For me though, one of the biggest positives has been the maturing of Glen Johnson.
It’s easy to forget that we signed the England international almost 4 years ago, and that he has now played over 125 games for Liverpool.
Johnson has received much criticism for his defensive lapses and ‘off-days’ and much of that was justified; there was a top player in there just waiting to come out but it wasn’t half frustrating to watch him struggle for form sometimes.
But at the age of 28, he appears to be peaking at just the right time. Having cementing his place as England’s first-choice right-back and had a solid run of games for Liverpool this season, Johnson – at last – appears to have come into his own, both in the attacking sense and defensively.
It’s hard to argue with the fact that Glen is clearly one of the best attacking full-backs in the league. He has plenty of technique and I’ve many times expressed my desire to see him play further up the pitch, such are his attacking qualities.
But this season he appears to have worked out any kinks in that all-important defensive side of his game too. It’s possible that he’s the only member of Liverpool’s defence not to have made a costly individual error this season.
The question is: is Johnson the finished article, or can he get even better?
Provided he keeps his concentration and those lapses don’t find there way back in, I can’t really see where Johnson can improve his game. He’s even managed to bring some consistency to his performances this season and you could even say he was one of the few players you could rely on week-in, week-out.
However, he could perhaps do with adding a few more assists and goals to his game. All the great attacking full-backs over the years have chipped in at the opposite end and if Glen could bring on that aspect of his game then it would be hard to see where else he could better his game.
It’s definitely been a long time in coming, but it looks as if Johnson has finally started to show the kind of form that justifies the £17.5 million the club reportedly spent on him in July 2009. Long may that form continue.