Glen Johnson and Harry Redknapp

Glen Johnson Interview

Glen Johnson exclusive: Harry Redknapp and I chatted about racing at Portsmouth, we still do now and inside my awkward relationship with Shishkin

Speaking to DAZN Bet, ex-Chelsea, Liverpool and England star Glen Johnson breaks down his love of Cheltenham Festival, where he will be in attendance this year.

Former England international Johnson says he agrees with Gary Neville’s view that Chelsea’s team are ‘billion-pound bottle jobs’, and backs Xabi Alonso to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

Glen Johnson Reveals Horse Racing Encounters and Team Bonding Experiences with Harry Redknapp

Glen Johnson shares his memorable interactions with Harry Redknapp and unveils the camaraderie and social outings among football teammates.

DAZN Bet: Would you chat about racing with Harry Redknapp during your time together?

Glen Johnson: “Harry and I chatted about racing a lot during my playing days and we still do now. We’ve spent a couple of years at Cheltenham together and discussed tips. He loves his racing and he’s pretty clued up! We’ve had many good chats over the years.”

Did you go to the races during your playing days?

Glen Johnson: “Yeah we went a lot! I’m big on my racing and I’ve always kept my eye on the calendar and the big events. I used to go with teams quite a lot whether it be Aintree or Cheltenham.

“We did loads over the years but the best racing is usually on a Saturday. When we got the chance me and the boys all loved the day out.

“Everyone could just be themselves, some will have a few silly bets picking their favorite names in each race, while others would just have a few beers and chill out.

“You don’t need to know anything about racing to be able to enjoy the day out. You can have a lucky dip on a few horses, have a few small fun bets and have a genuinely good day out.”

Did any of your team-mates have particular success?

Glen Johnson: “No, If I’m honest, they copied my bets! But we had a few successful days out.”

Did any of your managers object to going to the races?

Glen Johnson: “None of them had an issue with it as long as the time is right, as you’ve got either the next day off or you’re not playing for another five days or something, then managers usually are usually good.

“They want the players to go and enjoy themselves and they want the players to be together outside of the training ground, so it’s good to spend that social time with people away from what is a high pressure job.

“Some guys are shy usually and then after a few beers they open up and it’s always good to see that side of them.

“You can open up and have a laugh and that’s when you can really get to know your teammates. I think those days are needed.”

Do you have any tips for Cheltenham?

Glen Johnson: “Well me and Shishkin have an awkward relationship. I love the horse, but every time I’ve backed it, it’s decided not to jump, for whatever reason.

“But Shishkin is a joy to watch. I’m going on Wednesday and Thursday So I can’t wait, I’m sure there’ll be a few messages coming my way from old teammates.”

Inside Chelsea’s Struggles and Premier League Dynamics

Glen Johnson offers an unfiltered look into Chelsea’s current form, provides his take on the Premier League’s competitive nature, and discusses managerial strategies and player dynamics.

What do you make of Chelsea’s current struggles and who do you think is to blame?

Glen Johnson: “It’s a bit flat, everyone seems a bit down and I don’t know if the guys are feeling a bit sorry for themselves or what.

“But they’ve got a really good players on paper and it looks like a really good squad, but for some reason they’re struggling and no one can put their finger on it.

“For whatever reason, at the moment, it’s just not clicking. You can’t just give the players a winning mentality. They’ve either got it or they haven’t. I don’t think it’s that none of them have it, but too many are under par at the same time.

“If one or two of your teammates are having a bad day then you can carry them through it but when you know five or six of them are having a bad day, there aren’t any players that are good enough to carry the team.”

Does Pochettino deserve time at Chelsea or do they need a change?

Glen Johnson: “I definitely think he’s getting frustrated but he’s a fantastic manager at a fantastic football club with fantastic players so they just need a bit more time.

“The club has gone through so much change and turmoil so sometimes you need a bit of time for the dust to settle. I think he’s a top manager and I think he’s got a good team.”

Chelsea take on Newcastle on Monday, how do you see that going?

Glen Johnson:“Newcastle are in good goal-scoring form so it’s a very dangerous match for Chelsea who are not exactly free flowing and scoring goals.

“If Newcastle get off to a good start, they could very easily win the game. I think on current form, it will be 2-1 to Newcastle.”

It’s getting hard for the fans to put up with the performances, is Pochettino the right man?

Glen Johnson: “Sometimes it’s hard to watch, but I do think they’ve got the right man. The owners know better than anyone how much change that they’ve all been through.

“So there would’ve been no point going out to get Pochettino in the first place. If you’re going to put him under pressure after 18 months, they need a three or four year plan.

“It would be unlike recent years at Chelsea but hopefully they do stand by him and let him do what he’s good at.

“We’ve seen it too many times over the years that Chelsea managers get sacked really, really quickly and there’s only so many good ones around.”

What did Manchester City’s win and performance against Manchester United tell us about the title race?

Glen Johnson: “I think it’s just rubber stamped what we already know. They’re a fantastic side. Even at one-nil you just knew that they were going to win, you had no doubt they were going to win the game.

“I think that’s credit to them in terms of how powerful they are, the players they’ve got and how calm they stay.

“If anyone finishes in front of the City, they’re going to win the league.”

Erik ten Hag said there wasn’t much between the two sides, what are your thoughts on that comment?

Glen Johnson: “That’s probably more heart than reality. At the moment they’re miles apart.

“It’s like we say about Chelsea, they’ve got fantastic players on paper, but there’s just something that’s not gelling or not working.

“But I think it’s a matter of time. They’ve got too many good players to be this far behind Liverpool and Manchester City.”

Gary Neville called Chelsea ‘billion pound bottlejobs’ what was your reaction?

Glen Johnson: “It would get under your skin as a player. Yes it’s just a funny comment but the thing is what he is trying to say is correct.

“If Chelsea can’t win that final, you can’t win any final, I think Liverpool had two senior players left for the last 20 minutes of the game.

“If you’ve got two midfielders in the middle of the park that have cost over 100 million and you can’t dominate the match after that, then of course, there’s a worry.

“Having said that, these kids are good as well, though, to be fair, so it’s not like they’re playing against under eighteens. These kids are very good.

“But Chelsea should have definitely got a better result, they’ve only got themselves to blame.”

Chelsea have been linked with the signing of young forward Nico Williams this week, is that what the side needs?

Glen Johnson: “The thing is, they’ve signed loads of youngsters that will probably come through in a couple of years and you know and be the real deal and things like that.

“Now they have to find the right balance. You need the mature players that have been around the leagues.

“You don’t want to go too top heavy in terms of youngsters, at the end of the day, you need results and you need to win.”

Chelsea have been tipped to try and sign Caoimhen Kelleher from Liverpool, could you see that improving their side?

Glen Johnson: “That’s another position where they spent an awful lot of money. They have good keepers, they just need to find some form.

“It’s not always about just going and buying the next hot prospect or something like that. These guys are good. They just need to find a way to make them happy and enjoy their football and then they will get the performances.

“Kelleher is a very good goalkeeper but the players they have at the moment they’re not bad enough to need replacing.”

Are managers right to call out players over behavior, as Erik ten Hag did regarding Jadon Sancho?

Glen Johnson: “We don’t really know what goes on and how people are behaving behind the scenes but I respect Ten Hag for getting on and making the decision and dealing with the situation.

“If there’s a bad apple in the group and they’re not training hard and they’re ruining the sessions for other people, then they have to go. It doesn’t matter how good or bad you think Sancho is. So I respect that.

“If he wants to talk publicly about it, then obviously that’s his decision. I’d probably rather keep it sort of in house and amongst my team and my teammates.

“The other lads will be sensible enough to sort of disown that person rather than allowing them to ruin it for everyone. But there are a lot of bad apples out there.

“If they don’t want to train, then all of a sudden there’s a rift in the camp because we’re running our nuts off and they’re not, they’re letting their teammates down.”

Glen Johnson Reflects on Personal Feuds, Predicts Key Football Matches, and Discusses Potential Transfers

From personal disputes to prognostications about Liverpool vs. Manchester City, Glen Johnson gives his candid thoughts on past rivalries, upcoming games, and the transfer market’s future.

Would you be keen to clear the air with Saido Berahino after your feud?

Glen Johnson: “The thing is, I don’t care enough. It is what it is. I’ve said what I needed to say, and that’s it. I don’t feel like I need to clear anything.

“If we know if we meet and we have a chat, then no problem. But don’t feel like I need to get out of my way to clear anything.”

How do you see Liverpool vs Manchester City playing out?

Glen Johnson: “Liverpool usually find a way to win but it’s going to be really tough and the standard of the football will probably be through the roof.

“Seeing the two big heavyweights go toe to toe, whoever makes the least mistakes on the day will probably win.

“This could be the game that decides the title at the end of the season because they find a way to win every week. You could easily see one of them losing the title by one or two points.

“My instinct says City due to injuries but then I’m thinking about the Anfield influence, I think with everything on the line, it will be 2-2.

How could Liverpool replace Mohamed Salah if the rumors are true and he leaves in the summer, will Jurgen Klopp’s exit make it harder?

Glen Johnson: “Salah is one of those players that you can’t replace, they can find another way to win, but you can’t replace him.

“I think it’d be very harsh to expect one of the youngsters to fill those shoes as well. It’s going to be a huge change because half the players that they sign join because they want to work with Jurgen Klopp.

“They’re definitely going to have to rethink a few things over the summer and find a way, though, and to get a manager that’s got the same sort of appeal that is going to attract all these big names because to replace someone like Mo is almost impossible.”

Can you see a potential Salah replacement in the Premier League, maybe someone like Jarrod Bowen?

Glen Johnson: “I think it’s always a safer bet getting someone that has done it in the Premier League already. We know that the Premier League is the best league in the world by miles.

“To have a player that’s capable of making and scoring goals who’s proven is a lot safer. Grabbing someone from Italy, for example, they’re good players and they can score good goals – but the Premier League’s just so different. It’s a bit risky.

“If they are going to have to replace him, I’d like it to be someone that’s already been doing it in the Premier League.”

Is Xabi Alonso the perfect replacement for Jurgen Klopp?

Glen Johnson: “In terms of him as a man and a manager I think he is the perfect replacement. I think he’s going to go a long way.

“However, to follow in Klopp’s shoes, it’s so hard, especially someone who’s so early in his managerial career. People are going to expect Liverpool to be the same without Klopp.

“The next manager can only be as good, rather than better, so it’s almost an impossible job. But you know that they would get it right and as long as the fans give whoever comes in a little bit of time, then they can go on being successful.

Is Roberto De Zerbi a less risky appointment than Alonso?

Glen Johnson: “We’re never going to know who the best fit is. The thing with Xabi is, who I know a bit more, he is a great lad and the players are going to love him, the same as they would with Steven Gerrard.

“If these ex-players come into the dressing room, they’re going to get the respect of all the players, they’re going to get everyone’s attention and then everyone’s going to want fight for them.

“From that side I can see it working, but it’s such a big job for people to do it so early in their careers.”

If you had to choose between Trent Alexander Arnold, Kyle Walker and Reece James for England, who would start?

Glen Johnson: “It’s tough for Gareth Southgate because they all have different attributes. Trent’s technical ability, Walker’s speed and recoveries and then Rhys James is probably the best all-rounder.

“It’s good for a manager because you can pick and choose depending on who you’re playing against.

“If you want to play against a team who are going to sit back and allow you to have the ball, you probably play Trent.

“If you’re going to be up against some big players and fast wingers you’ll probably play Walker. But for me, overall, I think Reece James is the best.”

Would you have backed yourself to start over those three?

Glen Johnson: “As a professional I would always back myself. They are all fantastic players but if you’re fit and in your prime you would back yourself of course.

“You might not be the best but you have to think and you have to think like that and have that mentality. But as a player, you definitely have to back yourself.”

John Terry or Virgil van Dijk?

Glen Johnson: “Obviously, JT was world class but so is Van Dijk. Van Dijk is probably a bit more of an athlete but it’s hard to pull them apart, to be honest.”