There’s no sin in having ambition and wanting to sit in the dug-out coaching a side like Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, Bidvest Wits and SuperSport United.
In fact, Johnson tried that in 2013 when he replaced Gavin Hunt at SuperSport, but only managed to stick around for less than 50 matches before he was sacked for poor results. Sure, his bosses could have been a little patient with him given his track record at Stars before that. It was too hot in the kitchen, however.
Johnson at least got to scratch the itch – with the resources at the MultiChoice-owned club, the possibilities were endless. But home is where the heart is, to borrow from the old adage.
Prior to risking it at SuperSport, the 58-year-old had inspired Dikwena to equal their highest finish in the Premier League when they completed the 2012-13 season as runners-up to Chiefs. That is why he was such an obvious choice for SuperSport as a replacement for Hunt.
Dikwena did go on to enjoy some unprecedented success in the club’s history when the lovable Allan Freese took over and collected the MTN8 and Telkom Knockout in the same campaign and only months apart, giving the impression that maybe Johnson might never make his return.
However, when things went pear-shaped for Freese with the side dragged into the relegation quagmire, guess who was on hand to pick up the pieces... yes, good old Johnson, who just last season helped them finish third.
There must have obviously been a payout from SuperSport, who released him early from his contract, but I’ve been told before that you need to quickly get back on the horse, such is the life of a football coach.
And it wasn’t long before Johnson, a former youth coach at the famous School of Excellence – where he took Steven Pienaar in 1994 after he’d discovered him – was back in the swing of things, saving Dikwena from the drop.
The reason for this admiration of Johnson is because on Sunday afternoon, the man yet again achieved the unthinkable.
With none of us giving his side a chance of progressing to the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup following a 2-0 defeat away to AS Tanda in Ivory Coast a week earlier, Dikwena clawed their way back and emerged 5-4 winners on penalties, and will fly the SA flag over the next couple of months in the gruelling group-stage matches where they will no longer go unnoticed.
It would appear that Johnson is somehow able to go about his business uninterrupted, even when there is turmoil at the club, with board members not seeing eye to eye and results as poor as you can get.
For instance, at some point much earlier this season, Dikwena had only registered a single victory in 12 matches from all domestic competitions, but no one swung the axe.
And I wouldn’t buy into the argument that there was no one better out there to replace him. The PSL is never in short supply of capable local coaches with the necessary experience in the league.
Johnson simply held on to the job because he’s just a perfect fit.