Plenty of people seem to have made their minds up about Eddie Johnson. They’ve mocked some Americans for trying to suggest he has pace and knocked his positional sense and finishing ability. It was perhaps a little harsh to expect Eddie to have an immediate impact when he was thrown into the deep end during a difficult Premier League season for Fulham last year – especially as the deal to bring him to Craven Cottage was orchestrated by Lawrie Sanchez and Johnson found himself working with Roy Hodgson.
The arrival of another Johnson and Bobby Zamora meant the American’s chances of first team football this season were pretty slim. He wasn’t pulling him any trees on loan at Cardiff either at first. The Cardiff fans were getting on his back, Dave Jones was limiting his appearances to injury-time cameos (and by all accounts he was lucky to get those). But there’s been an improvement of late. He scored his goal for the Bluebirds in a recent home win over Doncaster Rovers and this interview gives an insight into his thinking.
There were rumours about Johnson making an early return to Fulham after Christmas as his chances of making an impact at Ninian Park receeded following some poor performances. But he insists that he always wanted to prove his worth with Cardiff.
Personally, I have never wanted to leave this club, not even when things were not working out for me. I have worked hard every week and had to be patient. I made sure I stayed sharp so that when my chance came I could take it.
I knew I would get my chance and it came. I have enjoyed my time here and when my jersey gets called I will give it 100% and go for goals.
The gaffer has given me confidence by relying on me and giving me a chance. Every day after team training I stay back and work on my finishing. There are 10 Championship matches left and I’ll be ready if the manager needs me.
Johnson isn’t giving his Fulham future too much thought, which is good, because – regardless of how well he performs on loan – I’m not sure it’s too bright.