As a neighbour and regular visitor to Craven Cottage, Fabio Capello needs no one to alert him to the merits of Andrew Johnson. That, at least, is Fulham manager Roy Hodgson’s diplomatic take on the subject.
But Hodgson’s enthusiastic appreciation of Johnson following the elusive little striker’s tormenting of Bolton’s defence inevitably reopened the debate on a still unfulfilled talent.
Johnson harried experienced centre-back Andy O’Brien into errors that led to two of Fulham’s goals and throughout the match his pace and selfless foraging proved an essential difference between the two teams.
EnglandCapello would doubtless relish more options in attack and Johnson, at the age of 28, will feel he may yet add to his eight England caps. If Hodgson believes as much, he is too long in the tooth to be drawn into making any public recommendation.
“I can’t say Johnson should be picked for England,” Hodgson said. “Fabio comes to our games and has seen him often enough to know if he wants him.
“But what he’s done for us is quite outstanding, apart from his goal. He gives his all for the team and as a defender it must be difficult to play against him.”