Vital Football

Our Next 'Johnson'

Our Next 'Johnson'
Despite the fact Pompey will never, or probably never find a player that can take Johnson's place and succeed as much as the England Right Back did, Pompey have to look for a replacement now that Great Johnson has left to join Liverpool.

I still find it very hard to believe that Johnson wanted to move to a top team just to secure the England right back position. Although Pompey were fighting for a place in the Premier League, the guy managed to impress everyone, including Mr. Capello who seems to have no preference to players coming from the top clubs over others coming from the lower half of the table. Giving that Capello is going to remain the same person next season, Johnson would have remained in his team if playing for Pompey.

Unfortunately, the chances that Johnson will shine next season are not as high as if he remained with Pompey and this can be tricky. However, out of respect for a Pompey Great, I look forward for the success Johnson will have at Liverpool.

Looking back at the void Portsmouth now have, some mentioned that Cranie has it all to prove himself in Johnson's vacant position at Pompey. This was also sustained by the player himself and Vital Pompey's site Poll.

This might happen, as if the guy plays some football like he is doing in Sweden with the Young Lions, he might be in for a great season. However, I do not think that Cranie can be our next Johnson next season. Cranie can be a very handy option for whoever will be Pompey manager as a substitute, but not to go directly into the first XI. This leaves Pompey to look elsewhere.

As the Confederations Cup goes on with all its disappointments and surprises, I have found what could be the perfect replacement for Johnno in South Africa's Siboniso Gaxa.

Since it has been said that South Africa's captain, Mokoena has joined Pompey, and this raised a few eyebrows among the fans, I grabbed the opportunity to look at his credentials while playing for the Bafana Bafana before stating my verdicts. But, I ended up admiring their right back.

Siboniso Gaxa, 25, plays his club football in South Africa with Mamelowdi Sundowns and has impressed since joining them last season from Super Sport United. Gaxa plays as right back for the national team regularly and occasionally, if the need arises he can play as centre back or even as a holding midfielder. His pace is incredible and has a 100% work rate. Giving that he can also be deployed as centre back means that the guy has defensive techniques, but seeing him playing in the right flank at the Confederations Cup also proved that he has attacking instincts, eagerness to shoot, go round the opponents' left back and cross into the box.

His massive performance against Brazil in the Confed's semi final, has given me the opportunity to dream that there might be another Johnson around that can fit in perfectly in the Portsmouth's team without costing too much since he plays his football nowhere in Europe. The only risk would be if he can make it in the Premiership.

I dare to dream to replace Johnno, and now that we have seen the talented Gaxa, Portsmouth has an opportunity to bring in our next Johnson. I hope Storrie isn't too busy dealing with Al Fahim and not following the Confederations Cup!

Written by Pompey Malta.

The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.

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Date:Friday June 26 2009
Time: 12:12PM


I hope Cranie can be given the chance to claim the RB spot, I think given a decent run of games he can make it his own coz he has the ability. I also think we'll be in danger of losing him if he doesn't play for us as he'll want to prove himself with another club. We should invest in our youth and give them a chance, I would also like to see Matt Ritchie given a few games as he is definately one that could make the step up.
26/06/2009 13:08:00
Whilst Cranie should be given a chance, it would make me very nervous if we rely on him to step us a automatic choice. Good detective work Malta - I hope someone from the club is watching so they can check it out!
27/06/2009 09:05:00
I think very much along those lines moley2. We had someone in Johnson who made himself very much unique in his style of play with us. But it pays to remember when he first arrived and played RB, a lot of Pompey fans were saying that he should be sent back to Chelski. His error rate defensively led to those calls. He was persevered with by HR and slowly but surely upped his game. Cranie aint and will never be another Johnson, he's a totally different style of player. But he does have the ability to be a sure footed and dependable RB. No glamour but bread and butter.
27/06/2009 09:06:00
Agreed there Tracy, he shouldn't be an automatic choice. Just given a chance. Malta, I've been digging around on the webb for stuff on Siboniso Gaxa, and he does seem to be a pretty tasty player. Two incredible goals from him at this link The aggression and pace of the EPL might take a bit of getting used to, but then good players always adapt. Yes, I like him, you never know Malta, you might have unearthed a gem there.
27/06/2009 09:26:00
Very good said Tracy. I am not sure about cranie too. That is why I have written this article, maybe someone out there can notice this and hopefully look out further. He is an amazing player. I really would love to see him at Fratton.
Pompey Malta
27/06/2009 13:03:00
I may be wrong but i don't see Crainie as the answer, with a bit of luck he may make a decent footballer but he's never going to be anywhere near Johnsons class.
Steve C
27/06/2009 17:41:00
I have seen the goals cornypomp. Amazing. This lad has talent. He is not happy to be a right back, he always look for that bit of extra play and attack. That is why I think we have found the player that suits us!
Pompey Malta
28/06/2009 05:24:00
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