There will be few on Merseyside upset by Andy Robertson’s pronouncement that he would like to see out the rest of his career at Anfield.
If charismatic manager Jurgen Klopp has been the man to turn fortunes around and elevate nearly men into English champions – an achievement they can add to their European glory – guys such as the Scotland captain personify the characteristics needed to fulfil the German’s vision.
Klopp insisted his squad gather together to watch the match that would end their long wait for the English title. He said that if anyone had missed out, they would live to regret it and he didn’t want that.
That collective spirit is a major factor in the team romping over the line in record-breaking fashion. No side has ever won the English Premier League with so many games remaining and while they are by no means paupers, Liverpool have succeeded by not simply snapping up the best players, they have traded in quality characters, with a specific set of commodities.
It has been about the person, not only the player. The man, not only the manager. They have worked together to climb back on top. In doing so, Robertson found his football home.
Like others at the club, the 26-year-old has come a long way, fighting personal demons, proving doubters wrong. There have been circuitous routes, while fans have had to wait and wait. But patience is a virtue, especially when accompanied by a resilience emboldened by an unwavering belief in the vision and their leader and a willingness to put in the required graft.
No-one at Liverpool walked that road to success alone and that is why they gathered around a television, cheering the Chelsea goals that rubber-stamped an outcome that has long been inevitable and then danced and drank the night away in commemorative tops that underlined their unity.
Show Me Love was the soundtrack to some enthusiastic Klopp moves and was fitting for a team whose social media bonhomie and public as well as private interactions reflect that love and joy.
The Scottish full-back revels in that atmosphere. In fact, he helps create it with his down-to-earth personality, with which he took time yesterday to tweet condolences to those caught up in the fatal attack in Glasgow.
Empathic, at other times there are witty online offerings, bouncing off colleagues and cultivating the harmonious dressing-room vibe.
These are guys who embody the concept of team and embrace a style of play that demands energy and a work ethic that demonstrates a selfless dedication. There is quality in the squad and some world-class players but while some are more key than others, they all know that it is all about the sum of the parts and the individual drive is matched by their collective resilience.
“We won the Champions League and in the summer I can’t say that I wasn’t happy with having that winner’s medal around my neck, but a part of us did feel like it could’ve been more,” said Robertson on the fact they did not achieve their goals last term. Pipped at the post in the league, they could have crumbled. Instead they turned a negative into a positive.
“We showed we can take setbacks in our stride because we got beat in the Champions League final and then the next season we win it. We got beat by a point one season in the Premier League and then the next season we go and run away with it.”
People know the story of Robertson’s rise, the setback and the humble beginnings, the eventual ascent, and those who somehow obviously just don’t care. But few in the former category will be surprised by that inner steel.
At one with the club and the manager’s outlook, the style of play, the familial feeling, and unabashedly hungry for even more success, it is little wonder the humble Scot wants to stick around at a club that is so in rhythm with his own principles and ambitions.
“I don’t want to go anywhere, this club is so special to me in a short space of time. My family love it, I love it and I don’t want to go anywhere else,” he told talkSPORT.
“There’s no better team in the world just now than Liverpool, and why would any of us want to leave?
“We’ve got a young squad and we’ve got to be looking at the next five years to try to add more and more trophies.”
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