Liverpool's transition from a side with top four aspirations last season to one gunning for the Premier League title this year is largely down to the team spirit that manager Brendan Rodgers has fostered, says defender Glen Johnson.
'We've always had a good mood in the dressing room,' the 29-year-old is quoted by the club's official website to have said. 'There's a good bunch of lads, everyone's willing to work hard and I think that's showing in the games. Everyone's willing to fight for each other.'
Indeed, there are fewer teams in a greater attacking pomp than Liverpool thus far this campaign and the club's strike duo, consisting of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, have been responsible for 14 of the team's 17 goals in the division.
Rodgers has been able to accommodate both strikers thanks to a tactical and formation shift, operating a three-man defence with wing-back players operating slightly higher up, aiding the three-man midfield and two-man attack.
For a player with the obvious box-to-box roaming but touchline-hugging flanking skills that Johnson possesses, it is certainly a role with responsibilities that he is relishing.
While his substitution in the West Bromwich Albion match was a precautionary measure, Johnson, who will likely return for the Arsenal fixture, said: 'The wing-back role suits me. I've got more freedom to go forward. Obviously it's difficult to be box to box for 90 minutes, almost impossible, so you have to play the game as it comes, go forward at the right times and defend at the right times.
'Hopefully I can get some goals. Every player enjoys scoring goals and the more you get the better it is for the team,' he finished.
image: © kong niffe