Is It Too Late For Johnson?

17 03 2010

Encouraging news from the England camp with Delon Armitage amongst others being released back to their clubs for the final weekend of the 6 Nations. The team hasn’t been announced yet, so the Compulsive Hooker cannot report that the obvious and much needed replacement, in the shape of Ben Foden, will start. Neither can we rule out that Martin Johnson will ignore this obvious solution and do something else extraordinary. At the very least we can be assured that Ugo Monye won’t be asked to fill the 15 shirt again, as he has been released back to his club due to injury.

Joking aside, these are positive steps as it gives Johnson an opportunity to throw Chris Ashton into the mix. Matt Banahan has come back into the reckoning as a further left wing option, yet his lumbering style is not what England need at this moment in time. To the Compulsive Hooker, his selection was always a homage to size over skill and pace where it counts. A return to this path would represent a further backwards step for England.

Another difficult decision will be whether to select Jonny Wilkinson at 10 considering his knock last week and Flood’s deft touches standing flat when he came on. In our opinion and as we have stated before many times, the problems do not begin and end with Jonny, good as Flood was when he came on, so therefore Johnson’s loyalty in this case will hopefully continue.

These are all difficult decisions and we hope that Johnson makes the ones that represent positive steps forward. For most England fans, win on Saturday or not, Johnson’s time is up and only a performance of sheer brilliance could bring a stay of execution.

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