Following the news that broke earlier in the week regarding Michael Johnson’s departure from City, Roberto Mancini and former City boss, Sven Goran Eriksson, have expressed their sympathy for him. Johnson made a statement after the news broke declaring that he is attending the Priory Clinic in regard to his mental health which brings a premature close to what was such a promising career for the former City Academy graduate. Mancini said:
Michael Johnson was a guy with a big talent and I am sad for this, sad for him. He could do everything with his talent. I am very sorry for him. I hope he can resolve all his problems.
Sven, who managed Johnson during his time at City and later at Leicester City, has expressed his regret at a wasted talent. He said:
I really hope that he will fix his problems because he’s a good man and a really good player. Everybody, including me, thought he should be an England player for many years and it’s just a pity it hasn’t happened like that. I thought of him so highly.
He worked hard, he was fantastic in training and you wouldn’t have seen anything was wrong at all. Maybe it’s a lesson for young players. He was injured a lot and, mentally, that can be hard for a young football player who just wants to play. It’s a pity and I really hope he will get the help he needs and solve his problems as quickly as possible.
Johnson’s time at Leicester was cut short halfway through, with no official explanation ever given, but Sven said he had never been informed the player was struggling with off-field issues.
I don’t know why he left because I had already left by that stage. But I thought he was on the right path then. After that, I don’t know what happened.