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    • There are many reasons why Andy Robertson is one of the most popular players in the current Liverpool squad.

      Not only is he an outstanding player with a terrific work ethic, he is someone who relates to the fanbase.

      His journey from Queens Park in the Scottish Third division to playing on the biggest stages for one of the best teams in World Football is one of immense hard work after countless knock-backs.

      There is an old adage that 'you never forget where you come from' and Robbo is testament to that.

      He is as normal and grounded that a Footballer can be and proof of that was where he spent his recent winter break.

      Not in a glamorous island location, but back home in Glasgow.

      Robertson spoke to the Daily Mail about his time off.

      “It would have been no good if I came back here with heat stroke, so I did everyone a favour and went back up there and spent time on the golf course.

      To make ends meet coming up the ranks, the left-back worked for a time at Marks & Spencer.

      Once again, Robertson shows his quality as a person by not forgetting about those tough times but reflecting on them.

      “For people to say it was a fairy tale leaving Marks & Spencer behind — how many thousands of people work in these supermarkets, I felt that was a bit disrespectful.

      “These are normal lives and people can have a very good life working there. 

      “How many of them are in our stands over the weekend and there am I saying: “I have left this terrible life behind and moved on”. 

      “Of course I get better paid. Would I be happier playing football than at M&S? 

      "Yes, of course, but if that was my life I’d be the same person I am today. 

      “Money doesn’t bring me happiness, but from three or four I wanted to be a footballer. That was my dream in life.

      The Scotland captain also spoke about those who doubted him along the way.

      “I am one of the lucky ones who have said I wanted to be a footballer through my whole life.   "I held on to that when I was at Queen’s Park and people probably laughed at me when I was 16 or 17 and they asked me what I’d be.

      “People were looking at me and thinking “get a grip, it’s gone now”.   "For me, my dream was always to become a footballer. That’s why I say “yes, of course” I’m happier than if I were at M&S. 

      “Of course me being able to set my kids up for life is an added bonus and being able to give them a good start in life is an added bonus, but for me it was all about just kicking a ball every single day.”

      The grass-roots history of Robertson extends to his ability of sticking up for his teammates on the pitch.

      He is not an hatchet man by any sense of the word, but there is certainly a crafty subtleness to the way he goes about putting things right.

      Like what happened in the Club World Cup Final in Doha against Flamengo when he put Rafinha in his place after he had enough of his physicality against Sadio Mane.

      The sideline microphone picked up the former Hull man say “Sadio, I’ll get him, don’t worry.”

      He talked about what occurred.

      “I know how to deal with Sadio. 

      “That was me trying to calm my own team-mate down. I know sometimes things can affect Sadio. 

      “In that game he got targeted Once he gets booked, there is nothing he can really do. So if I were to say something short and sharp to Sadio, it might have a little effect.

      “Unfortunately, the camera and the audio picked it up. 

      “I don’t want to come across as that player, but if it comes to protecting a team-mate I like to think my team-mates protect me as much as I try to protect them. 

      “We’re a family and if one of them is getting targeted then we will all back them up.

      “That happens in any good team. Like the Man United team of old. Like with Roy Keane. They never shied away from protecting each other. Arsenal with Vieira. That was the same.   "At Man City, Fernandinho does it.

      “ For me as a team we protect each other. We are like a family. We are like brothers.   "If one of them is getting targeted or picked on it is up to the rest of us to protect him. That’s what I try to do.”  

      While the 25 year-old does not believe in regrets, there is one moment in the Anfield miracle game against Barcelona which he does not take any pride in. 

      “I do look back on that moment with Messi as one regret. I don’t like seeing it. 

      “When I saw it afterwards I was gutted.

      “We all had the attitude that day that nothing was standing in our way to get to that final and we created that atmosphere around the stadium and me and Fabinho were tracking him and there was a tangle of legs and we were on the floor. 

      “To do that to the greatest player that has ever played…

      “ I have nothing but respect for him and Barcelona, but we went into that game with the attitude that we were 3-0 down, we needed a miracle, we needed something special and if that little thing stopped the best player in the world playing to his highest potential.

      “But I do regret it. That’s not me as a person. That’s not my personality. But that night a lot of things happened that you don’t really remember.

      “It was the loudest changing room I have been in before the game. You could see the focus and the determination in all of us and maybe I went over the line.”

      “But Liverpool fans like the edge, I think. I feel that maybe this whole team is quite good at representing Liverpool right now. 

      “Liverpool is a big working class city. We go out and show hard work. 

      “We get beaten in games but what you can’t question is that every time we go out there, we give 100 per cent.’

      While many fans are dreaming of the moment that Jordan Henderson lifts the Premier League trophy, Robertson is wary of saying those very words.

      A fan came up and said “You are going to win the league, aren’t you?’ 

      “I said to him: “We are doing well so far”.’

      “I didn’t want to give him too much hope. Look, we’re a team that loves winning games and are very good at it and we need five wins now and we believe we will be able to get those five wins and more.

      “We know what position we’re in. 

      “Do we believe we’re going to win it? 

      “Not yet.   "Not until the Champions sign is over our heads."




         
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    • Complacent?  Moi? The prospect of even drawing a game makes me bilious.
    • Get the thing won. Give it to Athletico and Chelsea hopefully. The time is now. Utilise it well. Come on Liverpool.
    • I wonder if City will just copy Chelsea's route around FFP moving forward.   I always thought it was rather clever of Chelsea, myself. They realised that when you sign a U18 player, it counts as part of your youth system, which is exempt from FFP regulations. So they just bought all the best U18 players, gave them whatever wages it took to get them to move there, and then loaned them out when they got to 19 or 20.   Then, when the player is 21 or 22 either you have a player who is good enough to play for your first team (who didn't cost you anything against FFP) or you can sell them, and use the fee to offset other purchases for FFP purposes.   It's kind of genuis, really. I still think it's odd how much coverage you saw about "Chelsea's loan army" with so little acknowledgement of why it was happening and how it related to FFP. Wouldn't be at all surprised to see City respond to this whole debacle by going out this summer and buying up the best U18 players in England and just doing the same thing.
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