It's been a steady decline for Glen Johnson over the past few seasons, with injuries and dips in form the expectation rather than the type of quality performances he was turning in after first arriving. This season he's been healthy more often than not, but his form has been nowhere near his best. At times it's seemed as though he isn't particularly interested, either, which combines with poor performances to create a sentiment toward the player that's almost wholly negative.
Yesterday largely continued that trend, at least for 84-odd minutes, but in the 85th he managed to anticipate the rebound from Rickie Lambert's headed effort off the crossbar, bursting forward to beat two defenders and Asmir Begovic to force in what proved to be the winner. His performance on the whole certainly wasn't a vintage one, but his goal was well-taken and deserving of praise, and he's hopeful that the win it assured will push the team forward in an important stretch:
"We've always been fighting hard together to try and put things right. So hopefully we can take some momentum from this and move forward. It's always difficult when you're not picking up results. We're players who want to win and we want to win every week. So when you're not picking up results it's hard to take. The lads fought hard together from the beginning to get the result and I think it's what we deserved. I think we would have been disappointed if we had not won."
Getting the winner in such a dramatic fashion--late in the match, brave bravery in bravely heading it in, getting his skull stapled together, etc.--will surely drum up some positive sentiment toward the fullback, but his performances of late, including most of yesterday's match, haven't been good enough to warrant continued selection. That Rodgers continues to pick him seems more about experience or hope that he'll rediscover his form from three years ago rather than current ability and impact. By that standard, Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno are the frontrunners.
Regardless, yesterday was a wonderful moment, and if Glen Johnson gains some forward momentum as a result, all the better. He's going to feature for at least the rest of the season, which means it's best for all involved if he manages to find some form.