Glen Johnson Reveals Why Brendan Rodgers Is Better Than Jose Mourinho

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Glen Johnson Reveals Why Brendan Rodgers Is Better Than Jose Mourinho
Jon Super/Associated Press
Liverpool's Glen Johnson has stated his affection for Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool's Glen Johnson claims Brendan Rodgers is a better manager than Jose Mourinho, because the Reds boss sticks to his word.

The full-back spent two years under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge and picked up a Premier League and League Cup medal in 2005, capping an excellent season.

Sang Tan/Associated Press

However, a string of injuries, as well as competition from Paulo Ferreira and Geremi, left Johnson's first-team opportunities limited and, eventually, hurt by mistreatment from his manager.

According to the Daily Mail's Rajvir Rai, Johnson was left unhappy by the Portuguese manager's promises, which created a lack of respect for the Blues boss:

It was difficult for me under Jose at Chelsea because there was a moment when he said I deserved to play on merit. He said if I played well in the next game I would play the week after. I got man of the match so he couldn’t drop me.

Then in the next game he said the same thing and I got man of the match again. Then we had another game and after that Barcelona. I remember speaking to my agent and saying, 'He won’t play me in this game because if I play well then he has to play me against Barcelona', and I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

He didn’t play me in that game and from that moment I just lost it and thought, 'Well, how am I meant to respect you now? It’s just finished'. Brendan wouldn’t do that. He’s shown that if you’re good enough you’re old enough and you’ll play in the big games if you deserve to. So in terms of man-management, Brendan is definitely better.

Johnson, who joined the Merseyside club from Portsmouth in 2009, was signed at Stamford Bridge by Mourinho's predecessor, Claudio Ranieri.

Following relegation with West Ham United, Johnson secured a solid maiden season with Chelsea as he looked to give Roman Abramovic's Blues reign a kick-start, after the high-profile takeover in 2003.

Per ESPN FC, Johnson was ever-present in his first season at Stamford Bridge, starting 28 games and scoring four goals as he looked to put his stamp on his side's domestic and European challenges. Johnson also capped a fantastic season by making his full England debut in a friendly match with Denmark.

Jon Super/Associated Press

 

The defender continued his fine form into the following season, where he would help new boss Mourinho lift the Premier League and League Cup titles as he looked to firmly cement his place in his new manager's long-term plans.

However, Johnson's first-team opportunities were hampered by a succession of thigh injuries in the following season, meaning that he could start just 10 matches and failed to net, allowing Ferreira the opportunity to move above Johnson in the pecking order.

He was eventually loaned to Portsmouth. Two excellent years on the South Coast as a permanent player, which included 76 starts, four goals and an FA Cup win, saw Johnson make his £17.5 million switch to Liverpool in 2009, per BBC Sport.

Fabian Bimmer/Associated Press
Johnson in UEFA Cup action for Portsmouth after sealing two-year permanent switch.

Tim Hales/Associated Press
Johnson was nurtured back to form by Rafael Benitez.

Since moving to Anfield, Johnson has gone on to make 173 appearances for club and country while scoring nine goals.

Now situated well within Rodgers' squad, Johnson remains a happy player and, according to Rai's article, would be happy to commit to Anfield for life as his deal looks to expire next summer, but notes that a lack of dialogue between him and his club is creating an "unnecessary distraction:"

I've loved every minute of the five years I've been here and I'd love to stay but really the only truth in it is that I've not been offered a new contract on any level. I know some people have been saying Liverpool don't want to pay me my current wages, but I've not heard that. No-one has come to me from Liverpool at all.

I don't know the situation the club are in or if they want to renew it. So I've not got a decision to make other than to see my contract out because no-one is telling me any different. It is an unnecessary distraction. I'm more than happy to sign a new contract and I'd love to stay here for many more years.

Johnson's form at club level has also seen his stock rise on the international stage, with Roy Hodgson set to hand the defender a milestone cap:

With a place in England's World Cup squad at stake, it is important for Johnson to continue his good club form, and to help Liverpool maintain their push for the title.

The club have never won the Premier League since its inception in 1992, and will be looking to press Mourinho's Chelsea all the way in this year's race.

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Sitting just four points behind the league leaders, but with no other cup or European commitments to contend with, Johnson could yet have the last laugh over Mourinho by leapfrogging his new set of stars to clinch the title.

Playing with his usual marauding style, as he swaggers his way down the flank to be as important to the Reds offensively as he is defensively, Johnson looks set to travel to Brazil with Hodgson's squad as first-choice right-back.

The defender could also improve his chances of earning a contract renewal at Anfield with a solid summer display, which would put pressure on Liverpool to offer him a new deal as potential suitors line up to snatch his services.

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