Wolves’ signing of relegated Roger Johnson is inspired

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Defender has been part of solid backlines throughout his career


Four Premier League teams in the last six seasons have fallen foul of the dreaded second season syndrome, but Wolves’ narrow avoidance of that treacherous trap on the final day of 2010-11 provides hope of a sustained spell in the top flight.

Of the last five clubs to have survived their second season following promotion, Portsmouth, West Ham and Wigan all lasted at least six campaigns in the big time, while the latter two – Sunderland and Stoke – are well on their way to replicating that.

Former Birmingham defender Roger Johnson is a great signing to help Wolves follow suit, as while eyebrows are often raised when big sums are paid forrecently relegated players, his reputation shouldn’t be affected by his old employers’ demise.

The Blues’ defensive record was better than seven clubs and they kept more clean sheets than fifth-placed Spurs, making it no shock that the star of that backline appealed to a side that kept just five and leaked 1.74 goals a game.

In fact, Johnson has made 30 or more league appearances in eight different seasons, in which the three teams that he has represented never averaged more than 1.53 goals conceded a game, with his career average being 1.26.

To put that mark into context, only the top eight Premier League sides posted stronger figures than that last season, and Johnson has spent most of his career either battling relegation or stuck in mid-table, rather than at places where shutouts are the norm.

Wycombe, Cardiff and Birmingham have benefited from an average of 11.75 clean sheets a year with the 28-year-old on their books so Wolves, having held on for just 13 over the last two seasons, would love that rate to continue.

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