Glen Johnson has today revealed that he has no regrets over the manner of his Anfield departure as he prepares to host his old teammates in the season opener on Sunday. The veteran defender, who was brought to the club by Rafael Benitez in 2009, joined Stoke City on a free transfer after his contract with Liverpool expired this summer.
Glen Johnson: "I Turned Down Anfield Extension"
Stoke City's new full-back, who made 200 appearances for the Reds in his six years on Merseyside, claims to have left Liverpool on his own terms after rejecting a new contract at Liverpool.
"I had a very good time [at Liverpool] and enjoyed the majority of it," the England international explained to the Daily Mirror, "but I turned down a new contract at the end of the day, so it ended exactly how I would like. I met Mark Hughes and everything he had to say was what I wanted to hear. I'm settling in well and I've been made to feel welcome, so it couldn't be going any better at the moment.
It's just typical my first game [for Stoke] is against my old club; that's football and we'll do what we've got to do. It's my job and I'll treat it as any other game," Johnson said on the subject of facing off with his old teammates so soon. "I've been in the Premier League for 12 years, I've got nothing to prove. When I was fit I was in the team, it's as simple as that. There's no problems at all."
Liverpool fans may refute that claim, as the fullback's form was erratic at best in his final few seasons on Merseyside, with Brendan Rodgers opting to play a number of others - including disastrous attempts from Emre Can - out of position rather than call upon the experienced defender. Still, Johnson developed a habit of scoring against his former clubs while at Liverpool, and so fans will be hoping that the 30-year-old doesn't come back to haunt them when the two sides meet on Sunday.