Wednesday, 5 January 2011

England fans urge Mancini to give youth a chance

Even though international football has been off the agenda for some time now, with Premier League and Champions League concerns occupying the back pages of the newspapers in recent weeks, Fabio Capello will no doubt be keeping a close eye on the development of a couple of players he and many England fans believe will play a crucial role in the future of the team in the build-up to the Euro 2012 tournament and beyond.

Although Capello will obviously be delighted at the role that Jack Wilshere is playing at Arsenal, who finally look like they have the level of grit and determination in midfield required to sustain a title challenge until the closing weeks of the season, he won't be quite as happy with the way in which Manchester City are utilising the talents of young Adam Johnson. The football odds indicate City will mount a title challenge, but the young winger hasn't been given much of an opportunity to be part of it.

Johnson made a flying start to his career at City after moving from Middlesbrough a year ago and it initially seemed that those who doubted how wise the move was, with the club investing heavily in star names along with the likes of Johnson, would be silenced sooner rather than later.

However, since then, with the likes of James Milner adding another dimension to the City midfield and with the experienced David Silva providing the sort of pace and injection of cutting edge up front and along the wings that Johnson is also able to provide, Johnson's opportunities have been limited, despite cries from the terraces demanding Roberto Mancini to give the youngster a chance. In the future, England's hopes of upsetting the football betting and winning a major tournament will be down to players like Johnson, and they need experience at the highest level.

With City apparently unwilling to let the player go out on loan, let alone leave the club for good, and the player also thought to be keen to secure a future at Eastlands, England fans will just be hoping that Mancini puts faith in youth at the club sooner rather than later.