It is to be expected that Glen Johnson will find a new club for next season over the summer, after spending six years with Liverpool. Glen has made 160 league appearances over the years and has scored eight goals.
I do feel he should have made 161 appearances for Liverpool, at least. I’m not certain what went on ‘behind the scenes’ but I am certain that Johnson should have been allowed to say farewell to Liverpool fans against Stoke last weekend.
I appreciate that the same can be said for Rickie Lambert, Brad Jones and even more so Jose Enrique but I’m talking specifically about Glen Johnson, who has made almost three-times the amount of appearances for Liverpool than Enrique.
Now, Glen hasn’t had the best time over the last 18-plus months but he has been a great servant to Liverpool and has given us the best years of his career.
He has been hailed as the best right-back around numerous times. In 2009, then England manager Fabio Capello said that Glen is “one of the best right-backs in the world”, in 2012, former Red Jamie Redknapp labelled Johnson as “the best right-back in the country” and just last year on-loan Liverpool right-back, Javier Manquillo, said his teammate is “one of the world’s best”.
The treatment of Glen Johnson in recent months has been dreadful; it’s as if all football fans have short-term memories. Yes, Johnson may have been making more mistakes but that is no reason to start verbally attacking him on social media.
This tweet above came along amid a run of poor form from Glen. Not all Liverpool fans jumped on his back about it but a lot did, damming him for his recent blunders. Some Liverpool fans did stand by him though and sent him encouraging words. A professional in any field shouldn’t really use Twitter and/or Facebook etcetera to vent their feelings the way Johnson did but it was, not entirely – I must point out, Liverpool fans that made him feel the way he did. That goes against everything I’ve known to expect from Liverpool Football Club and its fans. I just hope that Glen’s memories of this club aren’t going to be tarnished by a few keyboard warriors.
Enough about the bad times, here are some of my favourite moments Glen Johnson has delivered over the last six years.
I’ll begin with one that should be fresh in Liverpool fans’ memories. His header against Stoke City at the end of last year. It may not seem significant now but at the time Liverpool were 12th in the Premier League and had been playing abysmally in recent weeks. Liverpool and Stoke were tied 0-0 at Anfield and it wasn’t looking as if either team were going to break the deadlock, but then Rickie Lambert smashed the ball against the crossbar sending the ball to just outside the five-yard box and Glen powers himself to the ball and throws his head at it, sending it beyond Asmir Begovic, who had been in fine form all afternoon. He put his body on the line but he made sure the ball went into the net, he was congratulated by his teammates for his goal but he didn’t do much as he needed to get treatment following a collision before netting the winner.
I remember another game against Stoke too, in 2009. Glen Johnson made his Anfield debut in August 2009 and he scored one of the most acrobatic goals I have ever seen from a right-back. The ball was whipped in by Gerrard with Dirk Kuyt hitting the ball off the crossbar and Johnson was there at the back post to overhead kick the ball in the top-right corner of the net. He also claimed an assist in the same game, setting up a David N’Gog header to finish the game off at 4-0 to Liverpool.
Remember the only trophy that Liverpool have won since 2006? Yes, the League Cup in 2012. Do you remember, thought, who scored the decisive penalty to win the trophy? I know it can be hard to remember, the memory of Charlie Adam’s penalty, which is probably still in orbit, can get in the way. Yes! It was Glen Johnson.
Glen Johnson has been a great player for this club, he may not be remembered that way by fans that a stuck with only the recent memories. But I know how I’ll remember him and I know a lot of other Liverpool fans feel the same way about him.
I’m not sure many Liverpool fans will write a farewell article about Johnson so I hope he gets the chance to read this…
Goodbye Glen, I can’t recall the entire sheer amount of times you’ve beaten a left-back and fizzed the ball across the box which has led to a goal. I can though remember almost every thunderbolt you’ve struck over the years but I think my favourite memory of you will be your late winner against Chelsea. The goal meant so much, Chelsea had taken Fernando Torres and Raul Meireles from us and after a switch of the play from Charlie Adam you took on and beat three Chelsea defenders to give us all three points.
Thank you for everything Glen. You’ve been an absolute warrior of a right-back over the years and it will be hard to replace what you have brought to our club.
Good luck for the future. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
For anybody else still here, here is a video from YRCHDVideos of Glen Johnson’s highlight during his best period in the famous red shirt: