Date:Thursday May 29 2008
The fact that players that took part in the champions league final will be excused from going to Trinidad for the weekends fixture - quite why I cannot understand to be honest, as why should this 'extra game' excuse then? - will probably mean Glen Johnson starting his first international under Fabio Capello. However Tony Adams believes that he is good enough to be a regular anyway.
Wes Brown got the nod yesterday, but Johnson came on for the final half an hour with Adams telling The News he could, and maybe should be the future regular in the national side: 'I believe he's one of the best right-backs in this country. I think he's quality. He can be a great player.
'If I was Capello, I would have no problem playing him whatsoever.
'It's down to him at the end of the day, but we play him for Portsmouth and he's been fantastic for us all season.
'I suppose I'm a little bit biased working with him, but I'm looking up and down the country at the right-backs that are English and he's got to be right up there. I don't see many better to be honest with you.
'The thing we showed him was love and if Capello wants to play him, he's got to believe in him and put him in the team and say "you're my right-back so go and deliver" - and I think he could.
'That's the thing with Glen, he's a confidence player.
'At Portsmouth, we look after him, he knows he's one of the top players at the club and that gives him the confidence.
'By playing him for England, the manager would be doing the same.'
Johnson has without a doubt improved as a player as the season has gone on, proving any doubters - myself included at first to be honest - wrong.
His attacking skills have never been called into doubt, but his defensive qualities have most definitely improved dramatically this season, which must have something to do with working with Adams and the fantastic defenders we have at the club.
Adams also highlighted the marked improvement in his game: 'I think defensively it's been a 100-per-cent improvement.
'The Manchester United FA Cup game comes to mind.
'Glen's very strong going forward and very athletic, but I always felt if there was a little bit of a weakness there it was the concentration defensively.
'Now he's put that into his game.
'The way he's handled Ashley Young, Stewart Downing and the United players this season, he's shown he can be magnificent defensively.'
I am not a fan of Wes Brown but in fairness he has performed well this season for Manyoo at right back, but I am still not convinced by him on the international stage so I would still pick Johnson ahead of him to see what he can do, but Micah Richards looks like being the first choice right back anyway I guess...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
Date:Thursday May 29 2008
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