How Andy Robertson went from LFC racer to true leader – Liverpool FC
There were few constants for Liverpool throughout 2020/21, but Andy Robertson’s presence, persistence and leadership were all part of it.
In a season of twists and turns and more lows than highs, the Liverpool rider… just kept running.
Robertson’s campaign was a tribute to the art of resilience, and the Scotsman was drawn into those slightly tighter Jurgen Klopp hugs as a result.
Despite having almost crumbled to dust in previous Champions League and Premier League seasons, Robertson still managed to put everything on the table and proved to be the kind of player Liverpool had to face. turn in times of crisis.
As a result, Robertson has played all 38 league games of the campaign, despite signing Kostas Tsimikas in the summer to help lighten the load.
When the waves got choppy, Liverpool needed both comfort and consistency. They needed Robertson.
Andy Robertson, 2020/21
Started: 48 (All competitions)
Replacing : 2
Subtitle not used: 2
Overall rating of the season: 7.33 (8th)
The 27-year-old had been accused of missing a beat in the first few months of the season, but his fall from usual high levels of assistance could be explained in large part by the Reds’ emerging injury crisis. .
Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, his accomplice on the opposite flank, quickly found themselves faced with a dilemma: take the risk and continue to play their usual game in full-frontal, high-line, or tick the boxes of the bases and do of course Liverpool did not concede.
It turned out that a less desired combination of the two occurred.
Robertson went back to the ‘simple stuff’ and didn’t bomb with as much consistency, but Liverpool lost their rhythm and conceded goals nonetheless.
As a result, morale began to drop, but over the course of the season Robertson soon realized that Liverpool just had to do what they did best: pushing, moving and attacking.
Out of 53 possible games during the season, Robertson has turned out 50 times in the red jersey. He provided seven assists in all competitions and hit the back of the net once.
As Liverpool beat Leicester in November, the day after Virgil van Dijk was injured, which ended the season, Robertson held a masterclass.
Aggressive off the ball and relentless with it, Robertson has hunted down every blue shirt while displaying the kind of exhaustive work pace that simply forces opponents to lose possession to the minute.
As a result, he was presented with a man of the match award, and conviction hung in the air that Liverpool could perhaps fight the impossible this season, despite the odds.
It was this kind of performance from Robertson and Co. that lured many fans into a false sense of security and to believe that a sustained title defense – despite the loss of arguably the best center-back in the world – was achievable.
It’s a testament to the Scotsman that he was able to continue operating at full strength, and the occupation of Liverpool at the top of the table at the end of the year was largely down to his work.
A new chef
From this season, at the very least, Robertson has gained a new status within the Anfield dressing room as a leader.
Losing the experience of Van Dijk and Joel Matip in defense meant that Robertson not only became the oldest statesman in the last four, but also the most vocal.
Needless to say, each week seemed to bring in a new central defensive pair, and so Robertson had little choice but to constantly talk to his new teammates through games and make sure they had to take the appropriate positions for a Klopp comeback. line.
Her vocal cords have probably been exercising as much as her legs.
It bodes well for the Reds, however, with one of the designated club captains, Gini Wijnaldum, leaving this summer.
Leadership and responsibility are much sought after goods in top football clubs, and the test Robertson has taken this season should serve him well for the campaign ahead.
A European Championship at the head of his nation can not hurt either.
What Robertson also brought to the table this season, which may have gone a bit under the radar, was a constant bond of support for his left flank comrade Sadio Mane.
The Senegalese star Liverpool’s struggles were well documented, but statistics continued to indicate that Mane had so many chances and moments on the ball.
The openings, opportunities, and creations were all there, largely provided by Robertson.
While it became easy to focus too much on Mane’s failures and dispel trust, the relationship between him and the reliable Scotsman remained as strong as ever.
The final clash of the season, which saw the Reds go undefeated in an impressive 10-game streak and seal third place, showed the left side of the pitch is back to its best.
Robertson’s fierce and willful run created pockets of space for Mane, while also luring the reborn Thiago from the center of the park to thread the balls.
So it was typical that the end-of-season home shock to Crystal Palace would see Robertson’s corner ball fall at Mane’s feet for the opener.
After the euro
As for next season, Liverpool hope – one way or another – to do even more.
It says a lot about Robertson that it’s possible he could continue playing at such a high level, despite three straight action-packed seasons with little rest.
Leading his country to the Euro will do humble Glasgow good, though all the reds around the world are praying for him to come back full of confidence and without any sign of injury.
Best moment: Powerful performance against Leicester
Worst moment: Below par in 4-1 loss to Man City
Role next season: Reliable as always, with increased leadership