Johnny Nic pays tribute to a wee boy from Glasgae who turned himself into one of the world’s best full-backs.
Who’s this then?
Andrew Henry Robertson is a 5’10” 27-year-old left-back who plays for Liverpool and is widely considered to be one of the best in the world in his position. Born in Glasgow, he was with Celtic until 15, when he was released due to being considered too wee. He got his start at Queens Park in 2012-13 who were an amateur club in what was called Scottish Division Three but was actually the fourth division. Don’t ask…
He played 43 games across the season and then moved to the top flight and Dundee United, with Queens Park getting a percentage of future transfer fees. He was a star player for the Terrors and in April 2014 he won the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award and was also named in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year for the 2013–14 Scottish Premiership. Now, everyone should always take note of who wins this as they will be available to rich clubs for a ridiculously small fee for often a very good player, largely due to Scottish football being unfairly, stupidly thought to be so much poorer than almost anywhere else.
On this occasion it meant Premier League Hull City came on the sniff, slapped down the ludicrously small fee of £2.85million and scooped him up. The lesson again: if you want a good player for next to nothing, scout in Scotland.
Hull were relegated in his first season, but he played 52 games for them in the Championship playing an important role in getting the Tigers promoted back to the top flight. The 2016-17 season was his last for the club because Liverpool liked the cut of his high-cheekbones, fingered its wallet with smug satisfaction and handed over £8million for his services.
He’s now in his fifth season at Anfield and has become an indispensable part of how the team plays and is indisputably one of the finest left-backs in the game. He got his first cap in 2014 and was made captain by Alex McLeish in 2018. He’s now got 55 caps. He has played 392 games at club level and scored 17 goals.
Nay bad for a skinny wee boy fae Glasgae.
Why the love?
In any one game, he plays as a defender, a midfielder and an attacker and seems as happy in any of those roles. If you love football, you have to love Andy. He’s just so bloody good, so exciting, so effective. Along with Trent Alexander-Arnold he has revolutionised the art of the full-back and turned it into a role which makes the team function properly. He’s evolved the role beyond mere wing back, into one which can make a thrilling front five which constantly pumps petrol into the fire in the centre of the pitch. He’s made being a full-back one of the most desirable jobs in football.
He’s also a tough wee sod. With hard eyes which hint at a bit of a temper, high cheekbones and gaunt cheeks, he has a fearless, intimidating, attitude-to-burn quality. The moment in the Barcelona game where he pushed Leo Messi on the head was one of modern football’s greatest. Here he was, almost contemptuous of the greatest purveyor of shuffling, short-arsed dribbling. Yeah, you don’t impress me, pal. It was magnificent sh*thousery and Messi bloody hated it, running to tell the teacher, trying to give our man a hard look but only succeeding in looking weak, and in that moment you knew he had him. Aw, did the nasty man push you on the head? Aw.
In tandem with TAA they have formed a mighty partnership; the left and the right hook to the jaw that few can resist. There are times when he delivers a looping, curving cross that seems almost robotically brilliant, as though he’s been programmed to do it, so easy does it look. Against Everton this week he made a perfectly-weighted pass for Mo Salah to score. It all looks so easy because it happens so often. He has apparently inexhaustible energy all game long and is one of the reason’s Liverpool are at their most dangerous when the opposition have got a corner. As soon as the keeper collects or the ball is cleared, they’re off at pace. Robertson does not hesitate and just burns up the pitch. You can see their opponents scattering like frightened pigeons as the Reds steamroller forward.
Three great moments
See this look, you can see this look in fights outside of Glasgow bars every Friday night. You don’t see it in football much…
Messing with Messi…
Sublime assists ahoy…
What the people say
– The sight of him floundering about the pitch, sweating alcohol and kebabs, against Man City in the match following the confirmation of Liverpool winning the Premier League was very human and relatable.
– In a team full of genuinely nice model professionals like Henderson, Milner, Salah, he brings a bit of needle. A glorious sh*thouse.
Unbelievable work-rate on and off the pitch. Helps charities and food banks in his spare time. A really good guy who has never forgotten where he came from.
A passionate Scot and a great captain of Scotland.
— The Tartan Scarf 🏴 (@TheTartanScarf) December 3, 2021
– Guaranteed a place on every ’bargain’ Premier League signing list for the rest of time.
– I don’t expect he ever stops running even on rest days. I imagine he’s probably running right now.
– He’s kept in contact with all his old friends from his time in the lower leagues in Scotland and didn’t negotiate when Liverpool offered him the new contracts as he was delighted just to be playing for them. Enough said.
– Fabulous player, everyone loves a trier, after all. Never got the ‘sh*thouse’ tag, he admitted to being embarrassed over the Messi shove and otherwise seems a thoroughly humble, decent human.
– Even when Robbo is bad, he’s not bad. What people mean when they say this is that he wasn’t an 8/10. Which is the minimum you expect from him now after 3/4 incredibly consistent seasons for club and country. Truly world class.
– Racking up incredible numbers with his compadre on the other flank, while being one of the all time Premier League bargain buys. £8m for him is nothing short of daylight robbery. It’s up there with those scammers who trick pensioners into parting with their life savings.
He is an absolute bastard. The type of player you want in your team but absolutely hate to play against. Seems to enjoy noising up the “stars”.
— Cosmic Dust (@ScottishChrisB) December 3, 2021
Currently doing a digital series on IGTV called Wingmen with Trent, which seems to involve driving around Liverpool and eating KFC (it’s sponsored by them which is nice work if you can get it). He’s just signed a five-year deal with the Reds that’ll take him to 2026 when he’ll be 33. He looks like one of the sorts of players who are just naturally very fit, so major injuries aside, he looks likely to continue into his late 30s. It’d be nice to think he could return to Scotland to finish his career.
Although he’s ‘only’ on £100,000 per week (just £18K more than Joelinton!) many less effective players get paid a lot more. But he is in the absolutely perfect team to make the most of his strengths. With a Champions League and Premier League title already under his belt, as well as being captain of his country at a time when Scotland are playing some of their best football in decades, means everything’s coming up Robbo. A fine blend of fiery attitude, cool skill and steel-eyed determination, what a bloody great player he is to watch. Long may he burn up and down the left wing, giving the opposition the stink eye.