Bright: Johnson is England's weak link

Former Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday striker Mark Bright has launched a stinging attack on Liverpool and England right-back Glen Johnson, claiming his defensive shortcomings could cost the Three Lions the World Cup next summer.

The former West Ham and Chelsea defender has improved immeasurably since joining Portsmouth in 2006, where his consistently impressive form earned him a big money move to Liverpool and regular spot in Fabio Capello's starting XI.

However, BBC pundit Bright - who made more than 200 league appearances for Palace from 1986-92 - believes the full-back is the weak link in the Italian's side, a point he says was proved last weekend when Johnson was partly at fault for Slovenia's late goal in England's 2-1 win at Wembley.

"This summer Liverpool paid £18 million to Portsmouth for Glen Johnson but come next July he could just cost England the World Cup," he told Metro.

"Going forward he is great but as a defender he gets beaten too easily.

"Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho thought Johnson would let him down against top-class ­opposition. At the moment, he looks to be right.

"Slovenia were modest opponents at Wembley last weekend but it was ­amazing how easily Johnson was ­beaten and Slovenia's goal came from his poor defending.

"If England are going to win the World Cup we need a rock-solid defence.

"Fabio Capello says Johnson is one of the best right-backs in the world and he has the talent to be the best if he ­improves the defensive side of his game."

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