Andy Johnson’s Twilight

Don’t normally put stock in transfer rumors, but it’s a slow week and this story has legs.

Blackburn boss Steve Kean expects the green light to bid for unhappy Fulham striker Andy Johnson on Wednesday – and make him one of the first signings of the winter transfer window.

Kean is due to meet Rovers director Vineeth Rao on his return from a summit with owners Venky’s to secure the cash to carry out the £2million swoop.

I’ll just go on record and pronounce that Andy Johnson is definitely leaving next month (unlike Bobby Zamora whose status with the club is slowly entering the Tyson Zone*). Perhaps to Blackburn, perhaps somewhere else. He’s out of contract in the summer and will test the market in January. Let’s just accept it and move on.

He hasn’t been a bust, but certainly not worth the 10 or 12 or however many millions of pounds spent on it due to his constant injuries. Just look at the stats:

  • 2008/09: 31 appearances, 7 goals [+3 in FA Cup vs Sheffield Wed., and Kettering Town]
  • 2009/10: 8 appearances (17%) 0 goals
  • 2010/11: 27 appearances (45%), 3 goals
  • 2011/12: 14 appearances (53%), 3 goals [all vs QPR; +8 goals in Europa Qual/Group]

Now goals aren’t the be all and end all, but those percentages in relation to goals are a bit disappointing. For instance, Diomansy Kamara played in just 15% of last season’s league minutes but scored twice (and a hat trick in that one FA Cup match). In 2009/10 it was 13% and one goal. In 2008/09, he featured in just 12% yet scored 4 goals, along with 2 goals in 3 Europa League games.

I won’t go any further as Rich penned a wonderful piece about him back in October. So go read that (he even compares AJ with Kamara. Hmm).

It wasn’t a terrible investment by any means. Nor a “bad” one. Just one you had higher hopes for, and now it’s time to move on.

But, I’d hope for more than just £2m, no?

(*He could stay, go, or come down from the stands mid-game and punch Jol in the face on the touch line and none would surprise me. And pardon the Bill Simmons reference, I’m lazy; much like his writing in the past 5 or so years).

22 thoughts on “Andy Johnson’s Twilight

  1. 2m doesn’t leave the club with much to turn around on other, younger players. I also fear a shock transfer for Dempsey. This could be the January of our malcontent.

  2. If AJ goes does this mean that scoring a hat trick for the Whites is the kiss of death for your Cottage career?
    Last 2 hat tricks from 1. Kamara (left in next transfer window) and 2 AJ (leaving in next transfer window?)

  3. Yep, suspect you’re right.

    I can’t see how we can ask for any more than 2m though. Really that’s good business given his age and contributions, and I’d be surprised if anyone’ll pay this much.

    1. Me too. 2m will be good business and will free up salary to be used elsewhere (e.g. to give Dembele an improved contract). With him out of contract in the summer, the only way I can see 2m happening is if clubs figure they’d have to pay him that as a signing-on fee in the summer anyway.

    2. West Ham bought Kevin Nolan for 3m. Cameron Jerome and David N’Gog cost 4m. Danny Graham cost 3.5m.

      Sorry, but selling for anything less than 3.5/4m would be foolish on our part.

      1. Correct me if I’m wrong but none of those players were either (a) over thirty; (b) out of contract (thus available for free) six months from when they were bought; or (c) players who rely on their pace but have lost it as a result of age and/or injury. We will be lucky to get 2m for Johnson. And given that we’d need to pay him an additional 1m in wages until his contract was up, I’d say selling him now for whatever we can get rather than waiting for his contract to expire and for him to leave for free is imperative.

            1. But don’t contracts in your land work so that if we sell AJ, he’ll automatically sign a new contract with his new team? I’m fairly certain contracts don’t carry over when a player switches teams*, so we could charge 3-4m for him.

              (*which is why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer in footy)

              1. Yes but equally, the team signing him knows that if they wait until May they get him for free. So hard for them to justify the big spend now. A club threatened by relegation – like Blackburn – of course doesn’t have the luxury of time so of course we’ll be trying to sell to them, in which case we might get more than we should, but otherwise everything’s against us in trying to get a good price. His hat-trick against QPR is perhaps the salvation here.

  4. It is Dembele who is the one to watch- Johnson & Zamora are gone- Dembele has 1.5 years left on that ridiculous 3 year contract- who pays 5 million for a young player and then only ties them to 3 years? He will be sold in January for the most money the club can get back for him- he wont be allowed to stay and run down his contract.
    So where does that leave the club?

      1. I can’t imagine they’d sell him in January for how young and vital he still is. I suspect they’ll try to sign him to a new deal now and through the summer… and if they can’t, sell him to the highest bidder in July or August.

        Fulham aren’t clear of the drop yet, by any means. I know Dempsey and Dembele have higher ambitions, but I can’t see them being sold quite yet. Far too vital.

  5. I’ve worn me fingas to the nub defending AJ’s contributions that DON’T involve him scoring. We have looked at our brightest with him in the lineup. We will miss him when he goes and, if I follow the Bard of Baltimore to the next step, it concerns me that every striker we’ve been linked with is either from a lower standard or is crocked.

    1. I appreciate this but just don’t see it play out in real life. Everyone talks about his running but what I see when I try to watch this is zonal defences just passing him along. AJ runs from inside left to the right wing? The right centre-back passes him to the left centre-back who passes him to the left-back.

      I’d argue that since he’s been at the club we’ve been the opposite of what you say: he missed the entire European run and Zamora had his best performances when playing with Gera. Johnson’s been back fit and oh look, Zamora’s not functioning as well again. They *think* they play well together but the team seems a lot better without them doing so.

      And as Timmy notes above (see link), AJ has rarely scored important goals or goals against big clubs while he’s been with us. He hasn’t been involved in the big encounters, generally. I’d be genuinely interested in a more specific breakdown of games where we’ve been demonstrably better off with him out there, because for each of these I bet we could find three where he’s been absent and we’ve done just fine.

    2. One of the problems with the statistical approach is that there’s so much in football that can’t be measured. What I’m talking about with AJ is the defender that he pulls away AS HE IS MOVING. Look at Duff’s shots when he cuts in from the right wing. AJ counters by going to our right. The central defender moves a step or two and Duff pulls the trigger. Similarly, when AJ is the target man out wide and receives a ball, he invariably draws defenders towards him opening up slots for people like Dempsey, Duff, and Davies [sigh!] to pick up decent chances.

      In neither of these scenarios does he get a goal or an assist, but in each of them his movement has created space for other attackers. The only person in the squad who looks like doing this as well as AJ is Ruiz.

      But I’ll leave it at that.

  6. I personally fell that AJ is in the class of Steve Marlet
    Purchase price 10m, and a 3 mil a year salary,he will want to hang on for a free in the summer,and negotiate a 2year 3mil contract.

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