Curtis Jones has revealed how listening to some ‘harsh truths’ from Steven Gerrard when the latter was his Liverpool under-18s coach helped him to grasp his full potential.
The Anfield legend labored with the present first-team midfielder when he was in his teenage years, and the now 22-year-old spoke of the blunt recommendation given to him by his boss through the academy days.
Talking about Gerrard on the newest episode of the We Are Liverpool podcast, Jones outlined: “I bear in mind when he got here in – I don’t need to say what he mentioned – it was good but it surely was not good. It wasn’t good. It was like the tough truths.
“I’ll say a bit of bit: ‘I gave you the ten shirt in your again as a result of I would like you to be my important lad in my workforce and I need to construct the workforce round you, however you didn’t present sufficient’.”
The present Liverpool midfielder added: “There was a recreation that he mentioned, that is was what caught in my head so much – the place I wished to point out him that something you want from me I’ll do it – we’d been crushed by Fulham and he mentioned I’d been tackled and the lad had stood over and mentioned one thing whereas I’d been on the ground.
“He rotated to me and mentioned, ‘what did you do about it?!’ I mentioned, ‘I can’t bear in mind’, and he mentioned, ‘properly, I’ll inform you, you probably did nothing!’
“I sat there and thought, ‘you’re proper’. That is my membership, there are individuals such as you who’ve performed your complete life right here and even got here again to the academy and now you’re a coach, you need to give your all to the membership. There are individuals like me, I’m a Scouser myself, I don’t perceive the state of affairs I’m in. I must develop up right here and should be a person.”
Jones went on to reward Gerrard for the ‘connection’ they solid when working collectively for the under-18s and harassed that the previous Liverpool captain would additionally reward him when ‘doing properly’ along with providing the requisite constructive criticism.
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Jones is amongst a handful of gamers from the Liverpool under-18 squad that Gerrard managed in 2017/18 who’ve gone on to both break into the senior ranks at Anfield or forge first-team careers elsewhere, reminiscent of Caoimhin Kelleher, Neco Williams and Rhys Williams.
Nevertheless, a lot of his teammates from that point have both filtered down by way of the leagues or did not make a breakthrough of any type.
It’s subsequently a testomony to the Toxteth native’s character – and certainly capacity – that he’s since gone on to play 106 instances below Jurgen Klopp, with a good return of 11 objectives and 12 assists from midfield (Transfermarkt).
Gerrard is aware of higher than anybody what it takes to progress from Liverpool’s academy and go on to turn into a membership legend, so when he was meting out recommendation to the then-teenagers in his under-18 squad, it was of their finest pursuits to take the suggestions on board.
It appears Jones has achieved simply that, now adorning the quantity 17 shirt which was worn by the legendary former captain at the same age at Anfield, and it’s truthful to say that the tutoring from the 43-year-old performed an enormous half within the present Reds ace efficiently graduating from the underage ranks to turn into a senior stalwart in L4.
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