped it, walked over took one himself which was perfect fro RSC to power a header in. So simple and he demonstrated very clearly what he wanted.They simply don’t have the natural ability the boss has.
James Milner may have come of age in central midfield this season, but he has always been known as a good crosser from the flanks, and this could have influenced the thinking of Mancini and Marwood in deciding to persue him.
Angel di Maria is another noted for his quality of delivery, though the rumuor-mill currently suggests he’s more likely to end up at Real Madrid. That remains to be seen. His lack of tracking back was notable when Benfica played Liverpool. Hardly a quality likely to endear him to Jose Mourinho if the Portuguese takes over at Real.
With none of our current first choice full-backs able to find a consistent delivery, any new additions in these positions also need to offer a better attacking side to their game.
Quality of crossing is an area where we lag behind all the other top teams in the Premier League, and it’s to be hoped an improvement by Johnson, which may require him playing on the left, is augmented by the right signings.
- What do you think of the crossing by City last season? And who’s likely to improve it?