Fresh from featuring in the senior squad in a mid-week friendly versus Glasgow Rangers after returning from injury, we caught up with Liverpool’s Glen Johnson at Melwood – the club’s training ground. Answering questions on various topics, Glen was in upbeat mood and only too happy to relax and chat with us.
FFC: So Glen, what is the realistic target for Liverpool this season?
GJ: I think at the start of the season the lads would have been saying to get back in the top four obviously, for the Champions League places and stuff like that so I think that’s still definitely a possibility, you know? So it’s hard to set your aims too high, you just have to take each game as it comes and try and be there or there abouts by the end.
FFC: How frustrating has it been to be side-lined for the start of the season?
GJ: Yes, very! Obviously it was the last pre-season game when I first did it [the injury] so of course it’s very frustrating. No player ever wants to be injured and then obviously to have it happen a couple of times after, it gets obviously very frustrating, but hopefully that’s beyond me now and I can push on.
FFC: What do you make of the NEW arrivals at Liverpool this summer and who in particular has impressed you most?
GJ: Yeah I think we’ve signed some fantastic players. Obviously Stuey [Downing] I’ve known for a long, long time and he will be great for us. I’d have to say obviously Suarez – probably the fans favourite at the moment, but they’re all good lads and great players and hopefully it’ll all come good.
FFC: Now 27, do you really feel as if you’re coming into your prime?
GJ: Erm…not right this minute! If you can gimme a few months! [chuckles] But no like I say it’s nice to be back and stuff, so hopefully I’ll be out there on Saturday and push on and get back to my best.
FFC: The likes of Martin Kelly and John Flanagan have made steps into the first team at Liverpool as Kenny looks to give youth a chance at Anfield. Are there any other youngsters in the wings who haven’t featured as yet, who Liverpool fans should get excited about?
GJ: Well, personally the only one I know is obviously Jack [Robinson], the left back, who’s a very good player. [But] because obviously most of the youth train at the academy we don’t get to see them as much, but like you’ve said those three boys have come in and done really well.
FFC: When you’re training for Liverpool, are there any players that wow you at Melwood?
GJ: Erm…[thinks] I think the standard’s that high that everyone’s brilliant you know? But there’s some lads that some days turn it on and others don’t, and then the next day the others do and the others don’t so it’s…everyone has their day.
FFC: Glen, you’ve scored one goal for England, how vividly do you remember it?
GJ: Yeah, I remember it quite well.
FFC: Finally, you’ve founded GJ Soccer Schools and the Glen Johnson Foundation. How important do you think it is that footballers give something back?
GJ: Yeah I think it’s very important. You know obviously a lot of young children look up to footballers and stuff so…it doesn’t take that much to give a little bit back. So I set up the soccer school purely because when I was younger, the only place we had to play was a park and obviously it’s not the safest place in the world. So yeah it’s nice for them to do it in an enclosed, safe environment and obviously it’s going well.
OK Glen, we’ve got some quick fire questions for you:
FFC: First match you ever went to see?
GJ: Er…[thinks a while] nah I ain’t got a clue! Nope, I don’t know mate!
FFC: Best player you’ve played with or against?
GJ: Erm…[thinks again]…I think with…dunno I’ve been fortunate to play with a few good players but obviously Stevie G would be up there. Erm…Hernan Crespo was up there, Pizarro…there’s been a few to be fair
FFC: What’s the best goal you’ve ever scored?
GJ: It would have to be the one against Hull for Portsmouth
FFC: Best stadium you’ve ever played at?
GJ: Nou Camp
FFC: If you weren’t a footballer, what do think you’d be doing now?
GJ: [Chuckles] erm…no idea. Literally since I’ve started playing football that’s the only thing I aimed for so I wouldn’t know where to start with that one.
FFC: Which current player would you like to have a pint with?
GJ: Not being a team mate? [thinks]…Rooney probably.
FFC: Who’s the longest in the shower at Anfield?
GJ: [laughs and thinks]…Andy Carroll cos of the barnet!
‘188BET, official betting partner of Liverpool FC, offer great prices, every game. For a free £25 bet on Liverpool v Norwich, visit www.188promo.com’