|Desc||Glen Johnson’s time at Anfield feels an age away, but for half of the decade he was a big part of the Reds’ defence. Signed from Portsmouth by Rafa Benitez in 2009, the England international stayed at the top while his former team-mates dropped down the football pyramid. The former Chelsea and West Ham man played 143 of his 160 Premier League games for Liverpool in the 2010s and represented England at two World Cups while on the club’s books|
|Org||England National Team|
|Club as Player||Liverpool FC|
|West Ham United|
2019 11 16 Retrieve
[Glen Johnson says Chelsea’s transfer ban has allowed them to discover talent they probably didn’t know they had six months ago] When I was there it was totally different, it was when Roman Abramovich was buying all the best players in the world, the younger players didn’t really get a look in. It was a totally different era, every big name came through the door but I’m pleasantly surprised to see how well the kids are doing now. They’ve had to give the kids a chance, though, because they lost their best player and the transfer situation. They’ve all stood up and have performed brilliantly and Chelsea had talent they probably didn’t know they had six months ago
[He admits that he did not expect to see the Blues legend back in west London this early in his coaching career] Yeah he always had that coaching instinct, after games, talking to coaches, speaking tactics so I always thought he’d be a manager one day, definitely. I was surprised he was given the Chelsea job so soon but I thought he was definitely destined for it in the future. Having said that, it was the perfect time for him because of the transfer ban and they would have to give somebody time anyway, so it’s great to see him getting the job done
2019 11 16b Retrieve
[Glen Johnson says Jose Mourinho is unlikely to end up at Arsenal] Jose Mourinho is sitting in the shadows at the moment. He’s being patient and things change so quickly in football where a job that seems secure now, might not be in two months time. Arsenal and Tottenham are the two places where the doors could be open sooner but I don’t think I could see him at Arsenal. He’ll wait for it to unfold over Christmas and perhaps he’ll cherry-pick after that. But I don’t think he’s the type to rush and get a job just for the sake of getting one
2019 11 17 Retrieve
[Glen Johnson, who worked under the former Manchester United boss at Stamford Bridge, expects a proven winner to take another job after Christmas] Jose Mourinho is sitting in the shadows at the moment. He’s being patient and things change so quickly in football where a job that seems secure now, might not be in two months time
Arsenal and Tottenham are the two places where the doors could be open sooner but I don’t think I could see him at Arsenal. He’ll wait for it to unfold over Christmas and perhaps he’ll cherry-pick after that. But I don’t think he’s the type to rush and get a job just for the sake of getting one
2019 11 18 Retrieve
[Glen Johnson says Trent Alexander-Arnold is England’s best right-back by miles] Trent Alexander-Arnold. By miles at the moment
Aaron Wan-Bissaka isn’t so much the modern full-back, he sometimes looks like a centre-half playing full-back. He’s a good defender but he’s not got the natural ability that Trent has got
I know people speak very highly of Reece James at Chelsea and I saw his goal against FC Ajax. He wouldn’t be in the team if he wasn’t living up to his potential and I hear he’s a great lad as well. Hopefully he can continue his form and keep the shirt
2019 11 22 Retrieve
[Glen Johnson says Jose Mourinho’s arrival at Tottenham should have the club’s youngsters feeling nervous] When Jose first came to Chelsea, I remember a squad meeting and meeting him for the first time. Back then, nobody knew a great deal about him. It was a whirlwind but I’ve never really heard a manager speak to a group of players like that before - it was just his confidence and the way he wanted to take the club forward. I think he felt he needed to let people know how good he was. Now he’s proved himself
He’s very passionate, a born winner, and he gives players the energy boost they need. Usually when a new manager comes in players do respond quickly. The fact is, Mourinho will get a reaction even quicker and for longer. So I expect an immediate turnaround at Spurs.
He turned up and wanted to win stuff in the first few years and then disappear. Mourinho has never been at a club long enough to bring through the youth. He normally walks through the door, signs who he wants, has an instant impact and moves on, which is obviously fantastic for him and he’s done very well doing that. Hopefully he stays around at Tottenham long enough so he can use the youth and help grow the club, as well as the business. If I was a young Spurs player, and Mourinho is only going to be there for two years, I would be nervous. If he’s going to be there for six years, I would be excited. In the last 15 years, he’s only been at two clubs for longer than two-and-a-half years. But records are there to be broken I guess
2020 02 14 Retrieve
[Glen Johnson says Sancho told joining Man Utd would be wrong decision as he’s urged to consider Liverpool or Chelsea] Pretty much everyone that can afford his transfer fee are going to want him, so he can take his time to choose his next club. But I think it would be the wrong decision to sign for Man United. If he goes to a team like United at the moment, of course it’s a fantastic club and it would look great on his CV, but the team are not where they should be and I think as a young kid they would put too much pressure on him from day one.
A young lad like that shouldn’t have to fly the flag for a club like United. I think he’d feel the pressure coming to the Premier League anywhere, so to carry that with him as well would be tough. Marcus Rashford is flying the flag for them now and his body is feeling the punishment. With young kids you’ve got to be careful because some of them are still growing.
If he was to go to Chelsea or Liverpool or maybe a club in Spain, because he won’t be needed to come straight in and impress, they would bleed him into the team over time which would help his development. He might not be guaranteed to start every week, but he’d be doing it in the right way. Whereas if he went to United, yes he’d start every week but the team are struggling so it would be hard for him to find his feet
[Pressed further on why Anfield or Stamford Bridge would be better destinations for Sancho] It [a move to Liverpool] might not be the best decision for him today, at the moment they’ve got the perfect side, but in two years’ time he could be well amongst it. He’d still only be 21. I’m not suggesting he’d stall his career for two years, I’d expect him to be knocking on the door and obviously it just takes one injury [for him to get a chance]. But Liverpool’s foundations are set in stone and I just think they’d bleed him into the team in the right manner.
Lamps would definitely look after him at Chelsea, and then there’s the attraction of London. While Manchester United are sliding down, Chelsea are on their way up with loads of young players and I could see that being a perfect fit for him. To have too many youngsters when the team is going down is not a good thing, but put the youngsters into a team that’s flourishing, on its way up and positive, then it’s going to be easier for them to perform. There would be pressure on Jadon from day one if he goes to United
2020 03 12 Retrieve
[Glen Johnson says Liverpool would’ve happily traded cups for title triumph] What has surprised me is the manner they’ve lost a certain amount of games in recent weeks, for how good they were and are. But let’s not forget that in pre-season, if they had a board meeting and a chat to say we’re going to get knocked out of all the cups but win the Premier League, every single one of them would have voted for that. They would have all accepted it, so it’s not a bad season at all. It’s just surprising when you look at, if you hadn’t seen a game of football all year and look at their last five or six fixtures, that’s the surprising chapter in their season
I can’t remember the last time someone scored three goals at Anfield, let alone beat them. The first goal is a terrible error from the keeper [Adrian] and it is what it is, but the defending afterwards was terrible. It was on the other two goals as well. It’s like they’ve thought ‘we’ll let them shoot because they aren’t going to score anyway’. That was the surprising bit. They [Atletico] have gone there with a game plan, scored three goals and people are saying they are super-defensive. If that’s defensive …
2020 03 19 Retrieve
[Glen Johnson says Cancelling the 2019-20 campaign is now a very realistic prospect] With football being delayed for an unknown amount of time, plenty think we won’t get this season done. But what does that mean in terms of the title, European qualification and relegation? At the top of the table, we all know Liverpool are going to win the league, but the major issue is will there be time for them to be crowned? If the season is cancelled and the title is awarded to Liverpool, every person on the planet, except Liverpool fans, is going to say they didn’t win the league
As things stand, Jurgen Klopp’s side are in a no-win situation because there is no way the players will want to win the league in that manner. It’s incredibly harsh on them as they’ve been streets ahead of their rivals this season, but the way things are going it might all be for nothing
In my opinion, if things don’t change pretty swiftly, we’ll have to cancel the season. It’s a pretty extreme measure, but if you look at the other end of the table, you can’t just relegate clubs based on their position in the table after 28 or 29 matches.
It’s pretty likely that at least one of the current bottom-three will get out of it with the amount of time left in the season. The difference between survival and relegation is life-changing and whether or not a team stays up makes a difference in so many areas. Staff might get sacked and budgets might get cut if a club goes down, whereas it could be the polar opposite if they stay up.
It’s the same in the Championship and the other leagues. Imagine if you’re sat in third place, just a point off automatic promotion and you miss out on going up.
Every side is going to throw punches from their corner and almost all of them are going to feel hard done if the season is stopped now, so I think in order to be as fair as possible, we have to say this season didn’t happen. You can’t just give Liverpool the league and say to the others; you’re not as important.
In short, you have to give Liverpool the league and relegate those currently in the bottom-three or cancel the season altogether.
Before football was postponed, the majority of matches were played behind closed doors and I can imagine it’s a pretty weird experience for the players. It was never something I had to do in a competitive match and I’m not sure it would have been much fun. I did play in a few during pre-season and at the training ground and it was quite hard to get motivated for them, which is one of the huge benefits of playing at packed-out stadiums around the world. The fans make it such an amazing atmosphere and the adrenaline is there before you even start, so having no fans around in a big, competitive game would be odd that’s for sure
2020 03 28 Retrieve
[Glen Johnson says Ninety-one goals but Salah still doesn’t get credit he deserves] All of Liverpool’s front three could have made my team, but I’ve chosen Salah because I still don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. He’s already scored 91 goals for Liverpool and although he can be wasteful in front of goal sometimes, he’s still incredibly dangerous. He’s scored some really crucial goals as well as some absolute crackers including that fantastic strike against Chelsea last season
It was not that long ago that Henderson looked like he’d be on his way out of Liverpool. However in the past couple of seasons he’s become one of the players Jurgen Klopp relies on most at Liverpool. He might not be the most eye-catching of midfielders, but players like him are often the most influential players in a successful side
2020 03 28b Retrieve
[Glen Johnson says Scary to think Alexander-Arnold is only 21!] I think people still forget that Trent is only 21! He’s still got plenty to learn, but he just seems to get better and better every time he puts on a Liverpool shirt and he’s got the potential to go right to the top. The scary thing is that being so young means he’s got time on his side and playing alongside the likes of Virgil van Dijk will only stand him in good stead moving forward.
[Important lessons are being taken from Dutch centre-half Van Dijk] There isn’t too much that hasn’t been said about the quality of the Dutch international and given he finished runner-up in the Ballon d’Or, he has to be in my team. Football is a very taxing sport both physically and mentally, but everything seems to come so easy to Van Dijk and he’s a huge reason for why Liverpool have been so successful this season
[on Brazil international Alisson] He’s been absolutely brilliant since he signed for Liverpool. They’d struggled to find a top-class keeper for a number of years, but in Alisson they’ve found one of the world’s best. He’s made a number of key saves for the club so far, with that one against Napoli in last season’s Champions League perhaps the most crucial
2020 04 24 Retrieve
[former Liverpool team-mate Glen Johnson says Chelsea boss Frank Lampard can be the man to get Philippe Coutinho back to his best form] Obviously you look on paper at his CV, at the clubs he’s been at, and it’s unbelievable. You don’t get to those clubs without an enormous amount of ability. He’s not reached the heights he’s capable of since he’s left Liverpool and it’s hard to put your finger on why. I know he’s a quiet guy, a very nice lad, but he’s got a bit of fight about him on the pitch, he won’t be pushed around. At Barca you go there and there’s a superstar in every corner you look, and maybe he just blended in a little bit rather than being the key man. I just think he needs to be made to feel a bit special; he needs an arm around him, and I think he’d get that at Chelsea.
I think he’s just a bit cautious when he meets new people and it takes him a bit of time to come out of his shell. That’s why I guess when he walks into a new dressing room it will take a bit of time for the lads to get to know him, but he’s a really nice lad. I think it would be great for him and his family to be in London and Lamps could be the man that puts his arm around him and makes him feel he is a key part of their plans, and I think that could force the best out of him. There is no doubt about it, the boy can play. He’s a proper footballer. He’s not the quickest lad and he’s clearly not the biggest lad, but his brain, his sharpness and speed of his football brain […] he just picks that pass and he’s got that technique and perfect mobility in short spaces that opens up defences, and that’s something you can’t teach. And if Chelsea get the chance to sign him, they should be signing him. He’s unbelievable
2020 05 02 Retrieve
[Despite all of Salah’s brilliance, former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson said recently that he feels the 27-year-old still doesn’t get the credit he deserves] All of Liverpool’s front three could have made my team [of 2019-20], but I’ve chosen Salah because I still don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. He’s already scored 91 goals for Liverpool and although he can be wasteful in front of goal sometimes, he’s still incredibly dangerous
2020 05 15 Retrieve
[Glen Johnson says Sancho should pick Liverpool over Man Utd] Sancho has been linked with almost all of Europe’s top clubs, but from my perspective he’ll surely find it very hard to turn down Liverpool if they come knocking. I know exactly what it means to put on the shirt and for any young English footballer playing at Anfield it is what you dream of. They’ve got one of the best managers in the world in Jurgen Klopp, they’re European champions and are going to win the Premier League, so it would be very tough to not be seriously tempted if they were after Sancho’s signature. If he wants to play in England, no club is able to offer him the success that Liverpool are currently enjoying and that will surely be a big sway towards him going there. If he were to go to a club like Manchester United, there would be so much pressure on him to perform as soon as he walked through the door and for someone so young that’s a lot of responsibility to take on. He’ll be expected to improve the team overnight and that simply doesn’t happen, whereas at Liverpool he’d be under so much less pressure to perform. They wouldn’t need to put him into the team every week and instead they’d make him earn his stripes. I think that would actually develop him more than just sticking him in from the get-go. We all know that Liverpool have an established front three at the moment with Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, but as we know things change incredibly fast in football and who knows where they’ll be in two or three years? I’m not saying they’ll move on during that time, but you never know what might happen and if nothing else, adding another top-class player to Liverpool’s attacking ranks might actually spur them on to play better. An improved Firmino, Salah and Mane alongside a more experienced Sancho would be a pretty terrifying thought for opposition defences.
2020 05 19 Retrieve
[Former England defender Glen Johnson has slammed the way some politicians have treated Premier League players] I think it’s a disgrace - how can politicians say that? You can’t make your cake and eat it. Most people enjoy watching sport whenever it’s on and obviously football is a massive part of that. [But] I think it’s bang out of order. You can’t shoot from the hip asking them to take pay cuts and then shoot from the other hip saying, ‘We want you to get back as soon as possible.’ You can’t have it both ways. Everyone wants sport to come back but we’re talking about people dying here. We’re not talking about sitting on the sofa watching regular sport
We’re in a crisis at the moment and that’s much more important than sport itself. So if the players don’t feel safe then 100 per cent they shouldn’t go back. Some people are going to be more sceptical than others and I think everyone has the right to … there are some lads who will be living at home on their own and others who are older with young babies. So I totally respect anyone’s decision if they want to go back or don’t want to go back
2020 06 11 Retrieve
[According to one of the club’s former defenders Glen Johnson, Ben Chilwell would be an ideal signing for Chelsea and connect with manager Frank Lampard] I’ve said many times I am a fan of Chilwell, I like the way he carries himself. You don’t really hear him unless it’s football related, which I like, and I think he’s the sort of player Lamps would connect with. He’s the sort of out-and-out left-back they haven’t had for a while. I know Ashley Cole was irreplaceable, but in terms of a natural, solid left-back, they haven’t had one for a while and I think he’ll do very well. Marcos Alonso is a fantastic player, but I don’t think he is a solid natural left-back
2020 06 11b Retrieve
[Former Chelsea defender Glen Johnson has urged his old club to continue their pursuit of Ben Chilwell, claiming that the Leicester star represents an improvement at left-back] I’ve said many times I am a fan of Chilwell. I like the way he carries himself. You don’t really hear him unless it’s football related which I like, and I think he’s the sort of player Lamps [Frank Lampard] would connect with. He’s the sort of out-and-out left-back they haven’t had for a while. I know Ashley Cole was irreplaceable, but in terms of a natural, solid left-back, they haven’t had one for a while and I think he’ll do very well
[Marcos Alonso is the current occupant of the left-back spot, but Johnson believes that the Leicester man is more suited to the position] Alonso is a fantastic player. But I don’t think he’s a solid natural left-back. There’s no doubt he is a wonderful footballer but Chilwell is a natural full-back. It’s a hefty price tag, there’s no doubting that, but if [Chelsea] can get a deal for him that is reasonable then he’s a player they should try to get.
2020 06 12 Retrieve
[Glen Johnson says Jordan Henderson is on course to become a Liverpool legend] When Hendo turned up he was a young kid and at the start it was a bit like he was in awe of a few of the faces that were in the dressing room. Because he was such a hard-working kid and so eager to please, certain things weren’t coming off. It takes a bit of time to understand – no disrespect to Sunderland – that to go into Liverpool is a big step up and a big standard change. There were times in training when Hendo would make a minor mistake, maybe deliver a pass how somebody didn’t want it, and there would be a handful of players that would look at him as if, not actually roll their eyes at him, but have that body language as if to say ‘Oh, God, what’s he done again’. You could see it getting to him. I remember speaking to him and saying ‘You’re here for a reason so just keep doing what got you here in the first place’. I just told him to relax, it will happen and to let it come out rather than forcing it. There were a few people looking at Hendo in the wrong sort of way – this pass I can picture didn’t come off for Luis, so Luis was throwing his arms up and expecting more, so that is when Hendo snapped. I remember watching it and thinking ‘great, it’s good’. You can’t let people run all over you or think that they can, and he’s carried on with the same attitude in terms of how hard he works and the effort he wants to put in to improve.
It was just a little warning, but I think Luis respected it and a few of the others that were around Luis at the time respected it and they gave him a bit of a break. There was no doubt about it, you could see the boy could play. Liverpool aren’t silly and they didn’t buy him to walk into the team on that day. They bought him because they knew Stevie [Gerrard] wasn’t going to be around forever and they were tactically buying for a couple of years down the line. It’s tough when you get brought into a top team, young kids are going to struggle at first because it takes times to adapt
There are no signs of him going anywhere so I think if he stays there long enough, 100 per cent. He’s won pretty much everything you can win and if he maintains this level for a few more years, then there’s no doubt about it
2020 06 13 Retrieve
[Glen Johnson urge fans to trust Jurgen Klopp] It looks as if Liverpool won’t be signing Werner which is obviously disappointing for Liverpool fans, but I wouldn’t worry too much about it. They’ve shown in the past that when they recruit they more often than not get it right, so I think you’ve just got to let them find the right players. Everyone thought Mohamed Salah was pricey when they signed him and look how much he’s worth now, so I’m sure there are players they’re looking at besides Werner. At the end of the day, Liverpool have plenty of pulling power nowadays and if they really wanted Werner, I think they would have gone out and got him, so for whatever reason they’ve decided against that. They have been far and away the best side in the league this season and while you don’t need to fix something that isn’t broken, successful teams should always be looking to strengthen and rebuild again. It might not be the players who are going to be in the first team straight away, but you’ve always got to be looking ahead and the players who are brought in should be chosen with that in mind
[Johnson believes a switch to Stamford Bridge for Wener may end up being beneficial to all concerned] He’s got an eye for goal and is quick, both of which are attributes that are very useful in the Premier League. However, playing in England is a totally different kettle of fish to playing in Germany. Every game is tough and there aren’t any freebies which he’ll have to get used to, but he’s clearly a classy footballer and looks to have lots going for him. If he’s as good as people say he is then £50 million looks like a very good deal for Chelsea. From Chelsea’s point of view, it’s good they are competing with the players that the top teams want. Liverpool were obviously linked with Werner too, so it shows that Frank Lampard’s side are still able to attract the best
2020 06 25 Retrieve
[It will cost £20m-plus to replace Willian, so keep him!] I still think he’s a top player. Those sort of players, those players with that level of professionalism, they are hard to replace. Financially, business-wise, trying to replace Willian – how much is that going to cost? You are going to let a top player walk out of the door for nothing. It’s going to cost you a good £20m to replace him. I’d definitely like to see him stay there for another year