clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

CuJo’s Revenge: The Second Act in the Career of Curtis Jones

The Other Scouser in the team turned in another wonderful performance in a season quickly revealing him to have taken a massive leap forward.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Liverpool FC v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

If Liverpool FC’s midfield has been a revelation this season, then Curtis Jones is playing the role of John of Patmos. Curtis of Merseyside, if you fancy, has turned in quality appearances in Klopp’s newly rebuilt midfield all season and his run out against Newcastle feels like a great capstone to a run of strong performances to close out 2023.

It is likely a bit repetitive at this point but given the state of the Liverpool reaction to recruitment headed into the start of the year, the season seemed to hinge on if Other Scouser in the team would be able to translate the promise of his youth into something concrete. Jones, building on a strong summer runout as the captain of the U21 Euro champions, has answered that bell over and over this campaign both in terms of increased quality and consistency.

On Monday, Jones not only managed to score the goal, but that event itself felt an appropriate reflection of how he’d asserted himself offensively throughout the match: a tap-in inside of the 6-yard box, Jones made himself available multiple times as a late runner into space. (That space, it should be mentioned, was cleared out by the stellar movement of the front three, namely Darwin Nuñez. ) That Jones might find himself in that position didn’t feel like a surprise at all given where he’d popped up over the 90 minutes.

Watching Jones operate on the evening was pretty eye-opening, as he showed the quality on the ball and ability to play on both sides of the ball that his earlier appearances hinted at. But what looks different is the type of growth that can only come with experience: better sense on when to make the runs forward, clearer recognition of space, quicker thinking when in possession. Jones is seemingly knitting it all together right in front of our eyes.

Jurgen Klopp echoed these sentiments during his post-match comments:

“Special game. Special game from Curtis, to be honest: his high press, his counter-press. We all know how good a player Curtis is, he is technically incredibly skilled, but he finds more and more direction in his dribbling, he gets better out of situations and his pressing and counter-pressing is meanwhile... he sets the level actually, how it should look. Really happy with that. He keeps every player in the game.”

This isn’t the first time I’ve mentioned CuJo’s growth here. Perhaps not surprising, given how much I’d wanted him specifically to come good here. But his performances have ultimately been inspiration for these little missives on his form. And all I personally hope for is that he continues to give me more reasons to wax poetic about his play.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liverpool Offside Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Liverpool FC news from Liverpool Offside