Tsimikas’ double nutmeg suggests he passes Robertson’s sh*thouse test
There are lots of things to admire about the way Andy Robertson plays left-back for Liverpool.
Liverpool’s very own Duracell bunny defies lung capacity, has a left foot to rival that of many playmakers and a rapidly-expanding trophy cabinet that will soon need extending.
Off the pitch, Robertson comes across as an all-round good bloke, supporting foodbanks in Merseyside and his native Glasgow, raising awareness about mental health in recent interviews and paying tribute to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster in the wake of Liverpool’s title triumph.
On the pitch – and we means this as a compliment of the highest regard – Robertson, let’s face it, is a bit of a sh*thouse. From his famous welcome of Lionel Messi to Anfield in last season’s stunning comeback against Barcelona to giving Neymar something to roll around on the floor about, Robertson isn’t afraid to dish it out, and he’ll take anything that comes his way in response.
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One of Liverpool’s priorities this summer is to sign some natural support for Robertson after James Milner has filled in manfully to cover the Scotland captain in recent seasons.
A move for Norwich City’s Jamal Lewis appears to have broken down after the Reds were priced out of a deal, with Jurgen Klopp and co turning their attentions to Olympiakos’ Konstantinos Tsimikas instead.
We’ll be the first to admit we’re not very familiar with Tsimikas, but from what we’ve seen of the 24-year-old, we like him.
The Greece international bombs forward with the skill and trickery of a winger, while his ability to cross the ball should see him fit right in with Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Mainly, however, we like the way he takes the p*ss when the opportunity arises.
There are different ways you can disrespect an opponent. Sometimes the situation requires a little ruffle of the hair and a shove on the back of the head – a la Robertson’s clash with Messi – but other scenarios require a subtler touch.
Sometimes you’re left in a bit of a dead end with only opposition players in front of you, so you simply decide to just nutmeg your way out of trouble to leave them trailing in your wake (and then make the most of the chance to leave your foot in on the opposition’s best playmaker).
It’s difficult to play at your best when you’re still feeling embarrassed about being made to look a fool by a left-back, and Tsimkas appears fond of taking any chance to be…well, to be an irritating little tw*t.
For all the compilations of his attacking surges forward and aesthetically-pleasing assists, we personally most enjoyed the moment he snapped into a tackle to thwart a winger who clearly didn’t fancy it as much as him before turning down obvious options for a pass or ball down the touchline to instead impudently dink a chip over the on-rushing defender and to a team-mate.
Liverpool fans are more than happy to live up their The Unbearables tag, as is their right while the team are successful, and Klopp has seen his players equally content to take on that moniker too.
While Robertson is their obvious chief of niggle in the starting XI, Klopp has discovered surprise sources of shove-it-up-their-b*llocks devilishness across his tenure, with Adam Lallana notably filling the role of a special teams sh*thouse at times during their title-winning 2019-20 campaign.
If Tsimikas does sign on the dotted line, Klopp will feel rest assured that the p*ss-boiling will no longer have to stop when Robertson can’t be on the field.