In the spotlight

Glen Johnson continues to impress for club and country and this summer he was rewarded with a contract extension and he appears to remain Fabio Capello's first choice right-back in the England side, writes Michael O'Donnell.


Name: Glen Johnson Position: Defender Club: Liverpool D.O.B.: 23/08/1984 England caps: 35 England goals: 1 England debut: v Denmark, November 200 Moment to remember Scoring a late winner in Liverpool's EPL clash with his former club Chelsea at Stamford Bridge recently. Moment to forget Suffering relegation with West Ham in 2003.

At the age of 19 Glen Johnson was cast into the spotlight as he became Chelsea's first signing following Roman Abramovich's takeover of the club.

Johnson's move to Chelsea was confirmed just over two months after he was relegated with West Ham United on the final day of the 2002/03 season. His next competitive game came in the UEFA Champions League against Zilina — a qualifying tie in which he scored in the second leg.

Johnson's GBP6 million move to Stamford Bridge came as something of a surprise as he had only made 15 appearances in the Barclays English Premier League for the Hammers, who signed him as a 15-year-old.

Johnson spent time at Millwall and after returning to West Ham, the defender began to appear regularly for the first team and signed a four-year contract just two months before his eventual departure from the club.

In his first season at Chelsea, Johnson made 32 appearances, including nine in the UEFA Champions League as the side finished second in the EPL.

As Chelsea continued to bring in new players, Johnson found a place in the starting line-up increasingly harder to come by. The signing of Paolo Ferreira by Jose Mourinho and a lack of consistency led to the full-back making just eight appearances in the 2005/06 season.

As it became apparent that Johnson's role as a squad player was unlikely to change in the near future, he went on a season-long loan to Portsmouth and helped them to finish ninth in the EPL.

After returning to Chelsea, Johnson made just two more appearances before moving to Portsmouth permanently. That season was to be a successful one for the Johnson and Portsmouth as they finished eight and won the FA Cup after beating Cardiff at Wembley.

Unfortunately the celebrations of Johnson and his team-mate Jamie Ashdown were dampened when their FA Cup winners' medals were stolen from the team hotel during the weekend of their FA Cup success.

Speaking about this incident at the time, he said: “I'd put mine in my wash-bag at the bottom of my bag and kept checking on it. But in the morning we went out for the open-top bus parade and when we came back, it was gone — and the CCTV cameras were broken.”

Portsmouth finished 14th in the EPL the following season and Johnson, who has also set up his own soccer school, continued to impress. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2008-09 campaign.

The impressive form shown by Johnson meant that he was repeatedly linked with Liverpool and in June 2009 the move came to fruition, as he signed a four-year deal at Anfield.

Since arriving at Liverpool, Johnson has been a regular at right-back, making 35 appearances in both of his first two seasons at the club. During this time, he also scored his first international goal in a friendly against Mexico in the run up to the 2010 World Cup. Since then Johnson started 14 of England's 18 fixtures including every game of their ill-fated World Cup campaign.

Johnson continues to impress for club and country and this summer he was rewarded with a contract extension and he appears to remain Fabio Capello's first choice right-back in the England side.

Aged just 27, Johnson is probably still yet to reach his peak but it is a measure of the regard he is held in that he is keeping the likes of in-form Manchester City defender Micah Richards out of the England squad.

And with Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool revolution gathering pace, Johnson will be hopeful of being part of a squad which brings the good times back to Merseyside.

Johnson is married to Laura with two children, a girl and a boy. He drives a Bentley Continental.

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