Many question Rafael Benitez’ judgement when he spent nearly £18m on Portsmouth and England full-back Glen Johnson. People said that Arbeloa was good enough and the money could be better used. Our opening two fixtures against Spurs’ and Stoke have proved those people wrong.
First of all, I will look at Glen Johnson the full-back. He fills the position well, he’s cool calm and collected at all times and never makes silly mistakes. Against both Spurs and Stoke he’s been as solid as a rock at the back, working well with those around him and especially our vice-captain Jamie Carragher. To put it simply he’s an improvement from good but not world-class Alvaro Arbeloa, who’s now joined the Galacticos over in Madrid.
However, what Glen Johnson brings to the side that’s worth his price tag isn’t just his solid defending on the right hand side but his movement up and down the wing, to create goal scoring opportunities for himself and others. He’s shown this already, with a run which lead to a penalty against Spurs and a goal and an assist against Stoke at Anfield on Wednesday night. What Glen Johnson brings is the ability to break teams down, teams we struggled against last season, He’s a clever player who knows what to do with the ball and when to do it. It’s not something you can be trained to do, it’s something your born with.
Just to top it all off we’ve found someone similar on the left hand side in young Emiliano Insua, our Argentine left-back. Despite being younger than Johnson and costing considerably less the left sided player hasn’t put a foot wrong this season and just like Johnson he doesn’t just provide sound support at the back, he also gets forward and creates chances, something we’ve been lacking for a number of seasons. With both players in the team we’re a well-balanced attacking force, it’s a long time since I’ve been able to say that.