Glen Johnson, Rafa’s first 2009 signin, is a right back who has won 15 England caps. Glen Mcleod Cooper Johnson was born in 23 August 1984, he is a right back that can feature on the left or as a right-sided midfielder.
Johnson’s Club Career:
West Ham United
Born in Greenwich, Johnson was a product of the West Ham United system, becoming a 15 year-old first year scholar in 2000. He signed a three-year professional contract for the Hammers on 1 August 2001 at the age of 16, and was given the number 23 shirt. In the 2001/02 season, he made regular Reserves appearances for West Ham, but was unable to break into the first team. He eventually signed an initial four-week loan deal with Millwall on 17 October 2002, making his Championship debut in an away loss against Norwich City on 19 October. His loan was twice extended by a month, before he was recalled early to Upton Park after having spent seven weeks at The Den, his final appearance in a Millwall shirt coming in another away defeat to Crystal Palace on 7 November. His Premiership and West Ham debut came on 22 January 2003 in another away defeat to a London club, this time against Charlton Athletic, when he came on for midfielder Édouard Cissé. He made a total of 15 League appearances – and a solitary FA Cup appearance – in the 2002-03 season, becoming a more significant member of the West Ham side as the year went on. He even signed a new four-year deal to remain in East London on 18 March 2003, appearing keen to help keep the club in the top flight. However, his last outing in a Hammers shirt was to come on the final day of the season, 11 May 2003, in an away draw with Birmingham City – the must-win match which saw his club relegated to the First Division.
Just two months after that fateful Sunday in May, he was to join London rivals Chelsea, signing on 15 July for a fee of £6 million. The first purchase of the Abramovich era, he made his debut on 13 August in an away win against Žilina in the 2003-04 Champions League – and his first Chelsea goal came in the corresponding home leg two weeks later. His league debut came on 17 August in a Anfield win against Liverpool, but he had to wait until 9 November for his first League goal, netting the opener of a 5-0 romp over Newcastle United. He eventually made 63 appearances in all competitions over the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. In Chelsea’s FA Cup fifth round clash against Newcastle in the latter season, Blues’ goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was sent off late in the match for a tackle outside the box. Johnson went in goal (as Chelsea had used all three substitutions and couldn’t call on Petr Cech from the bench) and saved the free-kick and kept a clean sheet. However a goal had already been scored by Newcastle and they held on to win 1-0 and knock Chelsea out of the cup. He picked up a winner’s medal when he came on as a second half substitute for Chelsea in the 2005 Football League Cup Final, a game which Chelsea went on to win after extra time. He also made 17 appearances, enough for a medal, as Chelsea won the 2004-05 Premier League, but he was to miss out on a medal for their success in the next season after managing only 4 appearances in the league.
As the 2005-06 season unfolded, Johnson was still only a squad player at Chelsea with Paulo Ferreira being the regular at right-back. Johnson made one appearance in the Premier League for Chelsea that season, starting the 4-0 win against West Bromwich Albion in place of Ferreira. Versatile squad player Geremi also provided extra competition for Johnson at right-back under José Mourinho. As a result, Johnson joined Portsmouth in a season long loan in June 2006. On his return to Chelsea, Johnson started the 2007 Community Shield and the opening Premier League game of the season at home to Birmingham City.
On 31 August 2007, transfer deadline day, Johnson signed for Portsmouth on a four-year contract, for a fee believed to be £4M. He was handed a start in the first match after his transfer, a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal and became the club’s regular right-back.
On 20 October, Johnson scored his first goal in over three years, against Wigan Athletic after dribbling from the halfway line.
He played in and won the 2008 FA Cup Final. Shortly after Johnson’s cup success, he and many other Portsmouth players had their winner’s medals stolen. On 22 November, Johnson scored a 35-yard screamer with his left foot against Hull City, a goal which won Match of the Day’s Goal of the Month award for November, and later won the Goal of the Season award.
Johnson ended speculation that he would move to Liverpool for a rumoured amount of £9m by signing a four and a half year contract with Portsmouth on 9 January 2009, although speculation once again suggested that Johnson could make a big money move to Liverpool in the near future; this was reaffirmed in late April 2009
On 22 April 2009, at 24 years old, Johnson was the youngest member of Times Online’s Top 50 Portsmouth players list.
Johnson was included in the PFA team of the year for the 2008-09 season despite Portsmouth finishing in the bottom half of the Premier League, 7 points above the relegation zone.
A Portsmouth representative confirmed on 13 June 2009 that a “sizeable bid” had been received for Johnson and that he was most likely on his way out, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City being mooted as possible suitors.
On 16th June 2009, Portsmouth agreed a bid believed to be £17m from Liverpool who beat Chelsea and Manchester City to the signing. However on the 18th June 2009 Portsmouth confirmed they had also accepted a bid from Chelsea for Johnson and it was up to the player as to who he wanted to join.
On the 22nd of June Liverpool announced the transfer on their official website saying “Liverpool FC confirmed this evening that they had reached an agreement with Portsmouth Football Club and with Glen Johnson for the transfer of the player to Anfield.”
During his time with the England U21s, Johnson was handed his full England début on 18 November 2003 against Denmark, coming on as a substitute for the injured Gary Neville after 16 minutes.
Following a poor performance in England’s friendly in Denmark in August 2005 he lost his position as Gary Neville’s understudy in the squad to Luke Young, who played in both the subsequent World Cup qualifiers. Johnson did not make any further England appearances under Sven Goran Eriksson or his successor Steve McClaren but was named in Fabio Capello’s first squad in January 2008. He played in the 2-0 victory over Andorra, and made four assists in the subsequent 6-0 victory against the same team for which he was named Nationwide Man of the Match.
2001-2003 West Ham United 15 Appearances in league, 0 goals
2002 –>Millwal (loan) 8 appearances without scoring.
2003-2007 Chelsea 41 appearances scoring 3 times.
2006-2007 –> Portsmouth (loan) app: 26, goals scored: 0
2007-2009: Portsmouth appearing 58 times scoring 4 goals
2009- Liverpool ——
PS: Apearances and goals are only counted in league games.
Ramez El Hajj. Empire Of The Kop. YNWA