After an up-and-down season, Cardiff City finished comforably mid-table. A scintillating start was followed by a dismal end and the same players looked half as effective as previously.
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12 – ROGER JOHNSON
Roger was another close season signing, from Wycombe Wanderers and was pinched from under the noses of our local rivals Swansea City, who were also interested in the player. He arrived as a back-up centre-half but did not have to wait too long for his chance. Injuries and suspensions hit both Darren Purse and Glenn Loovens in turn and Johnson was tested at Championship level for the first time. Johnson excelled. His performances were extremely impressive, full of aerial power and assured feet, he put in cool and effective performances whenever called upon. Of course, Johnson was helped enourmously by coming into a team playing at the top of their game but there were early calls for Johnson to displace Purse and become a first choice centre-back.
Chances were limited but Johnson remained patient and continues to impress when called upon. He got a good run in the side through November, and then again from January onwards grabbing his first goal for the Bluebirds in a 4-1 mauling of Preston in February. Darren Purse picked up a back strain which would keep him out and Johnson took full advantage partnering Loovens and then McNaughton in a makeshift but competitive back four.
Roger Johnson was one bright spot in the turmoil that was Cardiff City`s capitulation in the second half of the season. His form was consistent and solid, even though others weren`t and he displayed a maturity and leadership quality as other, more experienced players shied away.
Johnson was eventually named VitalCardiff player of the season, after a poll on this site – despite playing just half the games last season. He ended with 2 headed goals and showed some excellent vision and distribution from the back towards the end of last season.
Johnson improved with each performance and looks a great prospect for the future, he should start the season alongside Glenn Loovens giving Cardiff a strong centre-back triple unit. A remarkable first season for the player.
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