Andy Johnson, Ramblin’ Man

It’s no secret Andy Johnson has had a windy time at Fulham: most expensive player; star striker; constantly injured; percevied shadow of former self. But things have been turning around, and more so than in the past 4 days.

Here’s Andy Johnson’s last six months: 22 appearances, 9 goals, 1 assist

And six months prior to that: 22 appearances, 2 goals, 3 assists.

Are we witnessing a return to past glory (he’s finally staying healthy, fingers crossed) or a sudden hot streak (five of his recent goals have come in the past 4 days)? Like with most things, it may just be a change in tactics.

Considering the Guardian’s Chalkboards are down, I had to bust out soccernet’s heat map. The top is yesterday’s romp over QPR, the below chart is that Boxing Day nightmare against West Ham.

He was really all over the place yesterday, huh? That may be a concern for other outfield players, but it’s best to have the little guy marauding around, causing turnovers, and drawing penalties. He’s clearly more effective being everywhere and yet nowhere  than in one or two hotspots. Sure, he’s only been scoring in the past week but most of the heat maps this season show the same result.

The only concern I currently have is wondering what the heck that second goal celebration was all about. I think the QPR fans were right to show their disapproval. Sheesh.

5 thoughts on “Andy Johnson, Ramblin’ Man

  1. Hard to compare. In the W. Ham game there was no Zamora, no Dembele. I was over in London at the time, and went to the match, and remember repeating to my son “why the f*** do we keep pumping the ball up to the smallest man in the team”. He was playing almost like a sole target man in that match, whereas in the QPR game he had loads of support from BZ, Clint, Moussa, allowing him much more freedom.

    1. One thing I noticed about the front line on Sunday was how tough all four of them are to get off the ball. They are all really quite tough buggers when you think about it and always scrap to keep the ball when under pressure (and to get the ball back when it’s lost). Come to think of it, to a man that was a seriously manly team we fielded. Bodes well for the Stoke match.

  2. The biggest change for AJ this season has been a new manager who likes to attack with the ball on the floor.

    Hughes did well, but he relied so heavily on Zamora it was not funny. The fact that when AJ played, Hughes never came up with a way of playing that did not involve hoofing it up to the front man, really scuppered AJ. Arguably, Hodgson had a similar problem.

    Under Jol, we have shown that we can play without Zamora. Against Twente, AJ looked dangerous and bagged a goal. He was excellent against Odense, scoring two goals, the second one was particularly excellent. Then against QPR he was phenomenal. Other than once chance, when Zamora headed back to AJ for the volley, did Fulham really use Zamora’s physical and aerial presence when attacking?

  3. Alex L makes a good point; the game-plan is moving away from Bobby holding up aerial balls. No bad thing, perhaps, as we contemplate a future without him.

    These unsavoury headlines in the tabloids about an “unsettled” squad and Kasami’s penalty miss fine…they wouldn’t be put out there by Bobby’s agent, would they…?

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