Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bruised and Now Broken, It's Gone Wrong for Glen; He Was Tipped for the Top but Injured Chelsea Defender Glen Johnson Is Going through a Troubled Time for His Club and Country

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bruised and Now Broken, It's Gone Wrong for Glen; He Was Tipped for the Top but Injured Chelsea Defender Glen Johnson Is Going through a Troubled Time for His Club and Country

Article excerpt

Byline: SIMON JOHNSON

WHEN England Under- 21s play France tonight for a place in the 2006 European Championship, Glen Johnson will be at home still nursing both a broken wrist and a bruised ego.

The Chelsea defender has got used to watching from the sidelines for both club and country recently, but it has become an all too regular occurrence for someone who was tipped by many to become the best right-back in England two years ago.

The 21-year-old would have been captaining Peter Taylor's side in Nancy for the crucial second leg of the playoff if he hadn't pressed the self-destruct button in the last few months.

Johnson began the campaign with high hopes, having completed a good preseason with Chelsea and still in Sven-Goran Eriksson's World Cup plans, but it all unravelled almost before a ball was kicked.

He was humiliated when he came on as a substitute in England's 4-1 defeat in Denmark and it was a performance that ensured he was dropped for the World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Poland.

It didn't take long for the seed of doubt to be planted in Chelsea head coach Jose Mourinho's-mind either, with Geremi, Paulo Ferreira and William Gallas all picked ahead of him at right-back since his only start against West Bromwich Albion in August.

There have always been suspicions that Johnson, who made a rapid rise to stardom by joining Chelsea in a [pounds sterling]6million deal in the summer of 2003 after just 14 starts for West Ham, is more of a threat going forward than steadfast in defence.

But more worrying has been the question marks placed on his attitude, which were exposed when Taylor sent him home from Under-21 duty before they played Germany in September.

The Football Association and Chelsea both insisted it was due to a thigh injury, but leaks from within the camp said otherwise.

Taylor left him out of the qualifiers against Austria and Poland in October, insisting he only wanted players who were getting first-team football with their clubs and yet Carlton Cole, who had not even played for Chelsea at that point this season, was named as his captain. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.