Thursday, August 16, 2007

Neville Backs Johnson To Replace Crocked Rooney

Everton skipper Phil Neville believes Andrew Johnson can fill the void left by Wayne Rooney in the English national team.

Wayne Rooney will be out for around two months with a hairline metatarsal fracture, something that has both Manchester United and England worried.

While United will use Tevez instead, it is unclear who exactly will fill Rooney's international shoes. Former Red Devil Phil Neville believes team-mate Andrew Johnson can do the business.

"I'm sure there will be a lot of talk about him playing for England next week now," he said. "I'm sure he would have played in the summer if he hadn't been injured.

"He has carried on from where he left off last season - he terrifies defenders.

"He's not just a goalscorer; his workrate is an example to every young striker in the game. He typified our spirit and work ethic. It starts from the front - and he's up there with the best."

The likes of Jermain Defoe, Dean Ashton and Darren Bent are also in the fray, but Johnson is believed to be ahead of them in the pecking order.

"I think he has come back and improved on his link-up play, his touch, awareness and passing," continued Neville.

"He has gone up a notch or two and he has brought the confidence from last season into this. All that's missing is a goal - and I'm sure that will come.

"There were a few England strikers on show, but he really stood out. There are some good England strikers about, and I don't think we should be worried. We have a friendly against Germany - and it's the perfect time for Bent, Johnson and Defoe to be tested."

taken from



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