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19-Sep-2020, 03:03 pm

Robertson: Liverpool are ready to prove doubters wrong by retaining Premier League title

Andy Robertson Liverpool 2020-21

Champions League winner, Premier League winner, champion of the world.

And now, a best-selling author too.

It’s not been a bad three years for Andy Robertson, has it?!

The Liverpool defender smiles as he is asked if he could have imagined this kind of rise when moving to Merseyside from Hull back in 2017.

“Probably not,” he says, “especially the writing a book part!”

Robertson was “nervous and apprehensive” when the idea was first suggested, but admits he got into the swing of things pretty quickly. ‘Now You’re Gonna Believe Us’ offers a pretty unique insight into Liverpool’s momentous title success last season.

“I think it’s a good read,” Robertson says. “It’s pretty much a love letter to all the players, staff and fans!”

Copies have been flying round Melwood this week – “I want the money off the lads!” Robertson laughs, joking that some of his team-mates may choose to wait for the audiobook.

“I am not convinced the Brazilians will read it but it is worth a try,” he laughs. “If the lads read it then great.

“Hopefully they like what I have said about them!”

Hopefully, too, the book will be a commercial success. Robertson recently set up his own charity, AR26, which will help underprivileged children in his native Scotland. All proceeds from the book will be used for that.

“That is one of the main reasons I did it,” he says. “To know I can make a difference and help kids who are not as fortunate as others, it is definitely worth putting a few letters on a piece of paper and writing about a fantastic story.

“Hopefully the money raised can make a big difference.”

Robertson’s book, of course, is one of celebration, a look back at a remarkable couple of years at Anfield.

The man himself, though, has already moved on from that. Looking back is one thing, but the future is where Liverpool’s minds are at now.

“Us winning the league has not been mentioned,” he insists. “It’s been forgotten about, to be honest.

“It's pointless resting on your laurels and thinking 'OK, we're champions, people need to come out and get us'. That's not the case. The manager has already said we’re not defending the title, we’re attacking the next one, and that’s what we want to do.”

That ‘attack’ started in some style last weekend, though the 4-3 win over newly-promoted Leeds suggests Liverpool, having dominated the league last season, will not have it all their own way this time around.

There have even been questions in some quarters. Can they maintain their levels? Will the hunger still be there? Or is a drop-off inevitable after the kind of run they've had?

They've heard it all before.

“I think every season we've been questioned,” Robertson says.

“When we lost the Champions League final in 2018 everyone thought‘will they be back or was it a one-off season?’ We then went into the next season winning the Champions League and just falling short in the Premier League.

“But even then, people said 'if they didn't beat them this season, they're never going to beat Man City', because of how well we'd done. The following season we went and proved it.

“We've got doubters again, of course we do. We've got people that are backing different teams and that's part and parcel of it, it's part of the fun of it. If we are the so-called underdogs again then we enjoy being underdogs.

“We've always worked just to win the next game, game to game. It's worked over the last three seasons, so why would we change our ways now?”

This weekend brings another examination of the champions’ credentials, a trip to Stamford Bridge to face a Chelsea side emboldened by a summer of spending in the transfer market. The likes of Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and one-time Liverpool target Timo Werner have all arrived, with many tipping Frank Lampard’s men for a title challenge.

“A lot has been talked about them, about the money they spent and the players they brought in,” Robertson says. “They will be looking to challenge for the title, definitely to close the gap.

“I think the thing to remember with Chelsea spending the big money is they had the transfer ban so did not spend anything for 18 months or so. And they sold Eden Hazard for a big amount of money.

“You knew once the transfer ban went Chelsea would have another go. Fair play to them. They saw where they wanted to improve to have a stronger squad to compete on all fronts. They are definitely stronger now than they were last year.

“But you can surround yourself with how other clubs are run and how other clubs are doing business but at the end of the day it does not matter what other clubs are doing if we are just focused on Liverpool. If we take care of what we are doing on the pitch and keep producing the results and everything that goes with it, that’s all that matters.”

Still, winning at Stamford Bridge – as they did last season – would surely send out a message from Liverpool’s point of view, that they mean business once more?

“I wouldn’t say that,” Robertson replies. “It’s a big game at the start of the season but wouldn’t say it’s a marker or you can say it’s any more than three points at the end of the day. It is the same for Chelsea.

“They are one of our closest rivals, and there is always an edge when you play them just like when we play Manchester City, Manchester United or whoever.

“It’s a tough game, Stamford Bridge is never easy to go to, and for us it’s about trying to put in a perfect performance and get the three points. But we are not looking to set a marker, or set our stall out for the season, it’s just about trying to get three points from a big game very early on, and then moving on.”

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