Stubbs defends Johnson
By Peter ORourke
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Alan Stubbs believes Andrew Johnson has been scared off appealing for penalties.
Everton defender Alan Stubbs believes team-mate Andrew Johnson has been scared off appealing for penalties because of the criticism he received earlier this season.
Johnson has been accused of going to ground to easy this season and the striker has been singled out by opposition managers and supporters.
The England international was unlucky not to win a penalty in Monday's draw with Aston Villa when he appeared to fouled by Stilian Petrov inside the box, but Johnson did not even appeal for the incident.
Stubbs now feels the negative publicity surrounding Johnson has affected him.
"The Villa incident was another one where AJ was probably too honest for his own good," said Stubbs.
"If that had been another player from another team, they probably would have been rolling about all over the place and would have got the penalty - and it should have been given.
"Hopefully it will turn. Other managers have moaned about him but anyone who looks at the game can clearly see it was a stonewall penalty. Anywhere else on the pitch it is a booking straight away.
"I thought tackling from behind was outlawed a few years ago so how you can do it in the box and not give a penalty away is beyond me.
"It is unfair on AJ because he is a great lad, a proper professional and he has been fantastic for us.
"But it looks like he is scared to go down now because of what people might call him.
"But as far as we are concerned we don't care what people call him because we know he is an honest lad.
"Because he is so quick and sharp, the slightest nudge knocks a player off balance and it does send you down.
"But he should not feel ashamed or embarrassed about being fouled in those areas and appealing because other players would not have a second thought about it.
"I know it is an issue with him because he doesn't like people talking about him as if he is a diver."