Johnson: US players not fully respected in England

American players are still struggling to be respected in the
English Premier League, according to Fulham’s U.S. forward Eddie
Johnson.

Since joining Fulham from Major League Soccer’s Kansas City
Wizards in January 2008, Johnson has spent time on loan at
second-tier club Cardiff and Greek side Aris.

Johnson is yet to appear for Fulham this season, but the
26-year-old Florida native can draw inspiration from Clint Dempsey,
who has become one of the London club’s star performers since
arriving at Craven Cottage in 2007.

”Being an American it’s tough to come over here and do well in
such a big league where American players are still fighting for
respect,” Johnson said. ”I know it was tough for Clint Dempsey
when he first came over and he had to fight his way into the
team.

”But the club took a chance on me, so now it’s time for me to
deliver … I’m at the stage where I should be playing regular
first team football and I feel like, after the loans I’ve had at
Cardiff and in Greece, I’m ready.”

Johnson hopes his fortunes will change with Mark Hughes now in
charge after Roy Hodgson left Fulham to manage Liverpool in the
offseason.

”With a new coach coming in my job as a player is to try and
impress day-in, day-out, and I’m in a good environment to do
that,” Johnson said in an official Fulham magazine. ”A lot of the
boys such as myself like to express themselves and that’s something
that maybe we couldn’t do as much with the style we played with
Roy, which was more focused on being well organized and playing a
lot of one and two-touch football.

”Our new coaches put the emphasis on attack and like players to
express themselves … there are times in a game when you do need
to take more than two touches.”