For no apparent reason, former Crystal Palace ace Andrew Johnson sticks in our mind as one of the most memorable strikers over the past two decades.
Well, we say no apparent reason, but we know exactly why. And that is because the slap-headed forward was really quite good back in the day.
Unfortunately, though, he was the kind of good that goes criminally under wraps because 1) his first name is Andrew and 2) his second name is Johnson. Hardly the most exciting is it? Had he been called Andrewinho Johnsono then we might just be spindling different tales about the young lad who sprung out from the depths of South America to become a Selhurst Park legend.
Alas, this was not the case, and Andrew Johnson – or AJ as he’s affectionately known by the Palace faithful – lives in isolation away from everybody’s favourite selections for Premier League greats; your Henry’s, Ronaldo’s, Canio’s, Zola’s and Viera’s of the world. Boring.
Against all odds the Bedford-born egg went on to produce a truly memorable debut season (after a player exchange involving Clinton Morrison in which he was reportedly valued at £750k) and netted a remarkable 21 goals for a relegation-embattled Palace side, finishing just behind the iconic Thierry Henry in the race for the prestigious Golden Boot.
Despite having very little help from the players surrounding him and being left to fend for himself in pure isolation at the tip of a 4-5-1 formation, he fought like his life depends on it, using blistering speed, perseverance and unrivalled finesse to his advantage.
The Englishman truly was someone who could bag any kind of goal from any angle. Within the 21 goals he scored, there were sneaky tap-ins, towering headers – which would put any excitable salmon to shame – and 30-yard screamers to boot. Not to mention the penalties. There were plenty of those (11), most of which Johnson hooked himself.
And that was all in one season.
Palace fans, what are your standout memories of Andy Johnson? Let us know in the comments below…
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