Robinson Wants A Starting Place

Tom Szczerbowski

Having returned from his loan spell at Wolverhampton Wanderers, nineteen year old Jack Robinson has his heart set on a starting berth in Liverpool's first team. Jose Enrique will likely have something to say about that.

Jack Robinson returned to to his parent club following a three month loan at Wolverhampton Wanderers, having featured in eight different competitions for Liverpool, Wolves and England over the course of the campaign. He played a total of thirty five matches over the season and has banked a lot of valuable experience.

Robinson was a regular starter in the Championship as the midlands club struggled in vain to stave-off relegation. However, one should not underestimate the value of such a difficult experience for a young player in the developmental stage of his career. He will have been battle-hardened by that savagely competitive environment in a way that is not possible when receiving rare minutes from the bench or representing Liverpool's underage teams.

In an interview with Liverpool's Indonesia Twitter account, Robinson gave some interesting insights into his experiences thus far, the role he hopes to play for the club in the future and his admiration for Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez. Robinson is insistent that, despite the presence of Jose Enrique, and the likelihood that he is behind both Glen Johnson and Stewart Downing as cover, he will take his opportunity if it is afforded to him.

"I think I am ready," said the young full-back. "I just need to work on some aspects of my game more and if I can show the manager that I can do everything right, then I'm sure he'll give me that chance."

Robinson, a Warrington native, is a lifelong Red himself and from a background of Liverpool supporters. He feels a strong connection to the club.

"I grew up supporting them [Liverpool]. All my family also support Liverpool, including my dad and grandad, so I just followed in the family tradition...I've always been a Liverpool fan. I was ten years old when I got a trial at Liverpool and from that moment, I just wanted to play for my club."

Distressingly, but understandably, Robinson cites Ashley Cole as his left-back role-model. It is a relief to hear that his admiration is not for the Chelsea player's gun-play but rather because he admires the England man's "consistency" of performance over a long career.

Having watched the heroics in Istanbul as a fan, it must be quite surreal to step out in the same XI as Steven Gerrard, as Robinson has done on several occasions. The younger man is understandably in awe of the captain, whom he claims has "done everything for Liverpool." He openly admits that Gerrard is his idol and rates the Huyton man's contribution to the club over the years as "just unbelievable."

John Flanagan is Robinson's best friend at the club and the two have played football together since they represented the under twelves at the academy. Apparently Flanagan is quite the Anfield joker and his friend attributes much of his mirth-inducing ability to the fact that the right-back is "a bit dozy" and "a funny guy" whose very appearance causes hilarity. "Even just looking at him makes me laugh," says Robinson, a touch unkindly.

The England youth international is unequivocal in his praise for Luis Suarez and it is clear that he relishes the chance to learn from the outlandishly talented Uruguayan at Melwood on a daily basis.

"It's good to play against him in training because you can learn from him," Robinson ventured. "He's such a gifted footballer that it helps you become a better player by trying to defend against him."

If Jack Robinson can prove to Brendan Rodgers that he has enough about him to represent a viable option at left-back, then most will be delighted, as it has been clear that Jose Enrique needs competition to keep him sharp and his absurdly muscular frame is prone to soft-tissue injuries. By contrast with his early appearances under Kenny Dalglish, Robinson looked a touch fragile in his first team matches early in the season but his difficult sojourn with Wolves and his work for Alex Inglethorpe's side will have developed him considerably. We can only wish him well.

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