Glen Johnson looks set to make his first appearance back for the Reds tonight after missing the last four games, as they face the visit of Napoli at Anfield in the Europa League. But does it need to be solely at right back?
Johnson, a naturally attack-minded wing back more than a defensive-minded full back has looked a shadow of his normal self this season, with a mixture of injury, lack of confidence and tactical changes since the arrival of Roy Hodgson credited as being the main reasons for the dip in form, a change that has also filtered through at the international level.
Having been included back in the side for tonight’s game, Johnson will be looking to gain some match fitness ahead of the next visitors to L4, in the form of one of his previous employers, Chelsea, on Sunday.
Although it is common sense that he needs to get back into his normal role as quick as possible to regain the confidence that has previously seen him provide a great deal of width on the right hand side in the past and add a further attacking element to Liverpool’s play, does another option exist for Hodgson?
With Cole, Babel and Kuyt all nursing injuries, Maxi Rodriguez expected to be rested ahead of the weekend's game and Hodgson still biding his time with the talent of Dani Pacheco, despite it being the first game back from injury for Johnson, would Napoli present an opportunity for him to be played at right midfield in front of Carragher or Kelly? An idea that has certainly been mooted before on numerous occasions.
Given the style of play that Johnson can provide, a good level of defensive capabilities and a definite lack of width in the squad at present, would it have been such a bad option to experiment with, or even try for a section of the game?
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