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The Bradley Johnson role


Derbyram1983
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What's surprised me most is that Johnson has been so happy to keep it simple. He's always been an all action player who plays percentages. Whether playing LM for Norwich or central for Leeds he's always been very aggressive, put the ball in the right areas (more so than to teammates) and liked to get shots off

Obviously DM is about always being there to back the team up. Not really join in. You can't be a glory hunter because it's all about discipline. You can't charge off Mascarell style because you're there to protect your CB's. And much of the ball time is keeping it simple while the team manoeuvres the opponent. Simple but you're under pressure to go forward as often as possible. 

That goes against what Johnson has always done. Thorne loves it. Being a superb passer he's loved having the whole team ahead of him to try and pick out. Eustace was no fuss and would quickly move it on. But Johnson has always been a dodgy passer. He's never been one to do any passing quickly. He's never been one to ignore a tackle to get into position.

To see him now, getting into shape, not glory hunting, keeping it simple, organising others, taking the ball under pressure... it's quite a change. 

And when the ball does land in his zone he's obviously like a steam train. And if the opposition start to panic pass and invite us to press he gets his little moments of glory. 

Just surprising that such a character is happy to do boring but vital stuff. 

Doesn't suit him at all. But he's had to do it for the team and I think the guy is doing it as if he's a different Bradley Johnson. He could well grab PotY if this is a regular standard he's set in the last 10 games

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1 hour ago, Alpha said:

What's surprised me most is that Johnson has been so happy to keep it simple. He's always been an all action player who plays percentages. Whether playing LM for Norwich or central for Leeds he's always been very aggressive, put the ball in the right areas (more so than to teammates) and liked to get shots off

Obviously DM is about always being there to back the team up. Not really join in. You can't be a glory hunter because it's all about discipline. You can't charge off Mascarell style because you're there to protect your CB's. And much of the ball time is keeping it simple while the team manoeuvres the opponent. Simple but you're under pressure to go forward as often as possible. 

That goes against what Johnson has always done. Thorne loves it. Being a superb passer he's loved having the whole team ahead of him to try and pick out. Eustace was no fuss and would quickly move it on. But Johnson has always been a dodgy passer. He's never been one to do any passing quickly. He's never been one to ignore a tackle to get into position.

To see him now, getting into shape, not glory hunting, keeping it simple, organising others, taking the ball under pressure... it's quite a change. 

And when the ball does land in his zone he's obviously like a steam train. And if the opposition start to panic pass and invite us to press he gets his little moments of glory. 

Just surprising that such a character is happy to do boring but vital stuff. 

Doesn't suit him at all. But he's had to do it for the team and I think the guy is doing it as if he's a different Bradley Johnson. He could well grab PotY if this is a regular standard he's set in the last 10 games

Tried to like this but when I press the button it moves like one of those internet jokes from 2002.

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Today he took their striker out of the game, whilst not losing his influence. Totally agree with most of what Alpha says above and I think it says a lot about the character of Johnson that he has adapted his natural game to massively aid the team. If Mac can get him doing that you wonder what else is possible.

I think he loves the role, loves the battle and does the kind of things that get the team and fans going, great headers, strong challenges. The team this season under Mac are showing real fight and determination and Johnson is at the centre of that. Keep on playing as he is and he is getting my vote for player of the season.

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36 minutes ago, Rampage said:

Had a mysterious thought today. Did Pearson somehow lay the foundations of our present miserly goals against tally? We have kept the defensive bit and improved the rest. What do you reckon?

I made exactly that comment to those that sit around me - met with eye rolls and Pearson loathing lol ... I'm not a Pearson fan (because he didn't understand the basic footballing concept of making runs and getting open) but it's true he did a good job with that and it was Pearson who yanked Shacks out and installed Pearce - a revelation. 

Mac has done three things: instilled confidence in players (Baird bent Ince etc)  and trust in them rather than yank and berate, stuck johnson in that holding role dudes a Damn beast, and he's made the team slightly more attacking minded. But we still don't penetrate enough compared to Brighton for example.  We are the new Burnley of the division maybe?

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10 hours ago, Rampage said:

Had a mysterious thought today. Did Pearson somehow lay the foundations of our present miserly goals against tally? We have kept the defensive bit and improved the rest. What do you reckon?

No there has been some misconception that we have been poor defensively in the past few seasons.

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9 hours ago, Ninos said:

I made exactly that comment to those that sit around me - met with eye rolls and Pearson loathing lol ... I'm not a Pearson fan (because he didn't understand the basic footballing concept of making runs and getting open) but it's true he did a good job with that and it was Pearson who yanked Shacks out and installed Pearce - a revelation. 

Mac has done three things: instilled confidence in players (Baird bent Ince etc)  and trust in them rather than yank and berate, stuck johnson in that holding role dudes a Damn beast, and he's made the team slightly more attacking minded. But we still don't penetrate enough compared to Brighton for example.  We are the new Burnley of the division maybe?

We only kept 3 clean sheets in the league under Pearson, Brighton, Preston and Villa.

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6 minutes ago, rynny said:

We only kept 3 clean sheets in the league under Pearson, Brighton, Preston and Villa.

Argh!! So close to finding something he did right and you just take it away. 

I think playing Pearce (although wasn't that forced through injury?) might have to be his greatest achievement. 

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Other teams are leaving only a central forward up against us and Johnson is told to stand in front of them and win the headers which he generally does do leaving a straightforward job for Pearce and Keogh behind, currently working very well

another real bonus is at our set plays where he is instructed to get on the back post leaving Pearce Keogh bent to challenge centrally or Johnson himself to power in at the back and that has provided several goals for us in reality and many teams can't cope with it ( unusual for Derby) 

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20 minutes ago, rynny said:

We only kept 3 clean sheets in the league under Pearson, Brighton, Preston and Villa.

Clean sheets isn't a true measure, it's a nostalgic fiction to bang on just about clean sheets. If the other team scored a wonder goal does that diminish the defensive performance?

 If a team gives up one goal or less it's a damn good defence.

Basically we didn't concede under Pearson, but we pretty much never scored. Under Mac we continue to not concede and we score a bit. That's sort of the point that @Rampage was making.

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Well a 4-2-3-1 would be the obvious way to do that. But we won't do that and I don't think we should either.  Would mess up the team balance and style.

Thorne is, sadly, injury prone. And there is no point building a side / formation around a player that doesn't stay fit.  I know that when he is on top form he is incredible but it just means that we miss him all the more when we build a side around him and he gets injured for another 9 months.  I think he should battle it out with BJ for the DM role.

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