Who will Kenny Dalglish pick?

The argument is simple, if both players are fit and Kenny doesn’t decide to play Johnson in the middle (which he did try out last season), who will play at right back? So Johnson does give us an amazing attacking option and is an exciting player but I really think that, 21-year-old, Martin Kelly is more sound defensively. Even though he has only made 28 appearances for Liverpool, 12 in the league last season, fans already have so much trust in the player. When Johnson is present very little gets past him but in nearly every fixture that Kelly played in, next to nothing got passed him!

Funny enough, he too is also really quick and we have seen him charge down the flank and even attempt a couple Johnson specials. His ball control is not as good as Glen’s, thus his dribbling could improve, and his shots are not nearly as venomous but I do think he gives us all that a fullback needs to give. He is level-headed for such a young man, strong, takes no nonsense, and can put in a pretty decent cross. Kelly is also taller than Johnson and has shown us he is not scared to use his height to header away dangerous balls. Liverpool has really had a knack in the last couple years for picking short fullbacks. Remember Emiliano Insua. Johnson is by no means ‘short’ or bad with his head, but Kelly does have a few inches on him.

Many fans expect Johnson to get the first team spot next season but they undermine the weight that this decision carries. It is a very tough choice and it will be interesting to see what Kenny does. Whenever I start leaning towards Kelly I just think of Johnson’s incredible overlapping runs and attacking ability, and how I don’t want us to lose that. I myself cannot make a decision and will choose to sit on the fence with this one. All we know is that we will have a brilliant right back next season.

Article is courtesy of Jason Proctor at Live4Liverpool

4 responses to “Who will Kenny Dalglish pick?”

  1. Matt says:

    Kelly Rb & Johnson Rw ? ?

  2. dave says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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