23 Oct 2011

GLEN JOHNSON: Still a defensive liability...

Liverpool 'defender' Glen Johnson has started two games since his return from injury, and it comes as no surprise to me that in both games, he has made mistakes that have led directly to opposition goals.

Fans can keep burying their heads in the sand but the the brutal truth is that whenever Johnson is on the field, he is a defensive accident waiting to happen.

Against Rangers: The ball was headed right at Johnson from a corner. His clearance was weak, and landed right at the feet of Lee McCulloch, who then scored. All Johnson needed to do here was complete the simplest of defensive tasks, i.e. whack the ball into row Z, but even that was beyond him.

Against Norwich: Johnson was marking Grant Holt. At the start of Norwich move, Holt was about 5 yards behind Johnson, who was goal-side, and aware of the Norwich forward's presence.

However, despite this, Johnson allowed Holt to get goal-side of him as the cross came over, and the ball ended up in the back of the net. It's frustrating because Johnson was tracking Holt, and had plenty of time see what was (obviously) going to happen, but still managed to lose him.

I don't blame Reina for the goal - he saw that Johnson had lost his man and came out to try and salvage the situation, but he was too late.

Overall, Johnson played okay but when it comes to the crunch he will always make costly mistakes, and that has been proven time and time again.

His primary role is as a defender, and that's how he should be judged, and in the last two games, he has undoubtedly been at fault for both goals Liverpool have conceded.

Why did Martin Kelly deserve to be dropped anyway? Liverpool have won 5 and drawn 1 of the six games in which he has played this season, conceding only 4 goals along the way. Why is that not good enough for Kelly to keep his place in the side?

I've argued this before but I'll argue it again: Liverpool should sell Glen Johnson to the highest bidder in January. He is not a good enough long-term *defensive* solution to the right back position, and he's proved that yet again in the last two games.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Absolutely correct Johnson is a huge liability compared with Kelly- if Johnson is to play anywhere it should be on the wing

  2. Tornike Khomeriki6:01 pm, October 23, 2011

    I will never know why Kenny feels Johnson should be picked ahead of Kelly.

  3. Kelly must be thinking WTF he did wrong to not even make the bench?

    Sell Johnson or try and convert him into a winger where he will be more useful but doubt we will get 18mil for him now so we might have to settle for 8-10mil.

    I am sure there are some decent RB's out there for around 10mil. We also have Flanagan who is still young but at least he can defend.

  4. Kelly must be first choice, I haven't seen him have a bad game yet - he's quickly turned into one of my favourite players. Having said that Johnson is going to need games too, if Kelly get's injured we'll need him so playing him against Norwich isn't a bad idea as we should have won that comfortably anyway.

    I do hope it's not a signal Johnson is preferred, to be fair Kelly started every game he was fit last year so I expect him to be the first choice still.

    People have been saying Johnson should be tried on the wing for ages, I agree - he's quick, get's to the byline with ease, can also cut inside and shoot with either foot from 25 yards and he's played in defence long enough he should be able to help tracking back. He's got everything you'd want in a winger and it's maybe a weak area for us, but if he hasn't been played there by now I've got a feeling it won't happen.

  5. KKenny should have a long hard think to himself about some absolutely diabolical decisions he is making. Kelly has been our best defender when he's played and he is a threat overtime he goes forward but yet Kenny doesn't play him.

    What will it be next...he's gonna drop suarez and play Carroll

  6. Not sure why we haven't experimented with Johnson on the wing. It won't do any harm and if it had to work out then it would save us from going to look for a wide player elsewhere.

    Maybe Johnson has told the club that he does not want to play on the right wing. It makes sense because he could end up losing his England place to another player.

  7. Kelly was injured!

  8. Johnson definitely should be playing right back - just as the old saying ?   'RIGHT BACK BEHIND THE GOAL'. He is not good enough for LFC and should be off-loaded for as much as LFC can get for him!!!

  9. why we defending so deep.  Was it to counteract the fact that they had two gigantic strikers on the pitch?  We have one defender who can head the ball and he's name is Skrtel.  Why the hell weren't we defending higher up the pitch, Norwich had no pace up front whatsoever.

  10. Kelly is injured as often as Agger. 

  11. Your source of Kelly being injured?

    Cannot find anything of the sort on lfc.tx

  12. The lad who picks the ball up at 0.02 was in between our defence and midfield.  Our central midfield are guilty of ball watching.  He had acres to run into unattended.

    Johnson, Reina and Carra got done by a monster in the air.  Three players combined couldn't prevent the goal.  Defending is about covering players.  Carra and Reina responded adequately by were outdone by an aerial expert.  To blame Johnson alone is ludicrous.

  13. If only Carroll could head the ball like Holt.  Kenny lets do a swap, at least Holt will put a shift in.

  14. bbc 5live mentioned it before the match

  15. Heard Kelly had a groin injury...That was Johnson's first start since May. The author could also blame Carragher who is missing headers every week which cost us goals and who's positioning is getting worse by the week, but he doesn't, because it does not suit his agenda..

  16. You could blame Adam for giving the ball away, you could blame Enrique for not closing down the cross, or you could blame Carragher for not attacking the ball or Reina for not clearing it or you could blame Johnson for not tracking Holts run.
    If you break it down 4 players before Johnson could of stopped the goal happening.

  17. johnson is just fragile and gutless, sometimes looks world class mainly going forward as we all know. kelly all day long, the boy has it all. lets not waste him, playing a has been in johnson who just dont want to graft and get stuck in.
    another who probably wants to live in london. tweet tweet johnson

  18. Your not allowed to blame Carra or Kenny...some people support individuals more than lfc....Carra has been making mistakes for far too long and yet if Lucas or Johnson or kuyt make a mistake then they should be sold ..

    We have not improved the squad enough in the right areas..what will happen if Suarez gets injured and Carroll is having problems and kuyt is not a prolific striker and Bellamy is not being used

  19. I think Marin Kelly is our the best option and he must play if we are thinking about Chamions League. Greatings form www.LFCPoland.com

  20. Don't think we should be slagging off Glen Johnson if he has been played by all his managers out of position at right back. Like most fans above I think he is a natural right winger who can beat defenders on both sides. Surely that is what we need at the moment. Jon Flanagan impressed when he played in the first team and we are also lucky to have another lad, Jack Robinson, who will soon be ready to play at left back. This would release Jose Enrique to play on the left wing.
    I think the prospects for Liverpool are tremendous when both of these young players release Enrique and Johnson for duty on the wings. That's what has been missing for some time. C'mon lads support the team and the manager.

  21. Look, Carra is not the player he used to be but I will on any given day select him over Skrtel. Carra, Agger and Skrtel. Make your pick.

    The problem is that Johnson is not a great defender, he never has been. His attacking qualities are fantastic but defenders need to be able to defend. That is why they call them defenders. If you want a very good attacking fullback then look no further than Jose Enrique and he only cost us in the region of 6mil. Compare Enrique to Johnson and it is like night and day.

    Johnson is a defender and that is what he will be judged upon.

  22. The sad thing is if it was Lucas who had given away the ball instead of Adam, He would have been lambasted for it but I guess it is easier to conform to the notion Johnson is a liability even though he outperformed Downing on the wing but Downing did not track back to help and was generally having a shocker.
    Adam is a hit and miss because he is either making that one good pass out of  10 attempts or is clumsily challenging for the ball and giving it away and then cant track back to help out.

  23. I agree that Johnson was probably one of the weakest palyers in red shirt against Norwich and more so in second half. however there were few other reasons behind apart from his ability to defend.
    I thought in second half, Gerrard looked very tired, the sub and in particular taking Bellamy and Downing made the team slower going into attack and we invited Norwich ot have a go at us. in that situation, a player who had been injured for a while looked weaker than others.
    saying that in goal, maybe Enrique and Rena had more fault than him. I think we really missed a palyer like Lucas t protect our defenders against their attack.

  24. Glen Johnson is the best RB in England & when we get back in Europe he will be acknowledged as the best RB in Europe .

    Martin Kelly is a fine player but he is naturally a centre back & he is still just gaining experience , it would be foolish to rush it now while we are in a cozy position of strength back there .

    For me Kelly is better at 22 than Carra was at 27 & like Carra had to play both full back positions before he could nail down the CB position .

    Anyone singling out Johnson or any other individual for making a single mistake over 90 + minutes  is attacking the club as far as I'm concerned  .

    Human beings make mistakes , every player at every club at every level will make a mistake at some point during a game .

    Johnson is an excellent full back & I am very glad we have a player of his proven talent , strong character & priceless winning experience & ambition at our club .

    He is exactly the standard of quality we need within our squad , he is only entering his prime but already has won everything there is to win in England and he remains one of the most ambitious players in England .

    Johnson is a proven winner , Gerrard , Carra & Dalglish are proven winners & together I expect them to bring Adam , Kelly , Downing , Carroll , Hendo & a few others to that level also .

    When Glen Johnson is the worst player in Liverpool’s senior squad that will be the day I pray to God to let me die because I will know that things couldn’t ever get much better than that .

  25. I just can't understand why it hasn't happened yet. Football is a simple game, no matter how many people try and intellectualise it. It's obvious Johnson is a poor defender, and it's also obvious he has some attacking ability. The inflexibility is maddening.

  26. At last! Someone with a brain!!! Anyone who thinks that Glen Johnson is a bad defender, knows absolutely nothing about football. He is top drawer. Kelly is a fine young player but Kenny knows that he isn't Johnson's level. Enrique makes more mistakes than Glen. The goal was clearly Reina's fault. The reason we didn't win was Suarez not finishing off his brilliant approach play. Simple as. Great player as he is, he's not a pure finisher like Torres or Fowler. I do think Kenny needs to start picking Carroll though. Downing had a shocker and should of been hooked after an hour for Carroll.

  27. "Your not allowed to blame Carra or Kenny...some people support
    individuals more than lfc....Carra has been making mistakes for far too
    long and yet if Lucas or Johnson or kuyt make a mistake then they should
    be sold .."

    That in a nutshell is why Liverpool will struggle in the future, misguided loyalty.  We don't owe carra anything apart from a thankyou yet he owes his wealth and medals to LFC.  As soon as Ferdinand starts to slip at Man U (and he's slipping) Fergie will ship him out by courier 2 day delivery.  The same thing happened with Brown, O'shea, Bruce, Pallister, Stam, BLANC, the Nevilles, Nicky Butt, Roy Keane, Paul Parker, David Beckham, Paul Ince, Kanchelskis, Lee Sharpe the list goes on and on.  Liverpool fans are so fixed on the career of one man they to quote Bruce Lee "look at the finger instead of focusing on all that heavenly beauty."  If there was a lightning 6ft 4" defender who was as strong as an ox and positionally sound going for £1m Liverpool fans would still rather keep Carra in the side because he "deserves a championship medal"...Crazy.

  28. Glen Johnson, the best RB in England and Europe
    Sorry I'm on a be sick hahahahhahanahha

    He's not even close to being the best RB at LFC