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Glen Johnson / Gareth Bale


Leo No.8

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Just watching how much Bale has come on for Spurs having been pushed up to the left wing, reinforces my feeling that its something we should at least be trying with Glen Johnson. I've thought for some time he'd make a potentially exciting right winger, but a couple of things have reinforced my feeling on that.

 

Firstly how poor Johnson has been at right back for us; the rare occasions he's looked a player are when he's in the opposition half like away at Trabzonspor. Being completely honest, defensively he's been absolutely shambolic and I'd be happy to see him in a more advanced position where he wasn't so exposed.

 

Second is Bale - technically outstanding footballer who had the same type of glaring defensive problems and when he was a regular at full back it wasn't a given he was even going to make it at the top level. Since he's been pushed forward he's blossomed because he's able to play to his strengths.

 

Johnson has similar technical ability to Bale; he's an excellent crosser of the ball, and if anything Johnson is much more dangerous actually running with the ball. His horrible form and Kuyt's injury absence makes this the perfect time to push him on and see if he can provide a bit of a spark, as well as get some confidence back.

 

I'd be happy to give Kelly a run of games behind him. Seems to be a few aren't sure on Kelly now but I still think he has loads of potential and he's solid enough.

Edited by Leo No.8
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When GJ's playing well he does that marauding thing, but he looks way short in his head, so is trying to focus on his defensive duties. Full backs are a huge part of any sides's offensive set-up these days.

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When GJ's playing well he does that marauding thing, but he looks way short in his head, so is trying to focus on his defensive duties. Full backs are a huge part of any sides's offensive set-up these days.

 

Keep saying this, GJ is not a defender. He's terrible at it. And his "famous" crossing ability is a myth as well.

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If he's to be used on the wing, it should be as part of a 4-4-2. 3 CM set ups need the wide men to be an integral part of central play, hence the development of wide forwards and reverse wingers. Johnson generally attacks as an individual, which is OK as part of a 4-4-2, or as the full back in a 3 CM system. The ideal system which will use all his strengths to the greatest extent is the one Benitez is using at Inter. High line, active pressing, strong centre, attacking FBs. Variants on this are what every top team aims for. Unfortunately, it's the opposite of what Hodgson is looking for, so you have a system which removes every strength most of the Liverpool players have, while emphasising every weakness they have, plus introducing a healthy dose of counter-instinctual play into their minds as well.

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Just watching how much Bale has come on for Spurs having been pushed up to the left wing, reinforces my feeling that its something we should at least be trying with Glen Johnson. I've thought for some time he'd make a potentially exciting right winger, but a couple of things have reinforced my feeling on that.

 

Firstly how poor Johnson has been at right back for us; the rare occasions he's looked a player are when he's in the opposition half like away at Trabzonspor. Being completely honest, defensively he's been absolutely shambolic and I'd be happy to see him in a more advanced position where he wasn't so exposed.

 

Second is Bale - technically outstanding footballer who had the same type of glaring defensive problems and when he was a regular at full back it wasn't a given he was even going to make it at the top level. Since he's been pushed forward he's blossomed because he's able to play to his strengths.

 

Johnson has similar technical ability to Bale; he's an excellent crosser of the ball, and if anything Johnson is much more dangerous actually running with the ball. His horrible form and Kuyt's injury absence makes this the perfect time to push him on and see if he can provide a bit of a spark, as well as get some confidence back.

 

I'd be happy to give Kelly a run of games behind him. Seems to be a few aren't sure on Kelly now but I still think he has loads of potential and he's solid enough.

 

 

I said this about Johnson on here last season and got mullered. Glad to see someone else agrees with me. :D

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I still think we should have tried it with Insua.

 

Insua was bloody deadly in combination with Riera. It was his misfortune that Riera first got injured, then wrote himself out of the club. The most important member of the attack wasn't Torres, Gerrard, Kuyt or Benayoun, but Riera. Not so much for what he did as an individual, but for how he would contribute to the balance of the team in almost all departments. With an in form Riera and Insua on the left, there wouldn't be so much emphasis on Kuyt to create, and he can get on with what he's better at, which is to get his foot and head on anything coming from the left. With that combo on the left, Gerrard and Torres would be afforded more room and time in the centre. With that possession-hugging combo on the wing, Lucas and Mascherano could concentrate on sweeping up the second ball, rather than try to put in the decisive pass themselves.

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Insua was bloody deadly in combination with Riera. It was his misfortune that Riera first got injured, then wrote himself out of the club. The most important member of the attack wasn't Torres, Gerrard, Kuyt or Benayoun, but Riera. Not so much for what he did as an individual, but for how he would contribute to the balance of the team in almost all departments. With an in form Riera and Insua on the left, there wouldn't be so much emphasis on Kuyt to create, and he can get on with what he's better at, which is to get his foot and head on anything coming from the left. With that combo on the left, Gerrard and Torres would be afforded more room and time in the centre. With that possession-hugging combo on the wing, Lucas and Mascherano could concentrate on sweeping up the second ball, rather than try to put in the decisive pass themselves.

 

Think you're getting SLIGHTLY carried away there...

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Think you're getting SLIGHTLY carried away there...

 

 

Slightly, but at the start of Riera's first season he really did improve the whole team, especially in the final third. His main problem, just like Kuyt on the other wing, was lack of pace and, unlike Kuyt, lack of stamina.

Think he was also an ever present at the end of 08/09 when we finished second

 

Scarce for top sides to play with someone who hugs the touchline. Mostly attackers these days cut inside a great deal. More inside forwards then old fashioned wingers.

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The most important member of the attack wasn't Torres, Gerrard, Kuyt or Benayoun, but Riera. Not so much for what he did as an individual, but for how he would contribute to the balance of the team in almost all departments.

I think that's overstating it *a bit* but I agree that the impact on the team when Riera arrived was amazing, and we played a lot of the best football of Rafa's reign with him stretching play on the left.

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I think that's overstating it *a bit* but I agree that the impact on the team when Riera arrived was amazing, and we played a lot of the best football of Rafa's reign with him stretching play on the left.

 

It's only overstating when you look at what he did as an individual. When you look at how his absence affected the rest of the team, he stands out as the catalyst that made everything else run smoother. As individuals, Torres, Gerrard, Kuyt and Benayoun were all better players than Riera. However, they could all be replaced in the team and the team would still function more or less smoothly. Other than a period at the end of the 08-09 season when the team went berserk and steamrollered the opposition almost purely on confidence, when Riera was missing, the team would stutter, as his absence would affect one little thing which in turn affected another which then led to something else and so on. For me, the single most important purchase this summer wasn't a back up for Torres, but a proper left winger who could also function in the middle, much as Riera used to. I was hoping Jovanovic might be able to do that kind of job, but reports suggested he was more of a wide forward than a real winger.

 

Of course, all that is moot with the tactical genius of Hodgson at the helm. You can fiddle around with control mechanisms, streamlining and more efficient engines, but if your helmsman insists on aiming for one iceberg after another, you're buggered.

 

Bale was always in between a left back/winger and it's no great suprise that he's been pushed further forward. If the owners want to make a statement signing he should be high up the list. Johnson just isn't very good and would be one of the first high profile casualties for me.

 

Aquilani rates him as the best in the world after Maicon (which puts him ahead of Alves and Ramos), and the Liverpool player he'd most like to join him at Juventus.

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