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Glen Johnson: Joining Portsmouth was good for my career

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The England international says he needed to leave the Blues in order to play regular first-team football...

Portsmouth defender Glen Johnson has defended his decision to leave title-chasing Chelsea for the relegation-battlers in the summer of 2007.

The right-back became the Blues' first signing after Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club when he completed a £6 million transfer from West Ham United.

Although he went on to make 72 first-team appearances for the Blues, scoring four goals, he felt he had to leave Stamford Bridge for regular first-team football, with then-manager Jose Mourinho seemingly favouring Paulo Ferreira.

"When Jose came in it was different," Johnson told the British tabloid The Daily Mail.

"I didn't have an issue with Mourinho but obviously there was [an issue with me] on his side. You could pick up that vibe and it was in and out of the team.

"People might have seen a move from Chelsea to Portsmouth as a backward step but I saw it only as a positive move.

"I knew I could make it if I got the chance to play and I'm pleased with how things have gone down here."

The 24-year-old has since established himself as one of the best right-backs in the Premier League.


It's a pity he's gone. Moreover, with Mancienne we'd have all English defence.

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He wasn't brilliant, but he was only young and a good prospect. He was never good enough to remain at the club if he wanted regular first team football, but it's good to see him do well. Even if he does steal toilet seats.

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Milan's point I think was that if we'd kept Johnson then eventually we could field this all English defence, perhaps next season. And personally I think that Mancienne is capable enough to play in our team, although not sure Johnson is better than Bosingwa.

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