Johnson will take on his former team at the Etihad Stadium for the first time since quitting the club in August. He has stated that—whilst he enjoyed the success that came with playing for the Manchester club—it was not a smart move for his career and one that he wouldn't advise any young player to make.
Now if I was a young lad, I wouldn't go to [Manchester] City. It's not that you're not good enough—it's just that the likes of Yaya Toure are going to play ahead of you, no matter what you do.
It's excellent when a club like Comes for you and you think you're going to play for the champions. But you don't actually play for the champions. You're a squad member and that's totally different.
Johnson was part of the Premier League-winning squad last season and also won the FA Cup in his time at the Citizens, and yet, despite the fact that he was seemingly living every footballers dream, he was more like a forgotten man than the hero many thought he was.
The winger made just 39 league appearances in his two-and-a-half seasons at the club and become increasingly frustrated at the lack of first-team opportunities afforded.
And whilst his comments reflect that, perhaps what Johnson lacked at the time was the wisdom and insight into knowing what his place in the team was in the first place.
In a squad that currently boasts the likes of Yaya Toure, Jack Rodwell, Edin Dzeko, Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Mario Balotelli, Adam Johnson was never going to be the star, the go-to performer that he can be at Sunderland.
Manchester City's depth of talent simply would have prevented that.
He should have known that. Perhaps his expectations of playing at the Etihad needed a reality check—which it seems to have gotten.
I don't know about you, but if the opportunity came up for me to sit on City's bench and play once every couple of weeks—picking up the FA Cup and Premier League in the process—I'd take the opportunity in a heartbeat.
And that's coming from a Manchester United fan.
I know we're biased because we don't have the opportunities that many professional footballers have, but even still, two medals in two years and the potential to learn from the best in the world is an incredible experience and one that would be incredibly hard to knock back for any reason.
Maybe I'm wrong and maybe Johnson's comments are indeed correct.
Or maybe the answer will be decided at about 1:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Do Johnson's comments about Manchester City hold up?
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