14 Sept 2011

Glen Johnson out for another month? I'm struggling to see the problem...

Glen Johnson suffered a hamstring injury on his return to first team action against Stoke at the weekend, and will reportedly spend the next month on the sidelines. Ordinarily, you would think that the continued loss of an £18m defender would cause serious problems, but in Johnson's case, it's arguably a blessing in disguise.

Without wishing to seem unkind, the brutal truth is that Liverpool do not miss Johnson. He is not integral to the performance of the team, and his specific, measurable positive impact on the team has been underwhelming to say the least since Rafa Benitez grossly overpaid Portsmouth for his signature in 2009.

As the last two seasons have shown, Johnson just isn't going to cut it as the club's first choice right-back. He is 27 now, and Liverpool need to sell him asap to capitalise on his waning resale value.

This may sound harsh, and I'm sure I'll be barracked (as usual) for my stance on Johnson, but fans need to stop living in denial, and they need to take stone-cold objective look at Johnson's contribution to Liverpool FC.

No matter how many times I raise the issue, *no on* has been able to provide credible answers for the following:

* How has Liverpool improved overall with Johnson in the team?

* What positive impact has Johnson had on Liverpool's defence?

* Why is Johnson so integral to the team?

If you're unable to offer credible answers to these questions (with specific examples), then that should tell you something.

There's no room for sentiment here - Johnson is clearly expendable, and any money the club gets back could go towards strengthening the team even further.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Can't believe we wasted 36 mil. combined on Johnson+Henderson.

  2. I'll reserve judgment on Henderson for now but I agree, he seems overpriced (!)

  3. Another useless piece from you Jaimie. I am fed up with your constant back stabbing LFC. I am out of here for good

  4. If you can't hack alternate viewpoints that differ from your own then you belong on an LFC site that makes you feel safe by only posting stuff that meets your expectations. Backstabbing?  What nonsense.  The truth hurts, which is why you don't like it.

  5. Dalglish is so unhappy with Glen, he asked him to sign a contract extension. We need his versatility in the squad, so drop the hatred, it's boring.

  6. Why don't you drop the false, overly emotive assumptions.  I do not have 'hatred' for Johnson.  What a ridiculous thing to say.  Why don't you past the ext from my article that illustrates this alleged 'hatred'.  I don't know the guy, so how can I hate him. 

    I have merely made valid comments on his effectiveness for LFC.  If you can't handle it, that's not my problem, but don't accuse me of 'hating' him.  It's not personal in the slightest.

    This is all so hypocritical anyway.  It's okay for 'fans' to slag off Roy Hodgson in a personal way (or any other player they don't like) but when one of their favourites is *legitimately* criticised, these fans start crying in their beer.

    I have not slagged off Johnson or said anything remotely personal. 

    Get over it.

  7. The reason's that Johnson is an important part of the team is due to him possessing certain qualities so lacking throughout our team - specifically the ability to carry the ball forwards, allowing the team to maintain possession and allowing him to carry the ball to the line which then allows his teammates to get into the box and generate quality scoring opportunities. Of his teammates, only Suarez has shown a propensity to get behind the opposition defence with any consistency, which thereby leaves the team a lot easier to defend then a team capable of attacking from a number of angles.

    Another plus point to Johnson is that he offers genuine width on the right which we are lacking at the moment. Kuyt and Henderson are both out of position on the right and offer no creativity out there, while Downing isn't really a dynamic right winger. Johnson adds that dynamism down the right. Kelly does also Tbf, but his play is all about power and lacks the subtlety of Johnson's game in attack - with him its all about charge the ball into space, whack the ball into the 6 yard box and hope for the best, whereas Johnson's superior drilling ability allows him to create space/hold onto the ball in tighter situations.

    Enough or is more needed?

  8. Hi Jay - thanks for the comments. That all sounds great but how have these alleged qualities actually helped Liverpool?  How has the team improved over the last two seasons as a result of Johnson's 'dynamism'?  Would you say that these qualities are integral to the future success of the team, and without Johnson, the team would suffer?

  9. I'm surprised this has not been deleted as it goes against the useless wannabe journo's point of view

  10. I fail to see why you are apparently so obsessed with Johnson.  It's a little odd to say the least.  I don't think your constant articles about Johnson add anything to sensible and reasoned debate about LFC.

    But, yes, I know, if I don't like it I can go and read some fawning LFC site where I can indulge in my misguided and blind fandom rather than come here for intelligent REAL debate about the REAL issues affecting LFC!!!

    Seriously dude, you need to give the Johnson thing a rest.  And another article where you mention Rafa.  Unbelievable.

  11. He is a liverpool player , I am sick of so called fans slagging players off . We are fans ? lets support them .

  12. Maybe Johnson can be an good option at the right wing,because at the right back we have kelly and flanagan ,and they are playing very well.

  13. Yawn....another negative article. When did you start hating LFC Jaimie? Was it since they bought Suarez? Face it Ghana got beat...end of story. Stop crying over it.

  14. I agree with Jay in that Johnson does offer width which is lacking from our current players on the right. As for Jamie's comment on how those qualities have actually helped Liverpool in the last two seasons, then we can argue that all the players in the team have been ineffective as it took more players than Johnson to give us a miserable last two years. If you look at the time he was out injured over the last two years, can you really say we played better without him in the team. Having watched a lot of bad displays, I beg to differ.

    Towards the end of last season, Glen filled in at left back, and he did a good job at it too. Adding to this the fact that he is one of our defenders who also actually offers a goal threat, as well as providing assists. By the way, its not his fault if the assists are not converted! I do think your criticism of him has been way over the top, and if that is the way you view his contribution over the last two years, maybe you should do the same to Steven Gerrard as his performances had not been that great either before he got injured. Jamie Carragher had more than his fair share of nightmare games, and I could go on. You say no one can prove how Liverpool have improved with Johnson as a team, you fail to show us how Liverpool's bad fortunes are directly linked to Glen. As I mentioned before, it took the whole team playing horribly over the last two years, and remember Glen had his fair share of injuries and missed a considerable number of our nightmare games as well.

  15. Give over. Why can't Benitez be referenced? So what if I mention him - is there a worldwide moratorium on mentioning Benitez in articles or something? I bet if I'd mentioned Hodgson you wouldn't have had a problem with it.

  16. I think Johnson's dynamism going forward makes him an obvious choice for right wing/midfield.  With Downing on the other flank and Suarez causing damage between the lines would make for a higly threatening attack. Just slot in the other player/pieces depending on the opponents or fitness of players etc

  17. I would like to do that as well, although can't remember a player starting so poorly for us and then becoming someone worth 18 mil.

  18. We all know that the team has clearly fallen backwards over the two years since Johnson arrived, but that decline has been for many factors besides the mere addition of Johnson – e.g. the decline of Carragher/stalled progress of Skrtel/injuries to Agger, the left back issue, the sudden departure from the assertive high pressing game to a more passive defensive style of play, the conversion and persistence with Kuyt on the right wing, the unsuitable positioning of Maxi/Meireles on the opposite wing, the decline/prolonged absences of Gerrard & Torres, the lack of pace & power throughout the team etc. Johnson may be a weak link defensively, but there’s no way that a change in full back alone can explain the recent demise of Liverpool.
    You asked for examples of what Johnson adds to the team which is what I provided, ignoring his obvious failings for this argument, but as far as I’m concerned the positives of him being added to the team outweigh the negatives of him playing ahead of anybody else we have on the books. Quality on the ball and in the wide areas are integral to the success of top clubs and Johnson is one of the few players in our squad that with those skills. Kelly is the only right back we have that even comes close to matching Johnson, but even if we ignore his own injury problems, it has to be said that his performances have benefitted from receiving the reduced scrutiny that comes from him being a youngster that impressed on his debut. Kelly is yet to consistently prove himself a viable longterm solution out there, and seeing as the preferred right wing options are all subpar and fail to stretch the play adequately, then I say that yes the team as it is currently constructed does suffer without Johnson.
    Selling Johnson in Jan as you suggest would also see us sell at the very lowest point possible (recent injury record severely devaluing the player) without even ensuring that we are adequately covered for his departure. If he must be sold at all, the best time would be in the summer after he’s had a few months of first team football andthe Euro’s to remind prospective buyers of what he is capable of. And to give the club time to groom/purchase a replacement starting calibre right back.

  19. Johnson was let go by Chelsea, who were competing for stuff at the time. Only interested party was Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth, everyone thought he was spent force

    Fact is that Glen is with us, he has ability, a good shot off either foot and good crossing ability

    We have given him a new deal, either to boost a potential resale value or more likely, the current coaches etc rate him and see potential still. He is only 26/27

    Not the greatest defender in the world but we seem to be keeping the ball a little more, 60% possession V Stoke so defenders should have less to do

    He's here to stay, let him get fully fit and provide competition for Kelly

  20. Jaimie struggles to see a problem with 2 of our 3 right full backs being injured at the same time???

    Leaving us with Skrtel to fill in?

    O.............. K.............

  21. I disagree.

    The multishot fiasco aside, Henderson appeared better than Downing against Stoke but look who the full backs were. A winger needs a quality full back to move up so they can cut in. With Enrique at LB Henderson had less pressure and performed better, less panic passes and being dispossessed than his previous games. Downing had Skyrtel who is no RB. Hendo had to be the sub because Downing offered the best protection available to Skyrtel.

    With GJ behind Downing we have an attacking midfielder and a natural left footer in Downing who will be free to cut inside when GJ maraudes forwards. GJ has the attacking intelligence to know if crossing the ball or cutting it back is the right option. With the naturally different way Suarez, Carroll and Downing position themselves he has all the options he needs and the skills to deliver.

    Can he be improved upon? Yes, probably. We would get bottom dollar for GJ right now, so selling him in January would be a bad idea. Of course we might get a great offer and have the ideal replacement come knocking on our door. How likely is that in January? If we did sell him, who do you see as a possible relacement that we can buy without getting gouged like in the summer.

    I would like to see his defensive positioning improve, but not at the expense of swapping him for a less attack minded player.


  22. Err, that is, I disagree with the article not the comment right above mine, Simon is spot on! ;)

  23. I like your point about Downing's options when playing on right hand side, he can

    -do a man on his right foot and cross it as we saw for opening England goal last week, or his deep cross to Bellamy v Stoke

    -cut in on left foot with GJ flying past him, choose whether to shoot or let GJ cross

  24. I have said many times before that Johnson should be converted into a RW as he is a better at attacking. People then argue that an attacking right back is crucial yet Johnson has provided just about nothing to the team as an attacking RB. His defending has been appauling most of the time. How Rafa let go of Arbeloa for peanuts and then signed Johnson for 18mil is still beyond me. We should have kept Arbeloa but surely there were was a much better defender at the time for half the price we paid for Johnson?

    Play Johnson at RW and he will contribute a hell of alot more than what he is at RB. We have Kelly who is far better at defending and he is also extremely good at going forward. He brings so much more balance to the RB position and I would select him any day ahead of Johnson. Even Flanagan is a better defender than Johnson but Kelly remains the supreme player.

  25. Let me tell you this: If Dani Alves had been playing for Liverpool for the last few years (and it could have been had Parry not dragged his feet), you would have said the same about him. Glen Johnson is a superb attacking right back and a decent defensive one. If the team plays to his qualities then you'll get the best out of him. If you play a system where the ball is moved quickly in midfield and overlaps are made then Glen Johnson can be lethal. This is the kind of game that Dalglish is playing now, hence the impressive performances from Jose Enrique.

    If you play in the stodgy, uninventive style of Hodgson and Rafa in the last year you'll be playing to Johnson's less strong attributes, bedding in and kicking wingers into touch. If you don't move the ball quickly and incisively in midfield (see the loss of Alonso), the real benefits of Enrique and Alonso will be lost. A bit like buying Messi and crossing from deep all the time, or buying Carroll and not crossing at all. Stats are not only indicative of a player's performance but also the team's performance.

    Torres has recently spoke of the slow passing of Chelsea's midfield and the fact that that's negatively affected his game. Could it be that the loss of Alonso and the injuries to Gerrard slowed down the pace of Liverpool's midfield and affected Johnson as well as the last year and a half of Torres' Liverpool career?

    This is the exact reason why people criticise the over reliance of stats against the matches we actually watch. There can be some many reasons for skewed or 'unimpressive' stats but to simply read them in one way without taking into account the wide range of potential factors is, to be frank, ignorant. If we are to criticise players to such extent maybe we should take into account more than a stat column and take into account the team's performance.

    Like I said, the likes of Alves and Maicon would have been criticised if they were utilised as Hodgson utilised them (remember Hodgson wanted to replace Johnson with QPR's Luke Young). He wanted tough tackling, compact, old school English full backs. Johnson is not that by any stretch of the imagination. Play Johnson as an attacking right back and the team as an attacking team and I believe we have one of the best right backs in the world. Play as a traditional stodgy English club and we don't. It's really just reflective on the style of football you adhere to.

  26. Thicker skin man, you don't help your cause by responding to every person who posts here, much less the idiots

  27. lucas leiva will just wait 18 mill plus

  28. Jaimie, I've never been on this site before, but I can tell just by spending 5 minutes here that you are a complete attention seeking bell end. You are the kind of fan that we all are ashamed of supporting our team.  

  29. Eveyone must know he is great going forward but a defensive liability! I'm all for supporting players but if we are gonna get into top 4 again we need to look at players who are not cutting it and replace them. Its all about fighting and earning/keeping your place in Lfc.