2/15/2012 07:30:00 pm

Mark Wright: £17m star needs to 'do better' for Liverpool...

Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has been a defensive liability from the moment he signed for Liverpool in 2009. Johnson can be good going forward but over the years, his poor defending has cost Liverpool countless goals, and it was the same thing again at Old Trafford last Saturday. Former Liverpool defender Mark Wright was unhappy with Johnson's defending against Man United, and he's called on the left back to improve.

Johnson's lack of concentration definitely contributed to Man United's first goal on Saturday. Prior to the corner being taken, Johnson was goal-side of Rooney, but ten seconds later, Johnson was ball-watching, and allowed Rooney to get ahead of him and score the goal.

Analysing the United game for LFC TV, Mark Wright - who helped Liverpool keep 75 clean sheets during his 210 game Anfield career - expressed his frustration with Johnson's positioning. He observed:

"I don't quite understand Glen Johnson's positioning; you always play inside to out, and what that means is you stand goalside; inside the post.

"He was standing outside Wayne Rooney, and although there was a little bit of movement, he comes in and volleys from three or four yards, and Pepe's got no chance".

"It should've been dealt with; Johnson should've been inside so he can block, and then the goal doesn't happen. I don't mean to be critical of Glen because he's a good player, but I think he needs to be better in those sort of positions".




As you can see, Wright is absolutely correct: at the crucial moment, Johnson switches off and Rooney gets in ahead of him. It's lapses of concentration like this that have cost Liverpool dearly over the last three years.

It could also be argued that Johnson was slightly at fault for united's second goal too. Jay Spearing takes the lion's share of blame for losing the ball, but despite having a clear view of everything going on, Johnson didn't react quickly enough, and by the time he's stopped ball-watching, Rooney was already 10 yards ahead of him:



Johnson goes through patches of playing well defensively but the spectre of defensive mistakes is always there in the background.

It's a cliche now but just move him to the right wing already! It's ridiculous that three years after Johnson signed, Liverpool still have no seen the light:

* Martin Kelly is better defensively at right back.

* Johnson is better creatively on the right than anyone else in the team (bar Gerrard, possibly)

It's a ready-made solution, yet Liverpool inexplicably persist with Johnson at right back.

Jaimie Kanwar






33 Comments :

Zulu said...

Right back and right wing are completely different positions. Full backs get a lot of the ball starting from deep where as wingers play their football alot higher up the field and with there backs to goal. Just cos Bale has made the transition doesn't mean Johnson can. Besides its too easy to say just move him up, if he's not playing well drop him. Liverpool need a pacy, out and out winger who can beat a man and cross the ball, something we thought Downing would do for us. But as the season is getting on he just looks like he's getting worse. His performance at Old Trafford was awful.

nirvan5a said...

He should be played as rw or sold.

lowey said...

totally agree with wright, kelly right back with johnson right wing for sure.
johnson sometimes looks world class one the best allround wingbacks and now and again looks like he can deffend and tackle as good as anyone, but i think mentally hes not strong enough ( bit thick ) sorry!
 i agree with nirvan5a

Chan said...

Funnily enough, Johnson seems to defend better at left back, than he does at right back

Anyway, I don't rate him defensively at all and for the amount of money we paid for him, I expected better defensive performances.

Don't know about him starting on the wing. He could suffer like most Brazilian full backs do when they get played further forward. Cicinho was a failure when he made the move into right midfield as its a totally different starting position.

A B said...

Johnson is pants,been saying it for ages!!! half hearted palyer,if KD cant see this he is also not the right man for the job,a dummy can see Kelly is better.

Egg said...

For all the talk of him being a defensive liability etc Liverpool still have one of the best defensive records in the league this season.  Johnson has been fine this season and his strength is coming from deep when the LB is occupied by our right midfielder.  Put him at RW and you lose that.  His lack of intelligence which many cite as a problem for him in defence would still be a problem for him in RW.  Putting Kelly at rb means we lose some attackign verve from that position and putting Johnson at Rw is not guaranteed to be successful.  In a team that is struggling for goals not in defense Id say we are far better off with Johnson at Rb coming into the attack than Kelly who is not that much better in defence but a lot more limited in attack

Chan said...

Stats and records only say so much. Its clear in some of his performances on the pitch this season, despite the defensive record of the team as a WHOLE, that he defensively can be very weak at times.

Quattroporte83 said...

Speak for yourself on Downing

john wark said...

The blame for the first goal must be down to Henderson, he should be standing goal side/infront of Carrick. Then compounded that mistake that an eleven year old shouldn't make by flicking it on to Rooney. How is Johnon at fault it was a first time volley?

The Johnson agenda is pretty washed out...

Yogibearone said...

I fully agree with you Zulu.I actually think he has been better when played on the left side.But Enrique is there! Johnson should be rested or sold because Kelly is far better - reminds me of Chris Lawler years ago.The scoring left fullback! kelly should be there permanently. Downing is 'crap'.

Yogibearone said...

Mistake! Lawler right fullback.

Yogibearone said...

Kelly is every bit as good as him attacking anyway - maybe better than him -and scores goals!

Yogibearone said...

As the corner was delivered Johnson moved outside Rooney when he should have been moving inside him ! He is a daydreamer!

Hoq said...

johnson was playing right midfield for Pourtsmouth when  Rafa signed him.

Michealp12 said...

Complete utter propaganda rubbish. The great Riena has made more mstakes the GJ, GJ easily thr best RWB in the league!

Stavroskyrtsosthess said...

No it wasnt Johnson's fault that we conceded those two goals,come on.In the 1st goal,it's Henderson's fault and our lack of luck.In the 2nd goal,it's Spearing's fault who loses the ball in a very dangerous position.Johnson is always criticised by LFC while he is a very good player.i dunno what you say about him and i like Kelly too,but Johnson's better than Kelly right now.Also Downing gets a lot of criticism and he played very bad against United.Whenever he plays on the left,he seems bad while whenever he plays on the right,he plays way better.i say we should try this against Brighton:
Reina
Johnson Skrtel Agger Enrique
Downing Gerrard Adam Bellamy
Suarez
Carroll
I know it's way too attacking and our center midfield is not enforced but i would like to see this squad set up,a set up against minor sides though.Against the likes of City,Tottenham...etc we need a stronger center midfield and defo a defensive midfielder,since Lucas's injured,it's Jay Spearing's work.Still a lot to play for Reds.Keep in mind that we are only 4 points behind Chelsea and Arsenal and they have to come to Anfield both of them.If we beat those two at Anfield,we have a strong chance finishing inside top 4.our difficult game has to be against Newcastle on St James Park though but our away record is good.We are on a Carling Cup final,we are on the fourth round of the FA Cup and we are 4 points behind top 4.if i had to choose,i'd choose top 4 of course but it's the most difficult too.let's hope our players stand strong and we can make things happen.
YNWA

truekopite said...

C'mon Jaimie give it a rest on this issue........dont you think that if the many world class coaches at LFC (and England, chelsea, west ham) thought that johnson could play on the right wing then they would have done it by now? what makes you think that you know better than them? its one thing having an opinion but there comes a time when you have to accept that you might just be wrong on this occasion.
Also, ok johnson was to blame for utd's first goal but to try to blame him for their second is outragous. On top of that am i not right in thinking that we have the second best defensive record in the league with this supposedly bad right back playing a vast majority in that position. I would agree that kelly is the future of right back but i see no reason to be worried by johnson what so ever....tell me a defender who doesnt make a mistake every once in a while? johnson has improved massively as a defender, especially in the past year (thanks to steve clarke i am sure).YNWA

Cfleejb said...

Glen should be moved up to right wing position and let Kelly take his place at right back

Alanable said...

Johnson was to blame for the first goal because there was no possible outcome where being behind Rooney would be any use to the team! I wouldnt blame him too much for the second one because he was advancing with the impression that the ball was going out of danger.

I do like Johnson but I feel he should be second string to Kelly. To say he is better offensivly than Kelly is just wrong considering Kelly is far mor of an aerial threat and has a good boot on him too. Johnson earns his plaudits because he looks good going forward but it rarely amounts to anything as he takes a shot and misses or dribbles into a defender. He also is one of the poorest crossers I have  seen in a long time(rarely beats the first defender thus starting a counter attack).
 
I would like to see Johnson put on the bench for next season because I feel Kelly is due an injury and he is a more than able backup, and then sold on because he could still earn us some money back.

Fchahinmd said...

I agree with regards to some defensive mishaps.. However with the abscence of stricker or halfbacks like with manu game he was the most threat for goalscoring chances shy of the lucky bounce to suarez that didnt require a genius to score!
So we have to give that a fair consideration... Enrique has his share of that as well just luckily for him and us didnt materealize in goals!!

Tdogsc said...

You are too intelligent to spout crap Jamie.
Come on.

Quit looking for clicks and focus on writing please.

Guest said...

Johnson is moving ouside cos he tot Henderson is heading the ball away from goal. But whatever the case...he is not good enough for that much money 

Blakstump said...

REINA
KELLY SKRTEL AGGER ENRIQUE
JOHNSON GERRARD ADAM DOWNING
BELLAMY
SUAREZ

IMPACT SUBS:-

DOWNING
STERLING
SOMEONE ELSE who is pacey 

for brighton game :)

Blakstump said...

Carroll even impact

Ashfah Ngog said...

You are right, Mark Wright. To date he is still the club most expensive defender. Which manager paid so much for him and sold Albaloa who is now a regular for Real Madrid together with Alonso. I smell rat here!

Septimus_severus said...

Mark Wright?

The well known racist ? who was a regular abuser of Black players while at Liverpool (do some reading about him) picks out Glen Johnson?
LOL.

RedHeart said...

Johnson's defence is crap. He has done it a number of times this season. Game against Fulham was another example.

Because of Suarez saga, everyone forgot 2 defensive mistakes we committed in the last match. Jay Spearing's performance is also worsening for last few matches. He did a lot of wrong passes in Tottenham game and went a step further against ManU.

We need a decent defensive midfield back. Spearing is not good enough at the moment.

Jdmatthews4 said...

Only way to get him better is to play him. However he should not have played the utd game, and I do rate spearing. We should have started Adam to allow henderson and gerrard to roam slightly more, did u see how deep we were playing? But back to spearing, let us not forget how many 'plays' he has intercepted, the same with Johnson, and Johnson has also scored important goals, eg Chelsea. I'd rather have him there than not!

Pastor of Muppets said...

Johnson is pacy, and out and out wide player who can beat a man and cross the ball, plus he can shoot.

Jan Jacobsen said...

Downing has been Liverpool's worst signing. It seems like he is not interested in playing football. He doesn't want the ball, and if he get's it, he quickly plays it to somone else. The big problem is that Dalglish keep playing him, to justify why he bought him. Downing has scored one goal in all competitions and that came in a Cup match against an Oldham side that were already well beaten. Maxi has scored 4 goals and provided 2 assist, and he hasn't played half the matches Downing. If Dalglish wasn't so stubborn, we would probably be fourth in the Premiere League by now.

JayOne said...

Johnson is held to a totally different standard than any other defender in the league.
The mistakes that Reina and Agger have been racking up this season are irrelevant, but apparently EVERY goal conceded is Johnson's fault - even if Johnson is just covering for somebody else in picking the man up!

Gab said...

Johnson clearly does not belong at LFC.

Jay said...

That is *very* clear...

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