Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell has told the Chronicle that Adam Johnson’s favourite position is not out on the wing.
Johnson as used centrally in the recent match against Sunderland and Rodwell has revealed his belief that the midfielder likes to play in behind the main striker.
“Me and Seb were asked to play a bit deeper at Tottenham with Johnson in front of us,” said Rodwell.
“Playing him in the hole worked well and he had a good chance in the second half. He’s our creative player so we need to get him on the ball. I think he likes it in the hole, in the No 10 role where he can create things.”
According to whoscored.com Johnson has been used in a central role just once this season, with all of his other appearances coming down the left and right hand side of midfield.
It’s understandable why manager Gus Poyet plays him there because he has the ability to cut inside and rain shots on goal with his dangerous left foot.
He also creates natural width on the left hand side and has the ability to swing crosses into the box for his teammates to attack.
There is definite merit in the club using him more from a central position, but only at times when they’re using a formation that doesn’t necessitate wider players.
Otherwise, it seems like a case of if it’s not broken, don’t try and fix it because Johnson’s success for Sunderland and the majority of his best performances have all come from him starting in wider positions.
It’s encouraging that he has the intelligence to play centrally, but don’t expect to see him consolidate in that role over the rest of the season.