Glen Johnson says that Brendan Rodgers is a better man-manager than Jose Mourinho and admits that he lost respect for the Portuguese after being dropped after man of the match displays.
Liverpool defender Glen Johnson played under Jose Mourinho during his time with Chelsea, but could never become a regular first team player for the Portuguese then. Johnson admitted that Mourinho could not get the best out of him, unlike at present, because Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is better at ‘man management’.
“It was difficult for me under Jose at Chelsea because there was a moment when he said I deserved to play on merit”, the England full back said
“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 heaped praise at Rodgers and added that the Anfield manager’s footballing philosophy is not easily imitable:
“Mourinho is one of the best in the world and I would never say he’s not because of what happened between us. But Brendan is different to Jose, he has his own mentality and is definitely one of the best”.
“Some managers like the thought of playing the way Brendan does but haven’t got the confidence or know how to pull it off.
“Others would probably have panicked and changed their philosophy just to try and win. But Brendan was mentally strong enough and knew what he was trying to implement was right and that once we grabbed hold of it we would be a success.”
Glen Johnson said that he has confidence in the present season and Liverpool’s abilities as a top team:
“We believe we can win every game and I remember having that feeling at Chelsea. The first year we won the title (2005) we could be losing 2-0 and still think we would win, and we usually would. That was confidence at its peak and we are moving towards that at Liverpool.
“You have to believe you can win the league and until there are not enough points available we’ll keep thinking we can. We’ve got 10 cup finals, really, because we can’t afford to lose games or drop many points because Manchester City and Chelsea won’t.
“City are favourites because they could field a second team that would be competitive, and you can’t compete with that. So we will need a bit of luck but we are definitely good enough.
“Our goal at the start of the season was to finish in the top four and that is still our minimum aim. Finishing third, second or winning the title is a bonus but we are in a good position.
“The character and mentality in this squad are different. There were games last season when we battered teams and didn’t get results. We’ve got more of a killer instinct this year.”
Johnson is going to win his 50th cap for England against Denmark on Wednesday and while he admits that he could have had a better season, insists that he doesn’t have to prove his credentials.
“I know I could have had a better season, but you can’t play 12 years in the Premier League and not have a bad couple of weeks,
“I’m my biggest critic and I don’t need to be told when I’m playing badly.
“You don’t get 49 England caps, play in World Cups and European Championships, you don’t win the Premier League twice, the League Cup twice and the FA Cup if you can’t defend. It’s that simple.
“No disrespect, but you’d be in the Championship.”
Brendan Rodgers recently commented that he wants to extend Johnson’s contract which runs out in the summer but the 29 year old is himself unaware of anything regarding a possible extension. He says that he wants to extend his stay at Anfield, but hasn’t had any contact about an extended contract as yet.
“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. But at the moment that is not for me to decide because I’ve not been offered anything and I’ve not been told I’m going to be sold.
“I just have to honour my contract and try not to let it distract me.”