Another day, another batch of praise for Liverpool’s flying full-back Andy Robertson. The former Dundee United and Queens Park man keeps going from strength to strength, and has now been named in the PFA Premier League team of year.
It’s a terrific achievement for the Scotland captain, who continues to develop on a game by game basis. His performances have been brilliant this year and you can now make the argument for him being one of the best left-backs in the world.
We’ve all heard the Robertson story. Dropped from Celtic as a youngster, the Scotsman has worked his way up from lower league obscurity to Premier League superstar in just a matter of years.
He deserves great credit for this rise and it may even prove one thing about Scottish football. It’s a great place for development and eradicates the notion football in this country is ‘tinpot’.
Robertson’s Premiership development was vital
That’s not to say the Scottish Premiership is better than the EPL. The English top flight trumps the Scottish equivalent in near enough every category. Whilst the Premier League gives the likes of Robertson a platform to play against the best, Scottish football is a great place to prepare for that.
Robertson’s time at Queen’s Park gave him time to develop and learn what was required to make it as a professional. Once he completed that stage of his development he moved on to Dundee United. Here he learned how to play against more skilled opponents and learned his craft at a full-time level.
The Tangerines were a big club for Robertson. His trademark bursts down the left, crossing ability and defensive awareness were all developed at Tannadice. They give him the time to develop skills which have gone on to make him one of the best.
Many outwith Scotland will be quick to say the game in this country is poor. Yes the standard of our top league might not be at a ridiculously high level, but it’s better than League Two or League One in England. It’s perhaps on par with the Championship.
There’s always pressure to perform. Playing in the top division you are more heavily scrutinised, your mistakes are given wider attention. On the flip side your achievements are well recognised. It’s the perfect platform to showcase yourself to bigger clubs.
A breeding ground for great talent
Robertson isn’t the only example. His Liverpool teammate Virgil Van Dijk came on leaps and bounds in the Scottish Premiership before moving to England.
James McArthur and James McCarthy developed at Hamilton and have went on to forge decent Premier League careers. Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel got his first real taste of regular football with Falkirk.
The list goes on. People outside of Scotland have negative perceptions of the game in this country, but in reality, it can be a brilliant place for promising individuals.
Robertson is a real asset for Liverpool and a credit to club and country. His time at Queens Park and Dundee United helped him massively and hopefully his success can be a reminder Scottish football isn’t as bad as some think it is.