Benitez jumps to Johnson’s defence

Rafa Benitez has leapt to the defence of Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson after criticism of the 24-year-old’s performances for England this week.

The media were quick to find negatives in Johnson’s performances for his country despite England beating Slovenia 2-1 in a friendly and then Croatia 5-1 in a World Cup Qualifier last night.

And Benitez says Johnson is one of the stars of the show, for club and country.

“I think Glen has been really good from the first day with us and with England,” he told Sky Sports News.

“You can see that offensive mentality, his deliveries, his crosses were really good so I was surprised with the criticism about his performance the other day.

“But he is a good player. He can get better but he knows, he is keen to learn and Capello was supporting him the other day so we will support him.

“He is so good attacking that sometimes it is more difficult for the defenders of the other team to stop him than for him to worry about defence.

“He is a decent defender, clearly he can improve, he is very good attacking so if you talk about balance he has a very good balance.”