Mancini warning for Johnson

Only half of Johnson’s 16 appearances for his club this season have

been as a member of Mancini’s starting line-up, with the player

seemingly the major loser following David Silva’s £24million

summer arrival from Valencia. The 23-year-old former Middlesbrough

man yesterday admitted he is finding life on the bench difficult,

but Mancini reckons the England international needs to “think more”

and work harder for the team. Quoted in several newspapers, the

Italian said: “England is like Italy. When a young player plays

five games very well all the newspapers say ‘oh this Adam Johnson

is a fantastic player’. “When you are young you read the newspapers

and think ‘I am the top, I am the top’. “But Adam Johnson is a

young player and doesn’t understand the game very well. I think he

can improve a lot more if he thinks more when he plays. “He’s a

good player but he’s just 23 years old, he’s played 20 games in the

Premier League and it’s impossible to think of him now as a top

player. “For this, he must work, he must think, he must work for

the team – not two dribbles, two crosses. In a top team you need

more. “If you’re only doing two dribbles you can’t be the best

player on the pitch. You must do dribbling, score a goal, you must

defend, you must help your team-mates. There is more expected of

him.”