18 Dec 2011

Ray Houghton: Liverpool fans are wrong about Glen Johnson...

Ever since he arrived at Anfield, Liverpool fans - myself included - have been calling for Glen Johnson to be played as a right winger. Given his regular defensive mistakes, it seems like a no-brainer to prioritise Johnson's attacking ability, but despite the groundswell of opinion in favour of a move to the right wing, Liverpool legends Ray Houghton and Gary Gillespie insist that Johnson should stay at right back.

Playing Johnson on the right seems like an obvious move, especially given his defensive frailties at right back, but Rafa Benitez, Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish have all stopped-short of giving it a try.

Speaking on LFC TV, Ray Houghton - who played on the right of midfield many times for Liverpool - argued:

"When you're playing on the right hand side of midfield, a lot of times you receive the ball with your back to play, and it's not always natural for players to do that.

"There's no doubt that when he has a lot of room in front of him he's very good; he's talented in possession; has genuine pace about him, and he delivers a fantastic cross. He also scores, as we've seen against Chelsea, but I think that's because everything is in front of him.

"It's a totally different game when you're playing on the right hand side of midfield, and you've got the fullback really close to you.

"I don't think it would really enhance Liverpool in creating more chances, and just making too many changes for the sake of it isn't always the best way forward".

Houghton's former team-mate Gary Gillespie agreed:

"I don't think this season we need to push him there. He's the England fullback...and his best position is right back, in my opinion"

When asked about playing on the right recently, Johnson was very positive about the possibility:

"I think a lot of people have been mentioning that [playing on the right] recently, but it's obviously not for me to say.

"I get played at right back so I try and do a job for the team, but if I'm asked to play further forward then obviously I'd be more than happy too".

Reading between the lines, it sounds to me like Johnson would actually prefer to play on the right wing; look at his language: I 'get played' at right back (i.e. he does what he's told), and I 'try to do a job' for the team.

Compare that to the positive response to playing forward: 'I'd be more than happy to play further forward'.

I would play Martin Kelly at right back every day of the week, but Gillespie ultimately believes that Johnson has the edge:

"Martin Kelly is going to be a good player in time, at right back, or even centre back, but at this moment in time, I think Johnson is ahead of Kelly"

Johnson vs. Agbonlahor today? *shudder*

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. thankfullly Agbonlahor is suspended Jamie. 

  2. You are a penis and write utter garbage. All this "Tormentor in Chief of the Pro Benitez Cult" is just self glorification. The stuff you write is just utter attention seeking nonsense. You are a parasite on LFC and I despise you as a supporter. You probably aren't even one. But if you are, then you are the worst breed. Of course you won't publish this comment as you are an attention seeking twat that doesn't want people reading yur fucking shitty articles to know en masse how much of a cunt you are.

  3. I hear Bent may also be injured. If so we should have a good chance

  4. how come you didnt know agbonlahor is suspended for today?

  5. http://www.eplindex.com/glen-johnson-disproving-myths-opta-stats/

    Worth a peek

  6. Been saying this for ages

  7. What is this, the Spanish Inquisition?  Why do you care?  Does it make such a difference to your life that I didn't know something?  

    Forgive me father, for I have sinned: strike me down for the heinous crime of not being completely up to date on Aston Villa's team news?

  8. why do I care? I do care because its LFC and you supposed to know about football and premier league more than that as long as you run a football site and pretend you know and watch premier league every week,whats next from you are you going to get surprised if I say lucas is out for the season or you did hear about that before?

  9. I bet the same was said for Bale altho he had potential he never looked like a right midfielder. He very rarely pushed forward or went round players. If we Adam Johnson etc then fair enough dont bother trying it but when we only have Kuyt and Henderson it just seems a waste not to at least try.

    In my armchair fan opinion i would give GJ a half here and there just to test him out but hey what do i know the most experiance i have as a manger is on the PC game championship manager lol.

  10. Just goes to show why our former players typically fail as managers - they're all scared to do anything that hasn't been done already.

    Why play Johnson out wide when you've got the likes of Kuyt eh? After all Kuyt consistently beats his man and creates so many chances from the right!

    fwiw, I think that Johnson is a good fullback and still out best option there, but those that try to shout down the idea that he could be a success further upfield are just talking out of their ass

  11. So glad you're not Liverpool manager.