Who will Kenny Dalglish pick?

By on June 25, 2011
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Right back. There has been very little talk about acquiring players who play in this position. We can understand why though as Liverpool have a couple of players who fulfil this role tremendously. Even though both Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly were injured for some time last season we had a young John Flanagan who did ever so well at fullback. The 18-year-old made 7 appearances for Liverpool last season and I think I speak for all Reds fans when I say that game by game our confidence in him grew. I’m sure we’ll see the academy product feature for Liverpool in some way again next season. We all really expect to see the number 2 spot in the starting 11 hotly contested between Kelly and Johnson though.

Glen Johnson, another one of the now relegated Hammers’ brilliant youth products has clocked in exactly 70 appearances for Liverpool, just over 50 in the league, since leaving Portsmouth in 2009. Now we all love Glen but yes, he has his pros and cons just like everyone else. He is lightning quick and doesn’t struggle to change pace and direction but yet he occasionally gets caught out of position. I have met many England fans who say the man is lazy and ill-disciplined, I totally disagree with this however and believe that Johnson is energetic and just loves to venture forward.

For a player whose signature move is steaming down the flank then cutting in field and having a shot with his left boot, I’d say he does quite well to track back so quickly. He has already scored 5 goals for Liverpool FC and I have no doubt that he will add to that tally. He has a great shot, with either his right or left boot, and has scored some memorable goals in his career. Who could forget his unbelievable volley for Pompey that took goal of the season in the 2008/9 campaign. But fullbacks are there mainly to defend and we often saw Johnson at left back rather than right whilst Kelly was fit. Both of the players have had their injury problems and as Liverpool desperately look to acquire a left back this transfer window I can’t help but feel that Johnson on the left won’t be such a common occurrence next season.

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4 Comments

  1. Matt

    June 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Kelly Rb & Johnson Rw ? ?

  2. dave

    June 25, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    They both have their strengths. I think the decision will need to take into account how we play next season. If Kuyt stays on the right and we play 4 3 3 then I think Johnson should start and the right sided player of the middle three needs to hang back as Johnson makes his forward runs to interchange with the right sided forward. If we play a 4 4 2 with a traditional winger then I think we would benefit from Kelly’s strength in defending with attacking support coming more from the second striker. The fact that we have two such skillful right backs that offer different strengths and allow us to play different formations is very positive. I would hope that our new left back is another fast and skillful dribbler to offer a johnsonesque outlet on the left. I feel that the other lad (sorry smoked a couple spliffs last night) who came in last season to play lb and our Brazilian left back (who I really rate but again, due to the dope, whose name I cannot seem to drag from the remote and unapprehended caverns of my mind) can fulfill the alternative role of a reliable defender. No?

  3. Ronny

    June 25, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I think Johnson struggled under Roy Hodgson but under Kenny when he started playing at left back he was rarely caught out of position and i think playing at left back helped him in improving his defending and after reverting back to his right back position he showed why he is the england right back. I think Johnson is better fullback than Kelly because Kelly’s natural position is centre back. Eventhough Kelly looked great playing rightback and even played ahead of Johnson but Johnson is more natural. As for Flanaghan he still needs to develop as a player, he did great defensively but attacking side of his game is almost non existent and he needs to work harder and with age on his side, he will get his chances in the future.

  4. harris

    June 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    for right back johnson should be playing against weaker teams while kelly should play against more serious opponents as he is better defensively and johnson is better offensively
    we need TWO HIGH QUALITY WINGERS preferably cazorla nad mata and we will have really serious chances to fight again for the title. we also need a QUALITY CENTRAL DEFENDER as skrtl is of medium quality for a club like liverpool, agger is always injured and should be sold. also a back up striker is also a necessity

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