Mark Hughes has confirmed that defender Glen Johnson has returned to full training, thus increasing the possibility of seeing him in the squad for the game against Tottenham this weekend.
The former Liverpool defender has been a major absentee for the club over the last seven months. He had just joined from Liverpool in the 2015 summer transfer window, but a serious injury in the game against Bournemouth back in February has seen a significant chunk of his Stoke City career spent on the sidelines. His presence has provided a lot of competition to Phil Bardsley and the rivalry is once again set to resume from this weekend.
Hughes is unlikely to go all out with Glen Johnson straightaway. He will be aware that after having spent a long time on the sidelines, Johnson will need at least a month before he can get the full fitness. The lack of a pre-season means that it will be at least a couple of months before Stoke City get to see the best of Johnson. Regarded as one of the best attacking right backs from England over the last decade, Johnson has played for the likes of Chelsea, Portsmouth, and Liverpool. His last spell with Liverpool was something of a renaissance, as he managed to make a majority of his 54 England appearances while playing for the Merseyside outfit.
“Glen joined in with the first team today, which is good, so we fully anticipate that he should be okay now. We’ll get some more training into him, certainly next week, we have league and cup games coming up so that’s a good opportunity to get him and other guys up to speed.Xherdan is still a little bit slow at the moment. We’ve tried something a little different with him this week just to push him on but he won’t be available for the weekend,” said Hughes.
Glen Johnson has stated that he wants Joe Allen to come and join him at Stoke City.
He said that if ever Joe Allen asked him about a recommendation he will not hesitate to suggest him Stoke City. There are rumors that Joe Allen will be leaving Liverpool in the summer and that the Stoke City management are thinking of making a bid for the player.
Glen Johnson stated that he has enjoyed his time at Stoke City and that he has not regretted signing for them. He believes that his former Liverpool teammate will enjoy playing for the Potters and that it will be a great thing for him to come and play there.
Glen Johnson said that Joe Allen is a brilliant player and that he will be a great asset for Stoke City. He said that he is a creative player and that he can dictate play from the central of the park. He said that Allen is a proper footballer and will improve the team. He has urged the player to consider Stoke City when he leaves Liverpool.
Johnson has told Joe Allen that he should not pay attention to Stoke’s reputation. Many people still have the memories of the Stoke City under Tony Pullis, but this is the past. He said that Stoke City now play proper possession football and that Joe Allen will feel comfortable playing here.
Joe Allen has stated that he has talked with Mark Hughes and believed that Stoke City is a club with ambitions. He said that the team has not yet finished their transfer business and are still looking to strengthen ahead of the new season. He stated that the club already has some good players and that they can expect to have a great season ahead.
Glen Johnson toured the CFL for the third straight time this spring where he discussed the changes in the rules with the coaching staff and members of the media team.
The discussions in the past brought about lots of changes but at least they had a chance to talk. Over the years, some of the changes have involved allowing coaches to challenge interference calls or non calls, though at some point they wanted two point converts to be automatically reviewed which didn’t happen but at least the boss of the Canadian Football League heard them out.
Johnson, who was a former referee before he became the League’s senior vice president, football, thinks the officiating has been fine. During a stop at Regina, he said: “We’re innovating for good reason. With the player safety stuff, as we learn more, it’s all about education and it’s all about evolution. The more we learn, the more we can change and I think it’s the same with the rest of the game.”
The boss added that the game was a complicated one, even as it was incredibly simple too. He says he wants people to understand and enjoy the simplicity. The past season, the rule book didn’t have much tinkering. In the 2014 season, the coaches were given the right to seek reviews on defensive pass interference, one that was a major change. Also just before the 2015 campaign took off, the league changed the rules of illegal contact, this forced defensive backs and receivers to change their methods within five yards of the line of scrimmage. The line of scrimmage was even moved back to the 25-yard line for one point converts. For two point converts it was moved up to the three yard line.
The changes have been rampant and some fans have complained that they have not been able to keep up with the changes but Johnson feels good about the changes this off-season.
Newcastle United midfielder Andros Townsend has been a surprise inclusion in the preliminary squad for the Euro 2016.
After having spent much of his career with Tottenham, the winger moved to Newcastle United only in January. It may be one of the worst decisions by a player in recent memory, as Newcastle have been relegated to the Championship. Transfer rumours immediately began circulating thatTownsend would look for a return to the Premier League almost immediately. His reputation as a good player was in danger if he continues to play in the second division.
The possibility of featuring at the Euro 2016 still remains healthy forTownsend given that he had a good end to the season despite relegation to the second division. For the time being, the 24-year-old is not thinking too far ahead since he is only in the preliminary squad. Roy Hodgson has provided a few surprises in his selection policy. He has decided to go with only three central defenders. Hodgson is of the opinion that this decision allows him to be more flexible in offence. The inclusion of Townsend appears to have been made possible because of this decision.
Townsend has finished the league campaign with four goals and two assists in 13 appearances for Newcastle.”Some people were reporting I was in the squad, some that I was out, so it was real relief when I was named in the provisional squad. Now it is up to me to force my way into the final 23. The start of the season was a disappointment but I always had the faith that if I could get a run of games, my form would get back to where I want it to be and I could break back into the England squad.It has worked out that way, so I am delighted,” said Townsend.
The injury sustained by Glen Johnson is proving to be more troublesome than initially thought Stoke City.
The former Liverpool defender was initially expected to be out for action for around 3 to 4 weeks. However, he has now been on the sidelines for almost 2 months in the latest development is that he will be unavailable for the home game against Manchester City. The right back suffered a knee injury in the game against Bournemouth back in February. His absence – coupled with many others struggling for fitness – has been a major reason in Stoke City’s European ambitions coming into a grinding halt.
Mark Hughes has tried to remain positive about the situation, but it is becoming increasingly likely that Glen Johnson may miss the remainder of the season. The 31-year-old would be the default right back for the club had he been fit. His absence, however, has allowed other players like Phil Bardsley to take advantage of an increased first-team appearance. Hughes will have no reason to complain if results were good even without important players like Johnson. However, it is not the case since City have now suffered three consecutive 4-0 defeats in the league.
Assistant manager Mark Bowen confirmed that the former Chelsea and Liverpool defender is making good progress in his comeback.”Glen is progressing well. He’s hopeful within a couple of weeks, two or three weeks, that he can get back in – he certainly hasn’t given up on the season yet.He’s looking to get back into the frame for the last few games.Marc Wilson, I’ve been told this morning, the quote was he’s not far away. He’s desperate, the same as Shay Given, to get himself fit and play a few games before the season finishes so he is ready for the Irish campaign,” said Bowen.
Greece have announced a friendly with Australia in June and coach Michael Skibbe has praised the opposition’s impressive record when it comes to doing well at major tournaments like the World Cup.
Australia have qualified for the last three World Cups and this remains a major achievement for a nation where football is not yet hugely popular. Greece have been successful in major tournaments in the past but not of late. They did qualify for the World Cup 2014 and surprised a few by reaching the last 16. However, they have not been able to sustain their performances since the tournament.
Failure to qualify for the Euro 2016 resulted in the appointment of Skibbe as the new coach, who left his role to become a manager for Manchester entertainment offers.
Greece will be making a long trip in order to be part of the match, but the manager reckons that it will be a trip worthwhile. The objective of such friendly matches will be to do well in the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualification campaign. After having missed out on the Euro 2016, this remains a major objective for Greece.Skibbe has also reminded his players that they need to come up with a good performance since they do not have the advantage of playing in a competitive tournament like the Euro 2016.
“It is far, far away from Europe to go to Australia but on the other hand they have a really good team.They play very good, nearly every time they are going to the World Cups and doing well. We are looking forward to see them again maybe in Russia in 2018.They have a lot of players playing in Europe so I think this will be very tough for us.For us it is very important because we aren’t playing in the European Championships so we have to look at our performance,” saidSkibbe.
Glen Johnson reckons the return leg of the League Cup Round of 4 Contest between Liverpool and Stoke will be a much closer one.
The home leg had not fetched a great result for the Potters as they had gone down by 0-1.
But, according to Johnson, his team would put on a better display when they meet the Reds for the second time.
Liverpool has not been one of the best performers at home in the ongoing season.
They have shown signs of panic at times playing in front of the home crowd.
So, it’s something which would give Stoke a lot of heart when they make their way to Merseyside next Tuesday. They can surely trust themselves to bounce back and maybe find a place in the final.
Johnson is also of the view that 0-1 was not that dreadful a result for Stoke at Britannia considering the fact that there were two more opportunities for Liverpool to find the net and had they done so; it would have virtually sealed the tie for them.
Johnson was quoted as saying, “Yes, we had a chance to get a goal and level it up, but, they had two more chances as well and if those had been converted, it would have been far worse for us. So, eventually, I think 0-1 was okay.”
When reminded of Liverpool’s lack of form at home of late, the veteran Englishman said, “Look, they’ve got a quality squad. So, it’s never easy wherever we play them. But, I am sure we will be more at it in comparison to the first game and will try our level best to get back in the contest.”
Stoke City has won the League Cup only once before i.e. in 1971-72.
Stoke City remain hopeful that defender Glen Johnson will be available for the match against Newcastle United this weekend.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea defender is one of the important attacking players in the team despite playing as a right back. Johnson has not featured for the club since the Capital One Cup clash with Chelsea a few weeks ago. After having moved to Stoke City on a free transfer in the summer, the defender has already contributed two assists in just nine league outings. His return will be a massive boost to the club’s fortunes.
A run of three consecutive victories in the league was recently brought to an end by the 2-0 loss against Watford. This home defeat has once again put the pressure back on the players to deliver at Newcastle. There is a danger of Stoke City being relaxed ahead of this game since Newcastle have not been in great form under Steve McClaren. Mark Hughes, though, says that visiting St James’s Park is always a tough proposition for any team. Hughes remains hopeful that Johnson will recover in time to be available for this game. The defender will undergo a late fitness test in order to decide his availability.
“Glen Johnson has trained today [Thursday] and hopefully, as long as he suffers no affects from that, he will be available on Saturday,” said Hughes. Meanwhile, midfielder Glenn Whelan remains hopeful that the club can improve on the form and finish in the top six.“Hopefully we can get there [top six]. We need the results – to go to Southampton and win shows just how far we’ve come. Stoke have always been tough to beat and we want to keep that. It’s down to confidence and the way we’ve been playing under the manager,” said Whelan.
Former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson believes that Philippe Coutinho has all the attributes to become one of the best place in the world.
The former Inter Milan midfielder was brought to Anfield for around £ 8 million and he has since become one of the important players at the club. Last season, he narrowly missed out on the PFA player of the year award to Eden Hazard. He has once again begin the campaign impressively and has contributed to the team’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth by scoring a spectacular goal. Even thoughhe was unable to repeat the same feat against Stoke City, better performances are expected fromCoutinho.
Johnson reckons that the Brazilian can go on to become the best player in the world in the next few years if he continues at the same rate of development. Johnson’s Liverpool career came to an end last summer after he decided to not extend his contract with the Merseyside outfit. This brought his five-year spell at Anfield to an end. He has retained his status as a Premier League defender by signing for Stoke City. He played in only 1300 minutes of league football last season, but he already has 330 minutes under his belt since joining Stoke.
“In the week building up to it I was telling them, he’s the one. For me, he will be one of the best in the world.He’s one of the nicest boys in the dressing room as well and he’s the sort of player you need when you’re in the last 10 minutes when your back is against the wall, he can produce pieces of magic like that. I’ve got a lot of friends there and spent many years there with most of those players so of course it is weird seeing them so close to you but on the day you’re fighting against them,” said Johnson.
Glen Johnson is one of the high-profile Premier League stars to become a free agent at the end of this campaign after Liverpool confirmed his departure in a statement.
The future of the former Portsmouth defender has been under a lot of speculation. Manager Brendan Rodgers has tried to call it on several occasions by stating that Johnson would stay at Anfield, but the much anticipated contract news never came. It is widely reported that Johnson was not happy with just one year being offered at Liverpool. The defender recently turned 31 and most Premier League clubs have a policy of not offering players about 30 with more than 12 months on their contracts.
This policy is likely to see the England international become one of the few players who have played their football in Turkey. Besiktas have emerged as the favourites to sign him on a free transfer. Rather than move to the North America or the Middle East where Johnson would have had a much bigger payday, the defender has reportedly chosen to join Besiktas where he is expected to get around € 2.3 million per season. This is significantly lower than his current contract and the one on offer from Liverpool. Johnson moved to Anfield in a £ 16 million deal from Portsmouth in 2009.
The former Chelsea defender failed to shine at Stamford Bridge, but he was widely praised for his attacking contributions at Liverpool. Towards the later years of his Liverpool career, Rodgers took advantage of his versatility and often played him at left back. Last season, Johnson was limited to only 28 appearances throughout the campaign and this was seen as a major sign that Liverpool had moved on from the defender. Roma were also looking to sign the player, but it looks like they have lost the race.