By Graham Hill
FORMER England defender Glen Johnson has described Villa midfielder Glenn Whelan as a player who would ‘run through brick walls’ for his team.
Johnson played in the same Stoke side as Irishman Whelan – and says he was one of a group of genuine professionals in the side.
The ex-Liverpool man was describing the chaotic scenes within the Stoke squad as they hurtled towards relegation from the Premier League.
But he believes Whelan, 35 – who joined Villa almost two years ago – was one of the most stable and determined figures at Stoke.
Johnson told Radio 5 Live: “We had a core of about eight lads that were genuine good lads who would put things straight and police everything as every club had.
“We got rid of two or three and didn’t replace them with anyone – good lads, like Whelo – Glenn Whelan – who would run through brick walls for the team.
“They took it away from the genuine lads to try to sign superstars and got it horribly wrong. Then you had players who didn’t want to be at training, walking off the pitch, kicking balls about.
“I’ve seen stuff that I hadn’t seen before in my life.”