|Date of Birth||
23 August 1984
|Place of Birth||
1.82 m (5'11 1/2")
Glen McLeod Cooper Johnson (born 23 August 1984) is an English international footballer who played as a full back for Liverpool from 2009 to 2015. He signed from Portsmouth on 13 June 2009 for a fee of around £17,500,000. He spent most of his career at Anfield as the Reds' first choice full back, principally operating from the right flank. He has collected one winners' medal during his time at the club- the League Cup in 2012, although he has also been part of the team that finished runners-up in the FA Cup in the same year, and in the Premier League in the 2013-14 season. During his stay at Liverpool, Johnson has received both high praise and heavy criticism at different times, whilst he has also contended with a number of injuries. His attacking flair, technique and pace has endeared him to many, as evidenced by him being voted 51st in the 2013 edition of the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop list, however his perceived tendency to be caught out of position too often, plus a criticism of sometimes appearing lethargic in his displays despite always being one of the top earners at the club mean that his ability is still not held in high esteem by large sections of the fanbase.
Johnson was signed from Portsmouth by former manager Rafael Benitez on 26 June 2009. The fee was worth £17 million with £10 million being paid in cash and the other £7 million still being owed by Portsmouth for the sale of Peter Crouch in the summer of 2008.
Johnson played his first game on 15 July 2009 in a friendly against St. Gallen which ended in a 0-0 tie. He made his home debut in a friendly against Athetico Madrid. His competitive debut came in the 2-1 Premier League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on 16 August 2009. On his home debut against Stoke City three days later he scored his first Liverpool goal. On 29 August, Johnson scored his second goal for Liverpool in a 3–2 win against Bolton Wanderers.
On 30 December 2009 Johnson tore a ligament in his right knee in a league game against Aston Villa. He would be out of action until the following March. Upon his return he scored his third Liverpool goal against Sunderland at home. In his debut season for Livepool he made 35 starts and 3 goals.
Johnson scored his first goal in the 2010-11 season against West Ham United in a 3-0 win. He scored yet again against West Ham in the 1-3 loss. During the latter half of the season, due to the injury of other options, manager Kenny Dalglish played Johnson as left-back with younger Martin Kelly and Jon Flanagan playing in the right-back spot.
On 6 July 2011 Johnson signed a contract extension for Liverpool. It has not been released how long the extension will keep him at Anfield.
Johnson spent much of the start of the 2011-12 season recovering from injury, however he was quickly restored to the first team upon his return to fitness ahead of youngster Martin Kelly. On 20 November 2011, in only his fourth game of the season, Johnson scored the winner against Chelsea in Liverpool's 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge. In the 87th minute of the match, Johnson collected a long pass from Charlie Adam on the right flank, surged into the Chelsea box after nut-megging England colleague Ashley Cole and fired past Petr Cech. It was particularly ironic that Johnson- a former Chelsea player- grabbed the headlines with the winner, with much of the build-up to the match focusing on ex-Reds Fernando Torres and Raul Meireles facing their old club, Liverpool.
Johnson made his 100th appearance for Liverpool on 2 August 2012, in the Europa League third qualifying round first leg away to Belarussian side FC Gomel. In the return leg at Anfield on 9 August, Johnson scored an impressive volley from distance to seal Liverpool's 4-0 aggregate win. On 9 December 2012, Johnson opened his league account for the 2012-13 season, firing the first in a 3-2 win against his former club West Ham United- the third time he had scored against the Hammers in a Liverpool shirt- with a long range effort that nestled into the top corner. Johnson's performances in the first half of the season were met with much acclaim, with him being identified as one of the club's star performers to date.
Johnson made his 100th League appearance for Liverpool on 11 February 2013 in a home match against West Brom. Unfortunately it would not be an occasion to remember as the Reds lost 2-0, with Johnson himself coming under particular criticism for an uncharacteristically poor performance. His form continued to stutter for the remainder of the season as he failed to maintain his high standards from the preceeding months.
On 23 November 2013, Johnson made his 150th appearance for Liverpool, starting in the Merseyside Derby. However, the two sides had to share the points in a thrilling 3-3 draw. Over the Christmas period, Johnson came in for increasing criticism for poor and lacklustre performances, particularly in the Reds' back-to-back 2-1 away defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea.
In the new year, manager Brendan Rodgers declared that Johnson had been carrying a number of injuries during recent times that now needed medical attention. Johnson sat out a number of matches, however he made a quicker-than-expected return to action at the end of February 2014. He garnered praise for his role in Liverpool's 3-0 away win over Man Utd, and 6-3 away win over Cardiff on 16 and 22 March 2014 respectively. He had also spoken of his happiness at Liverpool and wish to earn a new contract, with his present deal due to expire in the summer of 2015. On 30 March 2014, Johnson whipped in a low cross that was bundled into his own net by Younes Kaboul as Liverpool took a second minute lead at home to Tottenham, in what would ultimately finish 4-0 to the Reds with Johnson continuing his fine run of form.
On 5 May 2014, Johnson was the target of online abuse after Liverpool squandered a 3-0 lead away at Crystal Palace to draw 3-3 and heavily dent their hopes of claiming a first title in 24 years. The first of Palace's goals took a wicked deflection off Johnson and flew into the top corner of the net. He was then perceived to have abandoned his defensive duties as Palace went on the attack. Johnson responded on his Twitter account by describing his detractors as 'clueless' and 'armchair fans who don't understand football.' He was criticised again for his performance in Liverpool's end-of-season clash at home to Newcastle on 11 May 2014, as the Reds struggled to overcome the Magpies, although they eventually prevailed 2-1 and sealed second place in the Premier League.
Brendan Rodgers continued to pick Glen Johnson as his preferred full back in the 2014-15 season. Liverpool's form in the early phase of the season was disappointing, with the club racking up as many League losses in their first 12 games of the season as they had suffered in the entire of the previous campaign (six). Johnson's performances were continuously criticised by fans, and his continued selection was cited as one of the reasons why Brendan Rodgers was beginning to lose the backing of large sections of the fanbase. He however earnt a reprieve on 29 November 2014 as he scored the only goal in Liverpool's 1-0 victory over Stoke at Anfield. After Rickie Lambert sent a looping header onto the crossbar, Johnson ran to perform a diving header to knock the ball past keeper Asmir Begovic. Johnson took a boot to the head in the process and could be seen bleeding whilst laying on the floor. Johnson's bravery and determination to secure an important win for Liverpool was praised by Brendan Rodgers, and the fans also responded warmly to the defender's efforts.
On 14 December 2014, Johnson was forced off the pitch with an injury early in Liverpool's away defeat to Manchester United, with the expectation that he would miss Liverpool's Christmas schedule. He returned on 24 January 2015 to play the duration of Liverpool's 0-0 FA Cup tie at home to Bolton. Brendan Rodgers meanwhile spoke of his desire to see Johnson tied down to a new contract, with reports then surfacing that the club would seek to strike an agreement. The news was not warmly received by the Liverpool fanbase.
On 10 June 2015 however, it was confirmed that Johnson's contract would not be renewed, and that the full back was to leave Liverpool after six years of service. Johnson made 200 appearances for the club, scoring 9 goals.
- League Cup: 1 (2012)
- No. 51 on 100 Players Who Shook The Kop (2013)
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