Date:Friday December 14 2007
Glen Johnson has received many plaudits from us and his fellow professionals - not all club team mates either - recently, when it has to be said initially more than a few of us were 'unsure' on his re-arrival last summer... but how wrong we were.
As Tony Adams has told The News he feels that his upturn in form is due mainly to him feeling wanted at Pompey after overcoming his Chelsea 'rejection' and finding his confidence again, and this - along with a greater maturity - has seen him improve as a defender: 'Glen's playing very well. He's doing great.
'I think you have got to keep him focused, especially defensively.
'It's about giving him pure, honest confidence. You can get praise and get carried away but the kid's got to be looked after and handled right after what he has gone through.
'I think he got knocked at Chelsea - they knocked his confidence.
'We try to put our arm round him, have a chat, look after him. I think Glen works like that.
'I would say defensively he has improved this year. If anything, last season he had complications about his positioning. There was a little bit of when you are good you want to show it, but there are times and places to do that.
'It's all about maturity and experience. The more you do it, the more you play in it, the more you are shown it. Then he's only going to improve.'
It is hard to disagree with what Adams has said really, as he has told it as it is.
He did also say that Johnson has to 'remain grounded' as if he lets things go to his head all this good work will be undone - besides he also said that he still has things to learn, which he does.
Johnson has been fantastic though since his return, I am almost amazed at how good his defending has become, as it was not really the strongest was it. He appears to now have he right balance of defence and attack, and 'should' only get better.
Being at Villa Park last week I was able to see the whole picture - and plenty of people were watching him closely and he was being spoken about by Villa fans, remember I had to sit in with those fellas - and it was a pleasure to see how he coped with another enormously talented footballer Ashley Young, he did not give him a sniff all game.
I am not saying that Gary Neville is 'finished' but I think his better days are well and truly behind him - plus he is still injured - and with Micah Richards likely to be viewed as a central defender more in the future the right back spot for England could be Johnson's for a long time if he keeps playing like he is - I would be amazed if he is not recalled into the next England squad though.
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Date:Friday December 14 2007
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