Michael Johnson: Another Young Footballer Cracks Under Expectation and Money?

True BlueCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2008

So, it is now common knowledge that a very promising Manchester City player, Michael Johnson, is having problems overcoming injury, which has to led to a problem with his attitude as well.

This has been an open secret on the streets of Manchester for a while, so there will be few people surprised by this.

On the surface the problem seems similar to the issues that came close to bringing Steven Ireland's career to a premature end last season.

Manchester City is likely to be the best club for talented or troubled young players to be at as they have a reputation for offering the best support and backup, but the questions remain about two such great footballing talents can get so close to burnout so soon.

It must be said that they two players aren't the first to suffer such a malaise, and that it is also very common in the wider community as well.

There are a number of Manchester based players over the years to have had drink, drug, and 'attitude issues' and most have managed to recover.

When ex-Manchester United player was so involved with ecstasy that his career stalled and spent some considerable time recovering from a mystery illness, the press were kept at bay.

A goalkeeper of some repute recovering from injury ballooned in weight and was never far from a bar at quite a young age.

The list is long but it seems that Manchester City had the most high profile candidate for last chance saloon of the year award, Joey Barton.

The question is, does the money they earn lead to the attitude problems, or does the money simply add fuel to a smouldering fire of discontent?

Of course, many will simply make a connection between money and bad behaviour, but I think it's a deeper issue.

If young people are not offered life coaching from a young age, then how can they retain any link to the real world?

Key life skills such as Managing Feelings, Motivation, Social Skills, Empathy, and Self-Awareness (a central plank of Daniel Golemans ideas of Emotional Intelligence) are key to being able to create a well rounded person.

Does the world of the trainee professional footballer offer opportunities to develop these skills?

On the face of it, the answer is no.