By Connor Varnish – @cvarn4
Andy Robertson is no one season wonder for Liverpool. It’s somehow easy for one to forget that we played nearly the first half of last season without him – it’s not so easy, however, to forget the consistent lapses the former starting left back, Alberto Moreno, made prior to the Scot’s arrival from Hull last summer.
Although it took Robbo a few months to learn the philosophy that a Jurgen Klopp style outside back demands, it appears as though we’ve got something special on our hands after several years of a left-back sized headache.
No doubt the left back position has been a problem for Liverpool since many fans can remember. It seems that we’ve been searching for an adept left back since John Arne Riise left the club, who perhaps our last proper player in that position. The Norwegian demonstrated an ability to solidly defend, bomb forward, and possessed the artistry of flipping a game on its head with a smooth drop of the left foot via a cross or long-ranged effort.
Years and years of searching for a left back capable of performing at the level Liverpool need left us with a few former Reds one would most likely want to forget sooner rather than later – Aly Cissokho, Jose Enrique, Fabio Aurelio, and of course none other than Alberto Moreno to name a few.
The feeling around Scotland’s captain, Andy Robertson, is certainly different to more recent applicants in the left back position. Robbo has come in and made the position his own in no time at all. His ability to consistently contribute in attack, as well as defend is invaluable to this Liverpool side. We’ve been desperate for a left back able to cope with his defensive assignments, and simply put, have the mindfulness and awareness to calmly deal with pressure when faced in a one on one situation.
The Scot’s fearlessness in tackling blended with his disciplined approach captures attention nearly every time Robertson steps onto the pitch. I’m sure it also helps that the Scot has the presence of Dutch captain, Virgil van Dijk next to him, and Brazil’s number one, Alisson, behind him to advise and direct him when need be. It’s not unusual to think Robertson’s defensive prowess is the most under-appreciated part of his game.
We all know how capable Andy Robertson is in the final third of the pitch. Robbo’s managed to rack up five assists in 15 appearances already for the Reds, something very impressive for a man whose primary job is to defend. The former Hull man also recently picked up the Man of the Match award against Fulham last weekend after his brilliant performance where he not only helped keep a clean sheet, but set up a lovely goal for Xherdan Shaqiri with a perfectly curled cross to the back post in a 2-0 victory at Anfield.
We’ve grown used to seeing these kinds of things from our left back over the past few months ever since he fully took over the starting job last December – and it’s not too far fetched to think that Robbo can’t do it for a long time considering he’s just 24 years of age.
Gone are the days of complaints that Liverpool were signing a budget left back from relegated Hull. He won the hearts of all Liverpool fans with his beautiful, and unforgettable, relentless run against Manchester City last year and hasn’t looked back. Robbo continues to elevate his game, and it’s paying off. The Scottish captain will look to carry on this good form he’s found himself in, as he heads off on international duty. We hope he returns fully fit, ready to keep fighting for the Reds.