England World Cup squad profile: Glen Johnson

The first-choice right-back has previous tournament experience from the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, but will be wise to keep an eye on his defensive duties and discipline
Glen Johnson comes into the World Cup off the back of an impressive season with Liverpool and Goal takes a look at how he is shaping up ahead of this summer's finals.


Johnson was a key component as Liverpool embarked on a surprise title challenge, with only Manchester City's win on the final day of the season seeing them fall short.

The right-back averaged the most touches of any of Brendan Rodgers's defenders - 78.17 a game - and his record of 0.24 successful clearances is bettered only by Daniel Agger for those who played over 20 times.

But his tackle success rate is the second-lowest with an average of just 2.8 per game and the worst overall for clearances - managing just 2.45 a game.

Johnson's speed is an asset though, impressing with 1.69 interceptions a game and 5.1 recoveries - but question marks over his overall defensive game remain.

The former Portsmouth man's attacking skills are where he really comes into his own, with his passing accuracy only bettered by Martin Skrtel and he is the best inside the opposition half (78.15 per cent) for players boasting more than 20 appearances.

His record of 1.59 completed dribbles per game rivals that of potent attacking talent Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho, with his attempted forward runs - 2.9 per game - the same.


Johnson is one of the more experienced members of Roy Hodgson's squad having featured at both the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 as first-choice right-back.

The Liverpool man played all but four minutes of the Three Lions' total of eight games at both tournaments, with a total of 50 caps in all.

Johnson started and finished every one of England's World Cup qualifiers in which he was fit - four of 10 in total - with knee ligament damage curtailing his showings in the second half of the campaign as Kyle Walker deputised.


Johnson will be first-choice right-back in a back four consisting of himself, Leighton Baines on the opposite flank and Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka in the middle.

While the 29-year-old has garnered praise for his attacking talents at Anfield this season, his discipline is a concern. During his four World Cup qualifiers, he received three yellow cards - a total that would result in a one-match ban during the tournament.

What Johnson makes up for in, at times, teeth-clenchingly risky defensive decisions - two mistakes for Liverpool last season led directly to goals - is mouth-watering forays in attack. While the former Chelsea man isn't the most technically impressive player, his link-up play further forward could be key.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Raheem Sterling will be battling it out for a starting berth on the right-hand side of midfield, with the latter very familiar with Johnson following their superb season with Liverpool.