Adam Johnson providing an unwitting self-critique with his England beliefs 2

The Guardian‘s Louise Taylor recently conducted an interview with Sunderland’s Adam Johnson, and it made very interesting reading.

Johnson was discussing the issue of players being overlooked by England on the basis of the clubs they played for and he made a series of very relevant points which are more than fair - unfortunately, he also unwittingly provided a explanation for why he is not a victim of that particular issue.

“A lot of people saw me as almost a certainty but if you look at the last squad it was almost all top eight bar Caulker, who wasn’t meant to be in it but for (Phil) Jagielka’s injury. I think that says a lot about the selection. I don’t think it really matters how well you’re playing, it’s who you play for. If you look at the last 10 squads it’s a fact, isn’t it?”

This is the problem with Johnson, both at international and club level: there’s a big gap between the player who he is and the one believes himself to be. In addition to which, he shows little-to-no awareness of the standard that someone of his talent should be held to.

Players from lesser clubs do get a raw deal with England, but Adam Johnson isn’t one of them. His incredulity at being overlooked is based on three or four performances within a single month (Fulham, Newcastle, Stoke), and whilst that was an impressive run of form it represented an anomaly within an otherwise indifferent season.

Johnson was rightly January’s Player of The Month in the Premier League, but he has been an irrelevance from February onwards and was anonymous for most of the second-half of 2013. Take the single month out of the season, and he wouldn’t even be one of the top-five performers in a squad which is currently 18th in the division.

It doesn’t scream ‘England international’, does it?

It would be interesting to know just which players Johnson believes he should be ahead of in the England hierarchy - Raheem Sterling? Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Adam Lallana? Jay Rodriguez? Those are all players who have not only produced more consistent form over the past eighteen-months, but who all provide a wider-range of positional options.

Johnson is not a well-liked player, and yesterday’s interview is a classic example of why: he has an overbearing sense of entitlement because of his natural talent, and never seems willing to ask himself the kind of questions that he’s only too eager to pose to the outside world.

Curtis Davies is unlucky not to be in the England squad, Fabian Delph is similarly unfortunate, and for a long time Adam Lallana was unjustifiably overlooked - but Adam Johnson? Not at all, he’s fortunate to have the eleven caps that he does.

Follow @premleagueowl

Free £25 bet for new users with William Hill.