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Glen McLeod Cooper Johnson (August 23, 1984), is an English footballer who plays for Liverpool and the English national team as a right back or right wing-back. He is an attacking full-back who is comfortable on either flank and has on more than one occasion played as a right midfielder.
West Ham United
Born in Greenwich, London, Johnson was a product of the West Ham United system, becoming a 15 year-old first year scholar in 2000. He signed a three-year professional contract for the Hammers on 1 August 2001 at the age of 16, and was given the number 23 shirt. In the 2001-02 season, he made regular Reserves appearances for West Ham, but was unable to break into the first team. He eventually signed an initial four-week loan deal with local rivals Millwall on 17 October 2002, making his Championship debut in an away loss against Norwich City on 19 October. His loan was twice extended by a month, before he was recalled early to Upton Park after having spent seven weeks at The Den, his final appearance in a Millwall shirt coming in another away defeat to Crystal Palace on 7 November. His Premiership and West Ham debut came on 22 January 2003 in another away defeat to a London club, this time against Charlton Athletic, when he came on for midfielder Édouard Cissé. He made a total of 15 League appearances - and a solitary FA Cup appearance - in the 2002-03 season, becoming a more significant member of the West Ham side as the year went on. He even signed a new four-year deal to remain in East London on 18 March 2003, appearing keen to help keep the club in the top flight. However, his last outing in a Hammers shirt was to come on the final day of the season, 11 May 2003, in an away draw with Birmingham City - the must-win match which saw his club relegated to the First Division.
Two months after West Ham United's relegation Johnson joined London rivals Chelsea, signing on 15 July for a fee of £6 million. The first purchase of the Abramovich era, he made his debut on 13 August in an away win against Zilina in the 2003-04 Champions League - and his first Chelsea goal came in the corresponding home leg two weeks later. His league debut came on 17 August in a Anfield win against Liverpool, but he had to wait until 9 November for his first League goal, netting the opener of a 5-0 romp over Newcastle United. He eventually made 63 appearances in all competitions over the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons. In Chelsea's FA Cup fifth round clash against Newcastle in the latter season, Blues' goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was sent off late in the match for a tackle outside the box. Johnson went in goal (as Chelsea had used all three substitutions and couldn't call on Petr Cech from the bench) and saved the free-kick and kept a clean sheet. However a goal had already been scored by Newcastle and they held on to win 1-0 and knock Chelsea out of the cup. He picked up a winner's medal when he came on as a second half substitute for Chelsea in the 2005 Football League Cup Final, a game which Chelsea went on to win after extra time. He also made 17 appearances, enough for a medal, as Chelsea won the 2004-05 Premier League, but he was to miss out on a medal for their success in the next season after managing only 4 appearances in the league.
As the 2005-06 season unfolded, Johnson was still only a squad player at Chelsea with Paulo Ferreira being the regular at right-back. Johnson made one appearance in the Premier League for Chelsea that season, starting the 4-0 win against West Bromwich Albion in place of Ferreira. Versatile squad player Geremi also provided extra competition for Johnson at right-back under José Mourinho. As a result, Johnson joined Portsmouth in a season long loan in June 2006. On his return to Chelsea, Johnson started the 2007 Community Shield and the opening Premier League game of the season at home to Birmingham City.
On 31 August 2007, transfer deadline day, Johnson signed for Portsmouth on a four-year contract, for a fee believed to be £4m. He was handed a start in the first match after his transfer, a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal and became the club's regular right-back.
On 20 October, Johnson scored his first goal in over three years, against Wigan Athletic after dribbling from the halfway line.
He played in and won the 2008 FA Cup Final. Shortly after Johnson's cup success, he and many other Portsmouth players had their winner's medals stolen. On 22 November 2008, Johnson scored a 35-yard screamer with his left foot against Hull City, a goal which won Match of the Day's Goal of the Month award for November, and later won the Goal of the Season award.
Johnson seemed to have ended speculation that he would move to Liverpool for a rumoured amount of £9m by signing a four-and-a-half-year contract with Portsmouth on 9 January 2009, although speculation once again suggested that Johnson could make a big money move to Liverpool in the near future; this was reaffirmed in late April 2009
On 22 April 2009, at 24 years old, Johnson was the youngest member of Times Online's Top 50 Portsmouth players list
Johnson was included in the PFA team of the year for the 2008-09 season despite Portsmouth finishing in the bottom half of the Premier League, 7 points above the relegation zone.
A Portsmouth representative confirmed on 13 June 2009 that a "sizeable bid" had been received for Johnson, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City being mooted as possible suitors.
On 16 June 2009, Portsmouth agreed a bid believed to be £18m from Liverpool. However, two days later Portsmouth confirmed they had also accepted a bid from Chelsea and it was up to the player as to who he wanted to join. Liverpool were believed to have tabled the £10m bid on the basis that they were still owed £7m by Portsmouth from the purchase of Peter Crouch in the summer of 2008, with Liverpool willing to reduce the fee owed on signing Johnson.
On 22 June 2009, Liverpool announced the transfer and on 26 June 2009, Johnson signed a four-year contract. He was officially unveiled on 9 July 2009. On the 15th of July 2009, he made his Liverpool debut in the pre-season match against FC St. Gallen which ended as a 0-0 draw. Johnson made his Premier League debut on 16 August 2009 in a 2-1 defeat by Tottemham Hotspur.
On his home debut for Liverpool on 19 August 2009, Johnson put in a man-of-the-match performance against Stoke City scoring his first goal for the club while also getting an assist in a game where he caused countless problems for the opposition defence.
During his time with the England U21s, Johnson was handed his full England début on 18 November 2003 against Denmark, coming on as a substitute for the injured Gary Neville after 16 minutes.
Following a poor performance in England's friendly in Denmark in August 2005 he lost his position as Gary Neville's understudy in the squad to Luke Young, who played in both the subsequent World Cup qualifiers. Johnson did not make any further England appearances under Sven Goran Eriksson or his successor Steve McClaren but was named in Fabio Capello's first squad in January 2008. He played in the 2-0 victory over Andorra, and made four assists in the subsequent 6-0 victory against the same team for which he was named Nationwide Man of the Match.
In 2007, Johnson set up the Glen Johnson Soccer School alongside Sam Taylor, a former player of West Ham United FC. The soccer school is based in the Dartford area of Kent, and its primary focus is training and development within local schools and one of his students is currently at West Ham United.
Johnson reportedly had several rifts with José Mourinho, most notably when he forgot his passport for the second leg of the Champions League match against Barcelona. In an interview with Sky Sport's Soccer Saturday Programme, he claimed this story to be mis-reported. He claimed that Chelsea lost his own passport, rather than him mislaying it.
In January 2007, Glen Johnson received an £80 on-the-spot fine when he was caught with friend and fellow footballer Ben May allegedly attempting to steal a toilet seat and other bathroom fittings from a B&Q Warehouse store in Dartford, Kent. In the same Sky Sport interview, he claimed that he and his friend were not trying to steal the toilet seat, but rather they had been undercharged by a mere four pounds and security deemed this to be theft. Instead of taking the matter to court, he claimed that it would be easier to just accept the small fine rather than fight out the matter.
- FA Premier League: 2004-05, 2005-06
- League Cup: 2005
- FA Community Shield: 2005, runner-up 2007
- FA Cup: 2008
- FA Community Shield: runner-up 2008
- Barclays Asia Trophy: 2007
- Match of the Day Goal of the Season (Portsmouth vs. Hull City)
- PFA Premier League Team of the Year 2008-2009