After a summer transfer window that left Liverpool's squad without any major additions in areas of need, it was clear that once again the squad lacked depth to the point of concern, even if Joe Allen and Fabio Borini were added for fairly large sums of money. With Andy Carroll heading out, Borini's arrival left the squad in a neutral position, and Allen added numbers to a central midfield that seemed deep but quickly thinned with Lucas' injury, Steven Gerrard's lack of form, Nuri Sahin's inability to adapt, and Jonjo Shelvey's false dawn.
January was able to address the needs up top with the addition of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, both of whom have made a distinctly positive impact on the side as a whole. And now, with seemingly as much focus on the approaching summer window as the season's final weeks, Glen Johnson is looking at the summer and beyond, a period of time he hopes will see the club strengthen and succeed:
"Brendan has been very clever with the signings he's made and the squad is getting to where it needs to be. We've won six out of seven games at Anfield so if we can finish the season with a record very similar to that then that would put us in good stead for the start of the campaign at Anfield for next season.
"We're playing well at home, dominating games and picking up most points so the longer that continues the better. Then pick plenty more points up on the road and hopefully we'll be a fighting force again. Nine times out of 10 we're putting in good performances - we haven't always picked up the points but more times than not we've played well. Next season, if we can play well and pick up the points, we'll be a lot further up the table."
It's hard to argue too much with the sentiment that consistency would glean a higher points total and better position in the table; it's essentially the same point that Steven Gerrard made in a more straightforward manner last week. As always, it's the translating of good performances into points, and, more importantly, eliminating the times that the squad as a whole simply doesn't show up.
For Johnson specifically it's a matter of working through his most significant dip in form of the season, as he's been off the pace and laboring for at least a month or two. He started the season as one of the best fullbacks in the country on either side, which continued into the winter months, but as the season's worn on he's either shown wear, tear, or just a bad, bad stretch.
Of course, it could be a result of the very point the player starts with--the squad is close but not quite there yet, and their lack of depth in defense could be a contributing factor in the recent struggles he's had. After covering on the left for much of the early season and suffering a knock or two himself, it'd be no wonder that the had a bumpy patch or two despite being the club's most consistent (and consistently available) fullback for much of the season.