FanPost

Will Johnson: should he sit?

So over the past couple games, I've noticed something in a lot of the comments that would've been unthinkable a year ago: the idea that Will Johnson needs to sit. But this year, there seem to be plenty of reasons. While he's got three goals, two were largely created by other players (JJ and Valeri+Adi), and I'm struggling to remember the third. And while those finishes were well taken, he's had many, many more ill advised shots that spray well wide or high of the frame. He's second on the team in shots taken, ahead of our two forwards who also happen to be the leading scorers.

But it's not just goals and shots; there are misplayed passes that are cut out in dangerous areas, dribbling attempts that leave him dispossed and out of position, and rash, wild challenges that opposing attackers get around with ease (think his sliding lunge a few seconds before Higauin's golazo). Now these are all things that we allow in some other players, whose pass attempts can be audacious and whose primary job is something besides protecting the back four. In the captain, the anchor in defensive midfield, such lapses are more glaring.

Then, lastly, there's his attitude. Last year, it was directed at opponents. He got in their heads, got them to play angry, play foolish. This year, he's getting in his teammates' heads, screaming at them every time they miss a pass, ignoring their work when they do set him up beautifully (see Adi, Fanendo and goal #3 on Sunday). He's got his head in a different place than last year, and from outside the locker room, it almost seems toxic.

With all these things in mind, the calls for him to sit a game or two, to get his head right seem reasonable. But with him gone, a lot of the competitiveness leaves, too, a lot of fight and fire. The question is, do the pros outweigh the cons?

I don't know, but I sure see an argument for showing that his new salary and captain status don't make him untouchable. Since this has been discussed in several different threads the past few weeks, I thought I'd try to bring the discussion to one place, so have at it. Is his season so far worthy of a benching? Would benching him even work, or would it just up the pressure he puts on himself? What can we do to replace 2014 WJ with 2013 WJ?

Alright guys, I don't believe I have to say this but, just in case, please do not submit anything racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise not appropriate for even the younger Timbers fans.

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