6/02/2010 12:43:00 am

Glenn Johnson: How exactly have Liverpool benefited from his £18m signing?

When Rafa Benitez signed Glen Johnson last summer, I argued at the time that it was a waste of money. Many fans - including me - also questioned the wisdom of spending such a large amount of money on a player that Liverpool (arguably) didn't need. I keep hearing from fans how Johnson was such a great signing; how he enhanced the team etc, but I truly don't see how that's the case. Given the catastrophic failure of last season, I'm struggling to see what positive, consistent, specific, measurable impact Johnson has had on the team.

Here are the facts:

* Johnson arrives, then Liverpool have their worst league season since 1994 (In terms of league placing)

* In 2008-9, 2 games were lost *all season*. Johnson arrives, and he features in 12 defeats in 35 games (over one third of all the games in which he appeared). Coincidence?

* In his 35 appearances last season, the team conceded 30 goals. His defensive frailty was exposed time and time again across the season, not only for Liverpool, but for England too.

* Despite Johnson's much vaunted attacking prowess, he managed only 3 goals and 3 assists all season. Then again, that's hardly surprising given that in the 7 years prior to joining Liverpool he averaged a paltry 1 goal and 2 assists a season. Johnson couldn't even beat his his career-best figures for Portsmouth in 2008-9, where he got 3 goals and 6 assists in 37 games. Is this the level of return expected from a 18m player who is, apparently, amazing going forward?

* Johnson was directly at fault for several important goals over the season, including (amongst others) both goals in the 2-1 home defeat to Arsenal, and Christian Benitez's equalising goal for Birmingham in the 2-2 draw at Anfield

Like many fans last season, I argued that Johnson should be converted into a right-winger; I still feel this should happen. Then ironic thing is Benitez plays everyone else out of position (unsuccessfully), but ignores the one person who would benefit the team by being played out position (!). In my view, if Liverpool persist with Johnson as a right-back, the team will continue to be defensively compromised.

Johnson's arrival coincided with the club's worst overall season (all competitions) in decades, which included failure to get out of the group stage of the CL; a horrible 7th place league finish (and the consequent failure to qualify for next season's CL). With that in mind, I seriously pose the question: How have Liverpool benefited from the signing of Johnson? How has the 18m been worth it?

Generalisations like 'he's great going forward' just won't cut it. If he's so great going forward, how come he only managed 3 assists all season? I'm looking for specific, measurable examples of how Johnson actually improved the performance of the team, and how the money spent on him was worth it.


Jaimie Kanwar said...

I am not interested in people bitching about my approach/being balanced/negative etc.  Justifiying money spent on players is a valid sibject of discussion, even if some people don't think so.  And one of the main goals of this site is to force people to justify their views, many of which are generalisations.  Any posts that moan about me/my approach will be deleted. Debate the issue, not the person.If you think I'm wrong, argue your case.

Comment policy: http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2007/10/comment-policy.html

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Just to pre-empt the inevitable attempts to derail the discussion: The myth that Liverpool only paid 10m or whetever for Johnson as a result of Portsmouth owing Liverpool money for Crouch is a complete media-created myth.

I've looked through the administrator';s report for Portsmouth, in which every outstanding debt is listed, and Portsmouth do not -and have not - owed Liverpool money in the last two years.

fraggs said...

My personal view? I don't think it works that way. I don't think that you buy a player for x amount of money and then see x amount of money improvement in the performances. I think Johnson is a very good player, not worth the money we paid for him but a good buy none the less. These new home-grown player rules are really what drove the purchase. We overpaid because of that but had we paid 10 or 12 million for him I'd be happy with the purchase. 
Our poor performances this season had many factors, how Johnson contributes would be just one. Jamie had an awful start to the season, I'd say that was a more contributing factor, particularly with a new defensive line in operation. Johnson then had a massive issue with confidence after he made some bad mistakes. I'd agree that Rafa probably didn't handle this very well but the player seems to be getting back to form now for his country. 
So I don't consider it a wasted 17-18 million. I consider it an excessive fee for a none-the-less very good player who I remain quite pleased to have in the team. 

Myth Buster said...

Oh look, it's Kanwar, making things up again

You pathetic little weasel

true fan said...

And how did we benefit when he was injured. He is 1 player and while i agree the fee was excessive he cannot be blamed for our poor performances. We just weren't good enough. I understand the arsenal mistakes but look at 08/09 against arsenal at anfield with even more individual mistakes. It was a draw but at least we scored 4 against a leaky arsenal defense yet we could only manage that goal from a scramble in the box against them last season at anfield and barely threatened them at the emirates. Look at the start of last season we were conceding like hell but still managed to score and win with johnson helping out in those early matches. But when johnson lost form and the injuries came, we never recovered.

true fan said...

I also thought insua was suspect some times this season beaten for pace and well he was even torn apart by stephen carr. He was much better in his cameos from 08/09. A lot of the goals we conceded in the latter half of the season was from our left btw.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Good points, but you haven't addressed the main question.  

How has Johnson's signing benefited Liverpool over the last season?

Teasle said...

Liverpool bought Glenn Johnson for 18 million but sold Arbeloa for only 3.5 million? In addition, Liverpool should have mustered their funds to buy a striker to replace Robbie Keane. Liverpool were left woefully short of striking talent, therefore the signing of Glenn Johstone is a luxery we could'nt afford. 

Jaimie Kanwar said...

What has Johnson's injury got to do with anything?  I'm asking about the 25 games he did play.  How did Liverpool benefit from his signing over the season?

Jaimie Kanwar said...

I completely agree.  A striker was the priority.  Why let Arbeloa go in the first place? IN fact, why let Finnan go?  He was an excellent right-back; very experienced; good getting forward, and a better assist ratio than Johnson.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Agree, Insua was also defensively suspect.  Johnson, however, is a full England International, has much more experience of the premier league, is older,  and cost a hell of a lot more than Insua.  Consequently, shouldn't we be expecting more from him?

Rafaout said...

Rafa OUT,Jaimie Kanwar IN.

AMWhy said...

How did Johnson benefit Liverpool? First, let's compare him to his predecessor, Arbeloa. Tell me Jamie, which is the better player? That's an improvement to start with! More than that though, Johnson is a player who likes to get forward and is making a name for himself with his runs towards the goal. Sure, they don't always get a goal but they don't have to - the mere presence of Johnson on the pitch means our opposition LW and LB need to pay extra attention defensively. He's also English.

Has he improved the team? Yes! Were the improvements he's made to the team worth the amount we paid for him? That's a different question.

fraggs said...

I don't think singing Johnson had any direct measurable benefit for the team last season in terms of results. I'm hoping very much that his impact will be over a long period of time. 

fraggs said...

Finnan had known injury problems. Check his time in Spain. I was disappointed to see him go too but on reflection I consider it a good piece of business. He was a great player but at the end of his last season in Liverpool he was struggling to stay fit. 

Jaimie Kanwar said...

That's all well and good but you haven't explained *how* Johnson' signing has benefited the team.

You alson haven't explained how Johnson is a better player than Arbeloa.

2008-9: Arbeloa in the team - Liverpool lose 3 games in all competitions.

2009-10: Johnson in the team - Liverpool lose 12 games in all competitions.

That is one piece of persuasive evidence that suggests that Arbeloa was more effective defensively than Johnson.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Thanks for your comments

You haven't explained *how* Johnson' signing has benefited the team. Saying that he gets forward because he wants to ;make a name for himself' is hardly persuasive evidence ;)
You alson haven't explained how Johnson is a better player than Arbeloa. 
2008-9: Arbeloa in the team - Liverpool lose 3 games in all competitions. 
2009-10: Johnson in the team - Liverpool lose 12 games in all competitions. 
That is one piece of persuasive evidence that suggests that Arbeloa was more effective defensively than Johnson.

You did get one thing right though - Johson is, as you say, English. :-P

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Fair point. I liked Finnan - great professional; another good player signed by Houllier, and part of the alleged 'poor squad' left behind by him.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Maybe the reason he didn't have any impact is because he was too busy singing :-D

(My many typos put yours to shame ;)

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Maybe the reason he didn't have any impact is because he was too busy singing :-D  

(I'm the typo king - you've got a long way to go before dethroning me ;)

Hairy Chester said...

Face it, Arbeloa wasn't great defensively either, he just benefited from stronger performances around him.  you don't think the loss of Alonso's presence and mascherano's poor early form might have also hurt us defensively? 

Jevon said...

I think he has not been as effective as he could have been but he is only going to improve IMO.
His strike for England recently was top class.

LL said...

According to opta:

Glen Johnson - Liverpool     
More successful crosses per 90 mins than any other defender         
Created more goalscoring chances per 90 mins than any other defender in open play         
2.19 completed dribbles per 90 mins is 0.83 more than any other defender


So your 'analysis' is actually pretty poor, but then again so is most of the stuff you write.

And you forget to mention that:
- Aurelio has been out for most of the season
- Hyypia has left. Our best defender last season.
- Arbeloa wanted to go, so he's gone. Keeping a player against his will won't bring the best out of him.
- Alonso has left.
- Liverpool had major injury problems at the start of the season, and played about 9-10 different back 4s in the first half of the season.

So that's Arbeloa, Aurelio, Hyypia, Alonso gone from our best back 6 last season. Leaving Carra and Masch. That will unsettle any team!

Finnan played 4 matches for Espanyol in the 08/09 season because of injuries, this season he played 21 for Pompey. Do you really think he would have made a contribution?

Insua was the most suspect one this season, our left back is the weakness in our defence. And i do expect more from Johnson than Insua, but we are also getting more from him. As the facts point out, Johnson is the best attacking defender in the league. And Johnsons defending has been improving as the season has gone on, he stated himself that he had learned more tactically in 5 minutes here than in the 2 previous years.

But i do get your point. Rafa Benitez bought Johnson, so he can't be good. That would mess up your agenda. Johnsons presence was the reason why Torres had so many injuries. Johnsons presence caused the whole team to underperform. It was johnsons fault that the pressure of Argentina to qualify for the WC made Mascherano unfocussed. Or was it all Rafas fault?

AMWhy said...

Ah, so you really want me to explain to you how the game of football works? Okay, here's a question for you. Seeing as we conceeded more goals and lost more games than the previous season, does that mean that Reina has become worse as a goalkeeper? Or is Agger worse than Hyypia last year? Crazy questions but they make the answer to your question clear. Has Johnson improved the team? Yes. Did the whole team play better? No. Is that all down to Johnson? No.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

If we lost more games and conceded more goals then yes, that means Reina had a worse season than usual, and yes, it means Agger was worse than Hyppia last season.  This is obvious. 

That doesn't make them bad players, but that's not my point.  I'm merely asking how Johnson benfited Liverpool last season.  What did Johnson do that had a specific, measurable impact on Liverpool's performance last season?  That is why players are bought, is it not? To improve the team?

zam said...

Agreed that Finnan should be retain in the team. He good in defend and forward. Establish player in PL

AMWhy said...

<span>"If we lost more games and conceded more goals then yes, that means Reina had a worse season than usual, and yes, it means Agger was worse than Hyppia last season.  This is obvious.  
That doesn't make them bad players..."  I'll stop you there.  This is my point exactly.  Johnson didn't play as well in his first year for us as he did in his final year for Portsmouth but that doesn't mean he hasn't improved the squad.  Seeing as our whole team played badly, it's flawed to say "hey, it's Johnson's fault".  Just because our team had a bad season that doesn't mean Johnson is a bad player.</span>

Your initial question should be "Has Johnson improved the team."  

As for your actual question: "<span>What did Johnson do that had a specific, measurable impact on Liverpool's performance last season?"  Well, what do you want to hear other than "he scored 3 goals and made 3 assists"?</span>

Stig said...

It's just not this simple. Not everything can be measured Jamie. Football is not a numbers game, and that's the beauty of it. A player x contributing y numbers of goals/assist is not automatically better than player Z making Y*2 goals/assists. What about Gareth Bale? Spurs didn't win a single game he played for a very very long time. And then they started winning and clinshed 4th. Did Bale suddenly become a much better player just because his win ratio changed?
In my opinion Johnson has certain attributes that are better than Arbeloas, mainly pace, skill, dribbling, shooting, crossing and flair/creativity. As a right back Johnsons offensive qualities are world class, and that's what drove the price up (and of course his nationality).
He was bought as part of a plan for unlocking opposition defences using the backs, not the wingers, to stretch deep defending teams. As such he was an obvious choice for the part. This plan did not work at all this season, but that was mainly due to problems in other areas, and a general lack of good offensive players. Some might say that that's why we should have used the money on strikers/wingers or whatnot. But firstly an established world class striker/winger in todays marked normally cost twice as much, and secondly the right back position needed to be filled. Keeping arbeloa was not an option. He had one yr left on his contract (that they allowed that to happen is an outrage btw)and wanted to leave. We certainly cannot afford to let players leave for free in our current situation can we? (and that actually is NOT Rafas fault) Thirdly Rafa said he wanted to change to a more attacing style of play.
Defensively Johnson, in my opinion, obviously is not good enough. I think Rafa thought of him as a work in progress in that matter, and he's still quite young. For me though he's not good enough, and I do agree that he might be better as a winger. Arbeloa is the better defender by a mile, and I always said he was one of the best right backs in the business at least defensively.

All in all I think we payed the marked price for Johnson and we should be glad he's ours. He's not perfect, but the initial idea behind signing him, even at a seemingly high price, was the right one. I do get the feeling that you are making your mind up first, and then look for the right stats to make your point seem objectively validated. This is not the scientfically right way.... As I said, stats are not the be all end all when judging player performance, but if you are using stats I'd be interested to see a comprehensive comparsment between the two. That should include amongst other things; successfull/failed passes,dribbles,crosses,tackles,interceptions, headers,chances created and so on. To make a more accurate picture you should also compare their stats to team average and maybe certain individual performers in the two different seasons also. Even this would not in my opinon fully grasp or explain what a player bring to a team, but at least it would be interesting to see. Your very basic, superficial, stats doesn't really say anything interesting about either player...

Jay said...

Arbeloa (maybe aided by Hyppia) did help our backline play the offside trap far more effectively so that we weren't exposed to as many one on one situations previously.  I can accept that Alonso being far better than Lucas at closing the angles and preventing balls being played directly to opposition strikers feet also helped in this situation too (one thing that never gets brought up when discussing the drop off from Alonso to Lucas, with everybody focusing on the hollywood balls as if he were pulling these off every time he touched the ball, while forgetting his defensive presence...)

Jay said...

<span>Arbeloa did help our backline play the offside trap far more effectively so that we weren't exposed to as many one on one situations as we were this season.</span>

<span>I can accept that Hyppia being far more dominant in the air than Agger/Carra/Skrtel and more authoritative in organising the defence was also a factor, as well as Alonso being far better than Lucas at closing the angles and preventing balls being played directly to opposition strikers feet also helped in this situation too (one thing that never gets brought up when discussing the drop off from Alonso to Lucas, with everybody focusing on the "Hollywood balls" as if he were pulling these off every time he touched the ball, while forgetting his defensive presence...), but it has to be said that Arbeloa was a far more solid defensive presence than Johnson 


Redman said...

the statistics of last season will point to johnson not improving the team since his signing. Is it right to look at him in isolation. Many players had a poor season Carra had an awful start to the season that in my opinion was down to Carra not the fact he was playing alongside johnson. Gerrard was woeful at times Riera, Babel etc etc. Would Johnson have been a better player in a better or in form team. Well we dont know the answer to that. We do know that capello rates him and apparently wont have a problem playing him in a defence containing Carra.
Most premier league managers bemoan the fact that transfer fees for decent english or homespun players are exaggerated. Johnson is no exception, when we signed him it was reported that Chelsea had also agreed a fee to take him back there he chose to come to Liverpool. Arbeloa wanted to leave he wanted to go back to spain, Deggan was a complete folly so we did need a right back. Not sure one as costly as johnson but we did need one.
I always look at players we and other clubs sign and ask the question is he better than what was already there. In my opinion Johnson did improve the right back position at the club. There have been plenty of other signings that are questionable as to improvements. Look at Riise was Aurillio better than him answer no so why did we sign him. Look at Babel was Riera a better player. in my opinion no so why sign him. Too many managers RAFA included sometimes sign players in my opinion just to sign a player not really looking at players already at the clubs.
Also it must be demoralising for young players like Darby, Kelly, Irwin whoare told they are close to first team football and then find themselves behind another England international

Jay said...

I don't think a striker was a priority then or is the priority now.  Until we get some real quality on the wings we will continue to struggle to create quality chances on a consistent basis.

Even if we blew our budget to bring in Higuain to support/backup Torres next season (not really sure who everybody is focusing on now that Villa's gone to Barca), with Kuyt and Maxi occupying the wing positions I still wouldn't be too optimistic about our title chances (I refuse to drop my desire for upcoming seasons to just qualifying for the "Champions League")

Jay said...

I disagree with you there Jamie - <span>I didn't think a striker was a priority when we bought Keane, didn't think a striker was a priority last season and I still don't think that a striker should be a priority now.  Until we get some real quality on the wings we will continue to struggle to create quality chances on a consistent basis. </span>
Even if we blew our budget to bring in Higuain to support/backup Torres next season (not really sure who everybody is focusing on now that Villa's gone to Barca), with Kuyt and Maxi occupying the wing positions I still wouldn't be too optimistic about our title chances (I refuse to drop my desire for upcoming seasons to just qualifying for the "Champions League"! )


Jay said...

It's not so much that Johnson's defensive positioning is poor - he's usually there to track his man as necessary.  His problem is that he seems to have a complete inability to prevent crosses getting past him and into the box!  

Even when he manages to trap his man against the byline, more often than not the ball goes flying past him into the box where we do not have a dominant physical presence to counter all the man-mountains that are being brought in to pretty much every strike-force rotation in the Premiership nowadays, and this regularly leads to chaos at the back.  We then have the exact same issue on the opposite flank, with wingers consistently getting the ball past Insua with ease when they decide not to just run past him.  

Most defenders are capable of just lifting their foot and blocking a cross launched from short range, but for whatever reason our two first choice fullbacks this season seemed incapable of completing this most standard aspect of their jobs and it was a massive problem for our team 

Max said...


I have to agree with you about look at what is at the club before signing players.

Rafa could have promoted some youngsters to get 1st team experience and used the money from the Johnson deal to buy a proper striker to partner Torres. I just hope we dont see the same 2 holding midfielder tactic again this season coming.  

Why have we seen no English youngsters come through the ranks in the last six years? They wont cost 18mil...

We should have IMO kept Finnan as he was good defensively and had the forward ability too yet Rafa signed Degan and let go of Finnan.

I have no problem with Johnson, he is a very good player but we paid 18mil for a RB only because he is english. Was there no other options as good maybe even better at a much lower price?

Another point I want to make is about Aquilani. Rafa knew that he was injury prone and also paid a huge amount for him. Why did we not rather go for someone like Turan. We only have one natural winger in Reira but he is now on his way aswell. Looks like Yossi is going now too. Who the hell will we have then? Babel doesnt cut it as a winger yet Rafa still keeps on playing him there. We will only have Kuyt and Maxi who to be honest do not have the natural ability to get behind the oppositions defence.

I want Rafa out but it looks like he is being bought some more time. I will still support LFC no matter what. I do not believe that Rafa is going to get us anywhere again this season coming. How much longer should give Rafa to deliver no 19?  Only time will tell until everybody will be calling for a replacement.

Samuel said...

Hmmm... I enjoy the editiorials on here, but lately it is getting to be a bit of a witch hunt.

On the topic of Glen Johnson though, I agree he has been a waste of money. 

He brings more in attack but less in defense.  Since we play more teams that sit back and defend than those that will actually attack us from the start he does improve the team. So yes he has been a net improvement over Arbeloa IMO but not one that justified such a significant transfer price differential.

I, for one, don't think an attacking RB with poor defensive skills should be worth 10m let alone 17 or 18m.  It might have been moving him out of position again... but Kuyt could have filled that role better and he's a forward.

Jay said...

I've got the same issues with Rafa's latest transfers as you Max.  Although one of the better attacking right-backs around, Johnson was still a luxury signing at £18m in a team that could not afford that luxury.  Same with Aquilani & Keane - we already had Gerrard and Benayoun that were fully capable of playing in that role behind the striker, as well as Pacheco waiting in the wings and Kuyt who was more suited to playing through the middle than out wide.

Three massive signings made, while ignoring the gaping holes we have on the wings, which gives me the distinct impression that Rafa still does not have any idea what is needed to win the Premiership (clue: it is not fullbacks/wingbacks)

Nickname said...

To be honest you don't need hindsight to know that Degen was never better than Finnan.

I think it is a shame Finnan left when he did, i hoped he had another year left at Liverpool, saying that i wouldn't want him playing for us now.

On Johnson, all i would say is that in 1 season he scored one more goal than Arbeloa did in 3 seasons. I thought at the time and still do that he is a good buy, we over paid that is for sure. I will not say he had a great season but he showed enough to me to for me to reserve my judgement for one more season.

Arbeloa was good, but i think Johnson is better. Maybe if we had him in 08/09 we would have won the league, of course i can not back this up with any evidence, but i think this was Rafas thinking.

Nickname said...

Am i alone in thinking that Maxi was a good signing? I thought he did quite well for us after his first 2-3 games. I thought he was well missed against Madrid in the semi's.

Samuel said...

I thought Maxi was a useful bit player but no more than that.  He had some good games and is a good depth player. 

What I feel we need though is a real dribbler and someone with speed to break down the opposition.  

I really think Turan could be that player (realistically affordable with a couple sales).  In fact I would bet that he could.  It's rare to see a player who is so consistently influential to his team.  It's like he is involved in a goal (for club or country) 2 out of every 3 games.  I don't care if he plays in the Turkish League... he was that that good in the Europa League and for his country as well.

Steve Pike said...

We needed more English players in our squad.  English players have a high market value and always cost more than they should.  Who are the next best English right backs? G. Neville, W. Brown - No thanks
Liverpool's defence have not performed well as a unit this season.  Insua has been suspect, Agger has had injuries, Skertle has had injuries and a confidence crisis, Carragher started poorly but imporved.  Dont you think its a bit harsh to lay all the blame at Johnson's door? 

Fairness said...

Witch hunt is an apt word.

Jaimie seriously please chill out,(calm down, calm down)
whats the saying? 'one swallow does not a summer make'

'Well one bad season does not a bad manager make'

(look what you made me do jaimie- wirte bad imitation haiku)

Jaimie Kanwar said...

I am perfectly calm.  Just because the subject of the post does not align with your beliefs/expectations does not mean that I am somehow irate/angry.

And it is not a with-hunt at all.  Against whom, exactly?  This is a valid topic of discussion - I have argued that Johnson was not worth the money in his first season, and didn't make the requisite impact on the team.  It's not personal.

This site is about analysis of LFC.  That is abundantly clear.  So, funnily enough, I tend to post things that...anlayse certain aspects of LFC.

Get over it already.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

I am perfectly calm.  Just because the subject of the post does not align with your beliefs/expectations does not mean that I am somehow irate/angry. 
And it is not a with-hunt at all.  Against whom, exactly?  This is a valid topic of discussion - I have argued that Johnson was not worth the money in his first season, and didn't make the requisite impact on the team.  It's not personal. 
This site is about analysis of LFC.  That is abundantly clear.  So, funnily enough, I tend to post things that...anlayse certain aspects of LFC.

boris said...


unless all other variables are constant, your implication that johnsons presence has resulted in liverpools losses is unfounded.
<span>"If we lost more games and conceded more goals then yes, that means Reina had a worse season than usual, and yes, it means Agger was worse than Hyppia last season.  This is obvious."
No, this does not make sense, your logic is flawed. The fundamental context being that this is a TEAM sport, means that you are not allowed to make these claims. so what about variables such as beachballs? that skews data. You need empirical evidence to support your claims here of individual player statistics and performanceYou need to measure:how many tackles agger made in comparison to hyypia etc
and with reina, i dont think its fair to compare a GK performances season by season, purely because if you try and measure it by something like Saves, then if the defence played really poorly and let lots of people through for one-on-ones then hes not going to be able to save them all that well is he. goalkeepers are at mercy of the performance of the players in front of them.
THE ONLY way to measure a goalkeepers performance for season by season comparison is through unforced errors. fumbling the ball, a ball slipping under the hands etc
just because the team loses more, does not mean you can infer that Agger had a bad season compared to Hyypias previous one. nor can you infer that Reina had a worse season compared to the last. that is obvious</span>

Jay said...

Nickname, for me the argument isn't that Johnson isn't a quality fullback, an upgrade over Arbeloa or whether he was worthy of his transfer value in this market.  I think most of us would say that in spite of his defensive deficiencies he is still one of the best fullbacks around at the moment and therefore worthy of ~£18m.

The argument is whether that was the position that most needed an £18m player signing.  Title winning teams can easily cope with having just "decent" fullbacks, but none of the title winners have ever had such a paucity of quality wingers as we had/have.  

For me, that is the issue here - the opportunity cost of buying an £18m fullback (and ~£18 backup attacking midfielder) means that we lose out on buying a much needed top of the line winger, dominant centre-back or second striker.  It's like taking your perfectly decent car for a MOT, being told that you need to change your tyres and instead you just purchase some top of the line rims...

Jmc said...

I agree that Johnson is a poor defender and would be better as a right midfielder than right back.
This would allow Kelly or Darby to make that position their own,if Rafa believed in homegrown talent which doesn't seem to be the case.
Arbeloa was better as a right back and could also play as a central defender,Johnson is good at neither although right midfield would help.

On the positive side 3 goals and 3 assists is better than Arbeloa attacking wise I think.

But to choose one player as the weak link is unfair,he didn't play in all games,most but not all and it's a team effort to win and lose.

Alothor said...

First of all, regarding Johnson as a right winger. Often people say about attacking full backs that they could play as well or better as a right winger, but this is not always the case. Look at Daniel Alves, a great attacking fullback, which people have said should play as a right winger in the Brazil national team (which is actually kind of odd because it wouldn't fit Brazil's system but anyway).

He played as a right winger in the last el classico, did not do so well and was changed back to right back in half time. While this does not show that Alves could not do well in the position, he might be simply unused to the play style, it does show that he might not be so good as a right winger as some thought.

I don't recall having seen Johnson play as right winger, and if he hasn't been tested in that position I don't think we can say he would be bad at it, but my point is that full backs attacking down the wings does not always make good wingers. I think Johnson is best as a full back but then again who knows?

But more to your point, I agree that 18m is a lot for a defender, still I'm happy with this signing, we need quality in the team, and to me Johnson is a good player, which I will try to give my reasons to.

While the number of his assists and goals have not been particularly outstanding, we should have in mind that the goals have come from a defender. Even if he is an attack-minded player, I don't think he should be expected to score as much as the wingers or strikers.

Also, the whole team has struggled offensively this season, so in context with the rest of the team Johnson have not done badly offensively imo. Also, remember that when he has played for Portsmouth he have had more mediocre players around him and naturally you don't get as great statistics under those circumstances since you don't get as many goal scoring opportunities or chances to make assists and your passes don't get converted to goals as often.

But defensively he has struggled a bit. In the beginning of the season we often found Johnson high up the pitch contributing to our attack, but he got carried away and was to far up field so that he didn't get back in defense in time and because of that we were hit on the counter attack and were conceding.

But later in the season Johnson has improved on his defense, something both he and Rafa have pointed out, it is no coincidence that the examples of his defensive frailties you give have come from earlier in the season. He is also at an age for a defender where he can still improve defensively.

With this in mind I think that Johnson have neither had a season particularly bad compared to others in Liverpool nor do I think he will do badly next season, I actually think he is a great full back and will be an important player to the club. The only thing that worries me is if his injuries this season is an indication of more to come.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

it is *slightly* better than Arbeloa, but still worse than Johnson's previous season with Portsmouth. Surely playing with better quality players should mean an increase in creative output, especially if he is so amazing going forward like so many of this fans argue...?

Max said...

Nobody is laying the blame at Johnson's door whatsoever, the topic is about whether the 18mil spent on Johnson by Rafa was benificial for the club.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Exactly, Max.  The key point here is, as you say, whether the 18m spent on Johnson created any specific, measurable benefit for the club over the last season.

Nickname said...

*slightly* better, try 300% better (when talking about goals)

Nickname said...

Could you get a top of the pile attacking player for 18m?

I presume that Rafa felt he couldn't get what he needed for 18m (Or even thought Aquaman was the attacking player we needed). So he spent money in an area that could bring goals and open up defenses. It didn't work out like that this season. I hope it works next.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Nice one, Nickname.  Your attempt to make the difference between 1 goal and three seem monumental is very amusing.  You'd make a fine Politician ;)

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Hmmm.  Are you really suggesting that there are no decent attacking players available for less than 18m?!

How much did Arshavin cost, for example?  Cristiano Ronaldo (when he went to United); Wesley Sjneider when he went to Inter last year?  Rafael van Der Vaart?  The list goes on.

Max said...

"but he got carried away and was to far up field so that he didn't get back in defense in time and because of that we were hit on the counter attack and were conceding."

I am not trying to cause an argument here but but you cant say that Johnson got carried away and was to far up the field? Isnt it Rafa who gives him the instructions to get forward? 

Is it his fault that we were hit on the counter attack? We were conceding goals with 4 defenders & 2 defensive midfielders.

Attack is the best form of defence, something Rafa forgot...

Nickname said...

Just calling it as I see it. I mean if we are asking what did Johnson do for us last year. In goal return he is 300% better than Arbeloa. But no matter how it looks it is still fact ;)

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Yes, you're absolutely right.  But then Johnson also did 300% worse than the previous season with Portsmouth.  Not so great :-P

Nickname said...

No, i'm not saying there aren't, i was asking if there are. I guess i am also asking if there are players (last year) that would have come to Liverpool for that fee?

I think AA was 15m, but that is just a paper talk number.

Also remember Rafa spent 20m on an attacking player, so he thought with the majority of the 08/09 team plus a better right back and an extra attacking midfielder he had the team to win the league. We missed Alonso more than he expected.

As far as what i have read in the Dutch press VDV wanted to stay at Real to fight for his place and Sneijder didn't want to move to England

Nickname said...

Well if that is true, then Arbeloa is 900% worse than Johnson was when we bought him, could you imagine what could have been if he had bought that 900% better form with him to Liverpool 8-)

IVan said...

I don't rate Johnson such a big player... he cost us the Europa League final.. Ok,  a good English player, but if the case is to have English players, why allowing Crouch to leave for half the price he cost us? Why letting Pennant go for free? Why selling Warnock for very cut price? REgarding the defence, why letting experienced players like Arbeloa, Finnan, Riise but first of all HYPPYA go for less than 7 millions alltogether, for replacing them with the likes of DEGEN (in for Finnan, free, but you have to pay this guy's wages!!), KYRGIAKOS (in for Hyppia: Hyppia out for free, Kyrgiakos in for 2millions), DOSSENA (in for Riise plus cash... no comment...)? Why letting Arbeloa for no Glen Johnson... That just cost us 15 millions... for that price we could have bought a reasonable striker a nd a reasonable other defender
Finally, does anybody know why we have -again- been involved in a "one year left contract" condition, that compelled us to sell Arbeloa for less than we paid for Cavalieri?

Nickname said...

Oh and after a quick Wiki search he only actually scored 3 goals for Portsmouth last year, so i guess he did carry his form into his Liverpool career

Nickname said...

Who do we think will leave Liverpool and who do you think will come to Liverpool?

I think i would want to see VDV in the red

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Yes, but he got 6 assists as Portsmouth last season, which is 3 more than at Liverpool, which means Johnson suffered a 300% decline in creative impact since last season 8-)

Max said...


I have also commented about Warnock going for peanuts but then get told by 'certian people' that he wasnt good enough. He is in the England team to South Africa though, so that makes him diabolical then?

It doesnt matter how many times you try and tell those who eat, sleep & s*** Rafa that he is not the right man for the LFC job, they will still argue that he will win us the EPL. HA HA HA...

Nickname said...

08/09 3 goals + 6 assists = 9 creative impacts (I love this new scale btw) ;)

09/10 3 goals + 3 assists = 6 CI's

That is only a 33% decline in CI's

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Marvellous - Johnson spent 3033 minutes on the pitch last season but only managed to score /create a goal every 1011 minutes (every 11.2 games).

So that's what the kind of impact an 18m player (who is allegedly great at going forward) provides.

I've got it now 8-)

Nickname said...

It is amazing what we all can do with hindsight. When Warnock was sold he was not good enough for us, we had better players and he didn't want to be third choice. In hindsight he has turned into a good player and maybe better than what we have now. At the time he went i would have made the same choice.

Saying that i think Insua has a lot of potential, but i am not sure if that is because in my Liverpool team in football manager he turned into the best left back in the game ;)

Nickname said...

I think you find he had a CI every 505.5 minutes

3033 devided by 6 CI's (3 goals and 3 assists)

That is what an 18m right back gets you

Max said...

VDV was available when Rafa signed injured Aquilani.

What makes you think that Rafa will sign him now? We can all hope that he gets it right this season, problem is we have seen the same thing happening and nothing has changed in the last six years.

Hell yeah, we have alot to look forward to this season!!!

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Ah, but I was looking at goals and assists individually.  It's true to say that he scored a goal every 1011 minutrs; it's true to say he provided an assist every 1011 minutes.  The way you calculated it is also accurate.

So - we paid 3m for each goal and assist last season.  As Didi Hamann would say...Das ist Wunderbar! :-P

Nickname said...

I don't think he was available. As i said, the Dutch press were saying that VDV wanted to stay with Real, but they seem to think that he wants to leave this year. Of course not having direct communications with VDV i can not confirm this

Nickname said...

Now that is all cleared up we can both agree Johnson was indeed a great signing ;)

Does anyone have any idea how that return compares to any other top RB's?

I saw Arbeloa got 2 goals last year for Madrid

Nickname said...

To answer my own question.

Sagna 35 games, 0 goals
Ferreia 13 games, 0 goals
Ivanovic 26 games, 1 goal
A. Cole 27 games, 4 goals

I couldn't find assits, so i could get their CI value

Brando said...

Jaimie - how much does it say in the accounts that we paid for Johnson?
Was it the full 18m?

How does his 3 goals and 3 assists stack up against other fullbacks in the league?

Max said...

"The Dutch press were saying", FFS.

So you dont think Rafa could have made an offer for VDV. We could have signed him in a Cash/Swop deal for Alonso. Yet Rafa signed a injured overpriced Italian... =-O  

Alothor said...

Something I see I need to clarify: the position which Johnson was supposed to cover, the right back position, was not covered by the defensive players in the team. So there was defensive players but not in that position. Later in the season Mascherano went down to cover that position when Johnson was high up the pitch and it worked well, which is a point I forgot. The reason that Johnson was better defensively later in the season was then partly because Mascherano covered for him.

It is probably right that with the number of defensive players it should have been no problem for him to attack as much, but they didn't cover his position and that is Rafas responsibility and the systems. But a player need to adapt to the system as well and since no one covered for Johnson he needed to cover right back if needed, it was his responsibility.

I think it is unfair to blame him for it though, because Rafa said he wanted him to contribute to attack if I remember correctly, so he essentially had to much responsibility. But maybe it should have been possible to commit less to attack and defend more I don't know.

I apologize if both my posts were partly irrelevant or something, but my main point was that I wanted to clarify some things on his performance. While I don't think that he has performed very well this season (he has had problems like almost everybody else in the team), I don't think he has performed badly on the whole. You gave some reasons for why he have not done well, and I tried to answer those.

I also tried to answer why despite being a good attacking player he has not provided the statistics to support this claim. I think it's a fair point to make that he should have improved his ratio when making the transfer to Liverpool but Liverpool have struggled this season and that makes it difficult for a player to settle in.

Also as I said he is still a defender and if you look at the goal scoring record of Alves and Maicon, the worlds 2 best attacking right backs, Alves scored 3 goals this season and Maicon 7, 5 on average is not a lot more when you take into account the bad season for Liverpool and that to be fair Inter and Barcelona are better teams than Liverpool atm.

Brando said...

would warnock have played many games being understudy to Risse ( which he was at the time)?

A lot of people here still want Risse to be playing for us now so where would that leave Warnock?

Was he happy sitting on the bench or did he want to be playing week in week out?

Do you honestly believe that Rafa would have let any of our better players leave if he could have avoided it?

I am sure he would have liked to have kept Arbeloa AND bought Johnson.

Kept Hypia as backup...
Kept Crouch as backup...
Kept Alonso AND bought Barry

longchalk said...


This cant be asked after one injury disrupted season there has been no constant here its to early to say.
johnson showed prommise in his early apperances.
Equilibrium will be found after another season this question can be asked then.
A curious point when you consider far more important issues lie with the club,is this the best we can debate at this monumentous time.

Nickname said...

Why would the Dutch press want to lie about VDV wanting to stay at Real?

But i am sure since you said VDV would have left Real to sign for Liverpool then it must be true.

Are you sure Rafa didn't make an offer?

oops, i forgot to add "FFS"

Nickname said...

See my comment at the top of the page

rivrav said...

Jamie, i dont think you can simply say that Johnson is responsible for what was undoubtedly a poor start to the season defensively.  The reasons for our poor start in this area of the pitch i think are due to numerous reasons which all played a part.  One of this reasons i would agree is Johnson himself, but i also feel other factors like the loss of Alonso as a shield, Mascherano and Carraghers poor start, the addition of 2 new full backs tot he starting line up as well as the constant chopping and changing in the middle as a result of injuries were all contributing factors.  It's hard to say which was the more important, so i instead look at them all as contributing factors.

Moving on to you focal point as to what he directly brings to the team.  It's slightly disappointing to see his assist record, but never the less, he clearly is an attacking full back and that in istelf is an asset.  As a previous poster already said, him simply being there often means that the opposition winger/full back is pushed back which is a good start.  as for tangeble benefits, i could point to the game against Stoke as 1.  Lasts eason we drew 0-0 in this fixture but this season we tore them apart, largely due to his excellent attacking performance.  But i agree that i would expect to see morer assists than he actually produced, but lets not forget how bad we were for the majority of the season and playing in a team with such a clear lack of form and confidence is unlikely to bring the best of someone.

To conclude, i agree that the price paid was excessive, and that more goald/assist are hopefully coming next season.  I certainly feel that £18m on a full back when we clearly needed other positions strengthening (notably a striker) was a mistake on Rafa's part.  I was a huge fan of Arbeloa but him leaving left a void, one which i think was unavoidable.  He had 1 year on his contract and refused a new one and clearly expressed a desire to play for Real Madrid.  In those circumstances, it would be wrong to deny him that move i feel.

i would appreciate your comments on the above as i am not a regular poster.

Nic mc B said...

<p><span>Hey, </span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>I find you articles enlightening and I love the banter that goes on so I’ve decided to throw myself to the wolves! </span><img></img>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>I do think 1 bad season doesn't make for a bad player but like you said it's about how much Johnson has contributed and I would say not enough for an £18 Mill player.</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>But also wanted to get some facts and check Johnson against other RB's last year, this is some basic stat work but sorry if any figures are wrong [it’s my first time - so give me a break]</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>* I've also only picked the players who played the most games at RB for their respective clubs.</span>
</p><p><span>* Also gone reverse order of final position in the league</span>
</p><p><span>* Player prices are approx taken from various websites [so probably not too accurate but gives an indication]</span>
</p><p><span>* For Villa, I’ve included 2 players as I can't seem to find out who actually played at RB last season for them :o)</span>
</p><p><span> </span>

Nic mc B said...

<p><span>Liverpool - Johnson played 25 times scored 3, assists 3 - 2009 £18 Mill</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>Villa - Young played 16 times scored 0, assists 0 - 2008 £6 Mill</span>
</p><p><span>Villa – Cuellar played 36 times scored 2, assists 1 – 2008 £7.8 Mill</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>City - Richards played 23 times scored 2, assists 1 - linked £10+ Mill move</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>Spurs - Corluka played 29 times scored 1, assists 2 - 2008 £8.5 Mill</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>Arsenal - Sagna played 35 times scored 0, assists 3 - 2007 £7.5 Mill</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>Man U - Brown played 19 times scored 0, assists 0 - £0</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>Chelski - Ivanovic played 28 times scored 1, assists 5 - 2008 £10 Mill </span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>From these stats at least it looks in terms of goals that Johnson contributed more goals than any other RB last season and 2nd only to Ivanovic with assists who played in the eventual championship side, so potentially compare with the top 6 PL teams Johnson was the best RB, notwithstanding joining a new club, having a few niggling injuries, having to get used to Rafa’s way of doing things and the appallingly bad season we had.</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>But then again at £18 Mill and £10 Mill more than any other RB we should probably expect more.</span>

Nic mc B said...

<p><span>So it is an improvement but only a small one on Arbeloa and not worth the £16 Mill we paid but hopefully next season he'll show us he's worth it?</span>
</p><p><span>And I’ll also highlight that this is only contributions going forward not in defence, which is surely a DEFENDERS primary role!?</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>JUST FOR FUN</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>* I’ve included Bosingwa’s stats from 2008/09 season as had he not got injured surely he would have been Chelski's 1st choice RB</span>
</p><p><span>* And Arbeloa’s stats from the 2008/09 season and last year at Real</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>Bosingwa played 34 times scored 2, assists 3 - 2008 £16 Mill</span>
</p><p><span> </span>
</p><p><span>L'pool - Arbeloa played 29 times scored 1 goal, assists 1 – 2007 £2 Mill</span>
</p><p><span>Real - Arbeloa played 30 times scored 2 goals, assists 2 – 2009 £2.5 Mill</span>


Jaimie Kanwar said...

Hi Nic - interesting figures.  What source did you use?  Soccernet?  Soccerbase?  I hope you're right that Johnson shows his worth next season.  His defensive frailties will not just disappear though.  he's too old to change/radically improve now as his defensive habits are ingrained now, and have been for years.

Liverpool have the most expensive right-back in the UK, and one of the most expensive in Europe.  I just feel that for the return for the club's outlay is not what it should be, whether it's defensive ability or attacking impact.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Hi Rivrav - thanks for your comments. I think you're spot on about the array of problems contributing to Liverpool's defensive problems earlier in the season.  The loss of Sami Hyypia cannot be underestimated, plus breaking in an entirely new back-four unit, which unfortunately included two dogy full-backs.  No wonder Carragher had a bad time - he spent so much time on tenterhooks wondering when Johnson or Insua would make their next mistake that he couldn't concentrate on doing his own job properly.

I agree that Johnson put in several good attacking performances, but I would then argue that the benefit gained from those lost by the important goals he directly cost the team due to his poor defending at times. 

I wasn't the greatest fan of Arbleoa - he was a steady defender, but I thought we could do better.  To me, that meant spending 6-8m on a young, pacy right back, of which there must be plenty in European football. Some examples:

Nicky Shorey, Paul konchesky, Fabio Grosso, Filipe Luis, Christian Chivu, Antonio Lopez, Manuel Pasqual, Stephen Warnock, John Arne Riise (yes - we could've bought him back).

Take Shorey and Koncheskey for example: they are steady fullbacks who could have done a great job for Liverpool.  Just because they're not fancy names and haven't played for top teams, people dismiss then.  Either one would've cost no more than 6m (IMO).

Yes, there is an argument that we should ne aiming higher, but there's a time and a place for that.  When the most important positions in the team are sorted, then focus on right back/left back.  LFC have no decent, dedicated wingers; only one top class striker and no top class link men/playmakers/dribblers.

As Jay said earlier in the thread, you don't need world class fullbacks; Johnson was a luxury we couldn't afford and didn't need.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Great points, Alothor.  Mascherano at right back still makes me laugh.  Having said that, if it means Johnson plays more regularly on the right wing in future, then I'm all for it.

Jincs said...

Also, saying that Johnson hasn't added enough based on one season is a bit unfair. Other teams can afford to spend 17-18 million and wait on a return (see Nani, Anderson, Jo etc) where as the limited funds we have means we have to see them performing excellently immidiately. I thought arbeloa was an excellent player defensively but there were so many times when we needed real pace from the wingback to overlap then cross/cut in. Especially at home against a "park the bus" team. Johnson provides this and the agility to beat a man and shoot very well for a wing back also.

I've re-watched the goals you cite him being responsible for (conceding) and you're being quite harsh I think. The best of defenders score own goals every so often, it took a horrible nick of carra on the way over. It seems it hit him rather than he went for it. The arshavin goal was simply arshavin excellence. I doubt arbeloa, or any other defender for that matter, would have been able to stop him.
I admit he is probably not as sound defensively but his overall ability going forward really adds to our team.
I'm sure we'll start to see this in the next season or two.

Alothor said...

From what I've read I think you might have misunderstood my point, just to emphasize: what I meant about Mascherano covering in the right back position for Johnson is as a tactic often used to help full backs have more freedom. A midfielder goes down into defense temporarily to cover the position that becomes open. Then after the defender have done his thing and goes back, the midfielder can retake his position in midfield.

While Mascherano did play as a right back at times this was not what I was refering to, though cudos to Mascherano, he did play well in the position considering it was something he was quite unaccustomed too, even if his crossing wasn't so good. If you simply meant that Johnson could attack more down the right wing and not that he could play more as a right winger this is probably correct, he still played as a right back, otherwise players like Alves wouldn't play as right backs.

But to touch upon the relevance of the article. To evaluate his performance can be done for for two reasons, though it might admittedly be something I haven't thought of.

The first is to see if Rafa made a signing who performed bad enough this season to make it simply a bad signing. It would be unfair to judge the merits of an 18m signing wholly on the first season, but I don't think this is what Jaime intends.

Rather it is, I think, about this season taken in isolation and in part past seasons, and Johnson's performance in isolation, to see if Johnson have performed well. This is the question the article poses, but why are we looking at Johnson? One have to be aware of that the question one asks is a reflection of one's values.

Is it to lead us to see that the money should have been spent elsewhere? Johnsons performance in itself doesn't seem relevant so I think this is what was intended. Then why should it have been spent elsewhere? Because Johnson is not a good full back? This I disagree with and have give my reasons for. Is it because with the money we could have gotten players who could have contributed more this season or including in the future as well?

What we could have needed was a left back, maybe a left winger and a striker. A central midfielder would have made sense because Aquilani was injured in the beginning, but then the issue is with buying another player than Aquilani because buying a player because someone is injured would have been a real waste of money imo.

As one can see 18m could not have solved all those things, but could maybe have solved one of them. But then we are talking about 2 decent players versus one good (if one is like me and think Johnson is good), one can bemoan we didn't keep Arbeloa, but wasn't Real Madrid that came knocking and if so it would have been hard to keep him.

Anyway the problem is this I think, either you see a good player and he is worth our investment or you see a mediocre one and he isn't. Good full backs are important players to a team, some would even say the most important, but that is neither here nor there. Needless to say the ability and stamina to both defend and attack is a great asset.

I hope I didn't stray of the road but I was simply trying to follow what is relevant to the article. Cudos to you btw, your article have gotten me to comment three times now, and that is a testament to it being interesting I think, since I rarely comment otherwise.

mark said...

JK, can you give specific reasons why you think GJ is a defensive liability? i've asked you this before and you gave me a couple of examples, some of which were debatable and one was in a game he didn't even play!

i really think it's such a lazy cliche that gets fired at any full back with attacking ability.

Jaimie Kanwar said...

Mark - you know as well as I do that Johnson has been responsible for lots of defensive lapses this season.  Immediate examples that come to mind: 2x goals v Arsenal; Benitez's goal v Birmingham; Goal v Athletico Madrid.  Soon, I will go through the entire season and highlight every defensive lapse, but I don't have time at the moment.  Other people will add further examples, I'm sure.

Nic mc B said...

Hi Jamie,

Thanks for the comments, i know loads has happened in the last couple of days and where i am in the world we have crappy internet but i didn't want to not reply and be rude  :)

I got most of the data from club websites, have to say i needed to have a long shower after visiting the Man U site - it just made me feel dirty :-D  and the telegraph had some great stats as well on players.

Again i agree with your comment that it's not good enough for a player that cost £10 Mill more than any of the mentioned RB's and as you say the most expensive in Europe - i do wonder why English players prices are always so highly inflated!?

Well maybe with a new manager and style of play, we'll see a better output from him next season - 15 goals???  :-D  

Nic mc B said...

<p>Decided i throw these in as well
</p><p>* CS = clean sheets
</p><p>* TW = tackles won
</p><p>* TL = tackles lost
</p><p>* F = fouls
</p><p>*can't find any stats for Arbeloa in 08/09  :(
</p><p>Liverpool - Johnson played 35, CS 9, TW 62, TL 13, F25
</p><p>Villa - Young played 16, CS 7, TW 38, TL 10, F 19
</p><p>Villa - Cuellar played 36, CS 15, TW 104, TL 29, F 32
</p><p>City - Richards played 23, CS 3, TW 23, TL 5, F31
</p><p>Spurs - Corluka played 29, CS 10, TW 50, TL 18, F22
</p><p>Arsenal - Sagna played 35, CS 10, TW 45, TL 17, F 24
</p><p>Man U - Brown played 19, CS 6, TW 31, TL 7, F25
</p><p>Chelski - Ivanovic played 28, CS 11, TW 55, TL 21, F 42
</p><p><span>FOR FUN</span>
</p><p>Chelski - Bpsingwa played 34, CS 15, TW 68, TL 23, F 30
</p><p>So this doesn't say who's to blame for what goals but what i can make from this is that Johnson is neither a particularly great RB or a bad RB, well he's decidedly average in defence.
</p><p>Again not sure this is worth the £18 Mill we paid!?

Hairy Chester said...

Shut up.  I'm right.  watch this video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0rGdChsMAc

Hairy Chester said...

Ich war ins kino, und ich habe deinen Bruder gesehen.
That said, 2 goals could be the difference between first and second place.

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