Andy Robertson’s old team-mate shares “manky foot” theory for expert crossing ability

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The energy, the passion and that left foot has endeared Andy Robertson to Liverpool fans, and his former teammate Jake Livermore is no exception – but for the latter, he holds an interesting theory as to why.

The Reds had lacked a genuine left-back for far too long prior to his arrival and since breaking into Jurgen Klopp’ side in December 2017, Robertson has failed to look back, making the position his own.

From a Celtic reject to European champion on every stop along the way Robertson has honed the talent of his left foot, one that can deliver wicked balls into the box at will.

Aggression, pace and an unwavering will to not relent are characteristics which define Robertson and Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have all benefited – with six of the Scot’s 23 league assists for Liverpool coming for the latter and seven for Salah.

Widely considered an underwhelming signing in 2017, the 26-year-old would now walk into countless teams across Europe and his former Hull City teammate Livermore has offered a unique theory on why Robertson can deliver a ball as well as he can.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 30, 2019: Liverpool's Andy Robertson shoots during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The pair played 76 times for Hull in the Premier League and Championship combined between 2014 and 2017 and as part of building the perfect footballer from those he played with for The Athletic, the now West Brom captain, chose Robertson’s left foot over everyone else.

“I have to pick Andy Robertson. He was like my little brother at Hull and he had a nice left foot on him, too. He was just so innocent when he first went to Hull, which really drew me towards him,” Livermore explained.

“I was one of the louder ones in the changing room and I developed a bit of a bond with him and took him under my wing. He was lovely.

“But I remember looking at his feet once and saying, ‘Blimey, what happened to them?’ All his toes were facing the wrong way! I started making a bit of a thing out of it, as a bit of friendly banter to get him involved with the other boys and get him on board.

“Then all of a sudden we were doing a bit of crossing and… wow. I found myself saying, ‘Has that come off that dodgy toe that’s facing the other way?’ I watched him whipping them in every day and little “manky foot” was unbelievable.

“What a buy that was for Hull. Once he grew physically and got the experience, he was brilliant. I am so happy to see him doing so well at Liverpool.

“He’s one of those boys, like Harry Maguire, whom you play alongside and just want to see doing well because they have no ego and get on with their work.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 11, 2020: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (L) celebrates with Andy Robertson after the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Robertson and his ‘manky foot’ is not the only Liverpool player who forms part of Livermore’s perfect footballer, however, as Jordan Henderson was given the nod for the engine.

The two have only played together on the international stage with England, but there is no questioning why Henderson would be the man he turned to as he rarely leaves a blade of uncovered for the Reds.

“It has to be Jordan Henderson. He just doesn’t stop. “Energy” is the word that sums him up in terms of his work rate and resilience,” Livermore added.

“I have played with him for England, but I’ve also played against him a lot and I’ve always noticed that he’s very good in terms of energy and stamina.

“He also doesn’t get enough credit for making Liverpool tick, by the way.”

The last statement has certainly been true externally, but within the club and for the supporters Henderson, and Robertson, are not taken for granted in the slightest.

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