No one is more excited about Andy Robertson’s success at Liverpool than I am. I’ve done the surveys and it’s clear I’m the front runner. Liverpool’s 23-year-old left back has captured many a heart this season by simply being awesome. And the combination of Robertson’s excellent performances on the pitch for Liverpool and his rags to riches backstory makes for the best warm and fuzzies that a supporter can hope for.
Andy Robertson was released by Celtic FC at the age of fifteen and had to settle for a spot in the much less-prestigious Queen’s Park FC team in the third division of Scottish football. His first match for the club was in 2012 in front of 372 people. He was by then eighteen years old, still holding onto hope that he could make this football thing happen for real. He sold tickets to Queen’s Park’s stadium Hampden Park over the phone to make ends meet. The dream and desire from the young man was there, to make a career in football he just needed to stay focused and work his way up the chain by sheer will.
“There is no easy way to becoming a professional footballer whether you go through the youth ranks at a club or the route I went,” said Robertson in an exclusive interview with the Echo’s James Pearce.
“I’ve enjoyed my route. I’ve played at some good grounds and some not so good grounds. I’ve met some great people along the way.
“It makes you appreciate every step you make. Whether it was my first contract at Dundee United or now playing for this great club. I’ve always appreciated it and appreciated the people around me. I think stands me in good stead.”
The word of the day here is character. Robertson has not arrived at Liverpool a pampered player. He’s been through it on his way to the top and he knows how special his position is, playing under Jürgen Klopp and alongside some of the best players in the game.
There were questions early on over whether Andy was good enough to replace Alberto Moreno or even good enough to keep Klopp from using James Milner at left back when necessary. But those questions have long since faded. We’ve seen matches now where Robertson was one of the most effective, if not the most effective, player on the pitch. His tenacity has us all on our feet and the Anfield crowd let him know how much his never-say-die attitude is appreciated.
“I might not have the best of games every now and again, but I always leave everything out there,” said Robertson.
“Whether things are coming off and whether I’m finding people with my crosses, I always give 100%. That’s the way I’ve been since I was a kid.
“It’s no secret that my family and I used to go and watch Celtic at home. I’ve always had that passion for football in me. That’s not changed from being at Queens Park, Dundee United, Hull or Liverpool. Wherever I’ve been, I’ve given my all.
“I think Liverpool fans maybe enjoy seeing that work rate. As a team we are all working incredibly hard and that’s enabling us to produce performances the fans can enjoy.”
Like any proper young person, Robertson is only living in the moment, trying his hardest not to be overwhelmed by actually having achieved the status in football that he always wanted. He’s a shining example of all that’s going good at Liverpool this season and with any luck he’ll continue to go from strength to strength under Klopp.
“There will be a time in the future,” added Robertson, “when I look back and think ‘I played for Liverpool, one of the biggest clubs in the world.’
“But for now I’m just thinking about helping this team carry the momentum forward.”