MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 03: Adam Johnson of Manchester City celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Sunderland at the City of Manchester Stadium on April 3, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Adam Johnson, the mercurial, inconsistent and underused winger who was sold to Sunderland for £10m has spoken publicly about his relationship with his former manager, Roberto Mancini.
In quotes that feature in today's Independent the England winger spoke of his difficult relationship with his Man City's manager.
Johnson, who should return to some of the excellent form that he is capable of, said of Mancini:
"I was disappointed I didn't play more at City. I felt I could have given a lot more, but it didn't work out.
"Was I given reasons? Not really, we didn't really speak."
"All the lads there would say that. That is how he was with certain players. It was difficult."
It's an interesting quote and it's one we have heard before. It does seem to be Mancini's style to be a little aloof and distanced from having close relationships with his players. There exist many effective ways in which to manage a football club and Mancini can point to the silverware accrued as evidence that his methods are beginning to bear fruit.
We also have to remember that disgruntled players will never have truly kind words to say about a former manager who was as hard as Mancini was at times with Adam Johnson. Mancini wanted what was best for the player but in the end a mixture of Adam's lack of application, misfortune and an evolving tactical system all pointed to Adam's eventual departure from the club.
"The manager understood I wanted to play football and he said, 'If we can get a good solution, we'll let you go.' That's probably the best bit of advice he gave me."
The above quote was the best solution for both parties. Johnson now has a chance to play at his boyhood club, where he will get endless chances to show everyone just what he is capable. As for Man City, they turn a profit on a player who rarely started, who also was going to start less frequently and, quite frankly, a player who just wasn't quite good enough for what Manchester City have now become.