Why people should start paying attention to Bristol City boss Lee Johnson

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 07 October 2016, 12:58

In his latest feature Andy Dillon (andydillon70) argues that Bristol City boss Lee Johnson deserves to be in the spotlight following his superb rise in the managerial arena.

For a country hell bent on turning its back on Europe - English football has a funny way of showing it.

Barely a quarter of the way into the Championship season and Huddersfield Town are being hailed as Yorkshire’s Barcelona and their German boss David Wagner is already a full blown football genius.

By pure coincidence he also happens to be best mates with compatriot Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

Klopp is godfather to one of Wagner’s kids and Wagner was best man at his pal’s wedding - my goodness, they even look a bit alike.

There’s no denying Wagner is enjoying a good start to the season with Huddersfield top of the Championship.

But while the growing hipster cult in football cannot wait to salute yet another foreign import, spare a thought for Lee Johnson at Bristol City.

Suffolk-born, English and more importantly he has pretty much mirrored everything that Wagner has done at Huddersfield yet there’s no big hoo ha.

Wagner got his job in November last year. Johnson was appointed at Ashton Gate three months later in February.

Both teams were struggling at the foot of the table.

Both clubs escaped the drop narrowly. City finishing just a point above Town on the fringes of the bottom three.

Since then there has been a revolution in the South West which matches anything being trumpeted at the John Smith’s Stadium.

City have won six of their opening 11 league games and Johnson’s cute business in the summer transfer window has been acclaimed - quietly - as the best ever for his club. With £11m spent that already looks money well spent.

Signing Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham on loan has been a masterstoke - 12 goals already and a call up to the England Under-21s testament to that.

Gary O’Neil has added experience in midfield to complement the youngsters in this blossoming team.

Former Juventus centre half Hordur Magnusson knows how to handle the English game having been part of the Iceland squad which humiliated England at Euro 2016.

City are fifth in the league, just five points behind Huddersfield and into the fourth round of the EFL Cup. Ashton Gate’s well on its way to an impressive revamp and a promising future beckons.

It’s no wonder that Johnson was heavily linked with the vacancy at Aston Villa - a much bigger club with huge resources.

Yet he was quick to snuff that one out and declare his loyalty to the people who gave him a chance at Bristol City. He has unfinished business.

All this has been going on while Wagner is being held up as the next big thing in English football: the latest export from Germany revolutionising our industrial old game and dragging it into the 21st century.

It’s a bit early for that - let’s see come May whether Huddersfield have maintained this run of form based on double training sessions over 46 games.

Johnson is typically English. He is working his way up in management. From Oldham and Barnsley to Bristol City and who knows where next?

Unfortunately he is English and doesn’t have friends in high places which makes him unfashionable in the current climate of worshipping everything foreign while overlooking everything that makes us great.


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