Harvey Elliot’s having a great week. Liverpool FC’s young midfielder scored two goals as the England U21s beat Northern Ireland 3-0, including a curling free kick, at Goodison Park. Neutral observers will probably point to decreased minutes and a lack of starts this season, but pay closer attention and you’ll see that Elliott is playing with renewed confidence and is often tasked with changing the game off the bench by Jürgen Klopp, whether with his creativity or his ball-retention skills.
In a piece with Lewis Steele of the Daily Mail, Elliott talks about the new midfielders, and how the added competition has everyone thriving:
“They’ve come in and hit the ground running and it’s healthy competition now, striving towards the same goal which is winning trophies. Every time someone else plays or I play, the support around me is unbelievable from these lads and I do the same for them as well.”
“We’re a team at the end of the day, you can’t be frustrated that you’re not playing. You have to stay patient and take your opportunity when you get it. These new boys, you can see the quality they have hence why they’ve been bought for a lot of money. Learning from them is great.”
He also added that more than Jürgen Klopp or his U21s coach Lee Carley, it’s actually his dad who is his toughest critic:
“He is always trying to push me as hard as he can which is why he’s a great dad.”
“Social media is social media, it can turn quickly. Everyone can love you or hate you in a matter of minutes. For me I don’t focus on it. I listen to the important people around me: my family, the coaches and the players who are all trying to help me out.”
“It is my dad who criticises me the most. There is always something I could have done better. He always wants the best for me. I’ve had a few chances for Liverpool this season, it is going to be a lot harder to get opportunities. But I’m full of confidence now.”
Keep pushing on, Harv. We’re gonna need you for this long season.