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Michael Johnson


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He's been released by City after 3 years of doing nothing except getting fat. Pretty sad story imo.

Michael Johnson, [url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2012/jun/02/daniel-taylor-michael-johnson]once tipped as an England international and one of the best young players to emerge through [url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/manchestercity]Manchester City's academy in the past decade, has been paid off from his contract after the club finally ran out of patience with him.

Johnson, convicted of two drink-driving offences last September, was offered a severance package from his £40,000-a-week contract just before Christmas, after several years of decline. The club decided not to announced it publicly but it has come to light now after a photograph of the 24-year-old appeared on the internet looking bloated and unfit.

Once the subject of a £10m bid from Liverpool, the former England youth international has suffered a series of injury problems but he also caused considerable disquiet behind the scenes because of his attitude towards being a professional footballer and, specifically, his fondness for a night out.

His last appearance for the club was as a second-half substitute in a Carling Cup tie against Ssausagehorpe in October 2009. Sven-Goran Eriksson once said he would not swap Johnson even for Steven Gerrard but the days when he was described as "the new Colin Bell", breaking into City's first team at the age of 18, were short-lived.

Roberto Mancini and his predecessor, Mark Hughes, both concluded that Johnson did not have the personality to play football at the highest level. At one point City were so embarrassed by his unkempt state in his pen-pic club sources say the photographer was asked to come back to take it again.

Johnson was moved to Leicester City two years ago, on a season-long loan that cost the Championship club £1m, but was signed off, then sent back, at the midway point.

After that, almost nothing had been heard of him [url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2012/jun/01/manchester-city-michael-johnson-arrested-drink]until he crashed his car, over the drink-drive limit, in Manchester last May. It was one of two occasions when he has been arrested for drink-driving in the space of three months, leading to a £5,500 fine and three-year driving ban.


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