Jack Robinson

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Jack Robinson

Post by UxbridgeR » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:34 am

Nice piece on his struggle to recover from injury.

From Anfield dreams to a 'deep depression', QPR's Jack Robinson bares all

By Lewis Jones

No footballer will have ridden the football roller-coaster quite as brutally as Jack Robinson.

The born-and-bred scouser walked out at Anfield for Liverpool at just 16-years-old with the world at his feet, but years later found himself incapable of even walking to the shops due to a debilitating knee injury that slipped him into what he called a "deep depression" and almost retirement at the tender age of 23.

"The two-year mark came when I just couldn't get my knee right…I was very close to giving up," he admits.

Life in football can change quickly though - and just five months after debating whether to pursue a different career, Robinson is the bedrock of a QPR defence that will try to shut out Brentford in the Sky Bet Championship on Monday night - a game live on Sky Sports Football.

He has made 14 appearances this season for the west Londoners - double the amount of games that he managed in two years - and his importance to the team was illustrated by manager Ian Holloway awarding him the captaincy for the recent clash with Derby - an honour Robinson describes as "one of two career highlights."

The other is easy to work out as he reminisces about the moment in question in his strong Liverpudlian accent.

In 2010, at just 16 years and 250 days old, he became Liverpool's youngest ever debutant.

"I remember being at a party on the Friday when I got a phone call saying 'you're playing for Liverpool tomorrow' - I left the party in order to go home and rest," he recalls.

"I got three minutes at the end, I came on left wing for Ryan Babel. I'd never played there before.

"I remember in the first five seconds, getting the ball of Lucas and turning before finding Steven Gerrard. He took on three players and hit the post.

"I nearly got an assist with my first touch!"

That word 'nearly' crops up regularly when discussing Robinson's subsequent career on Merseyside.

As many young British players find when trying to make it at a top Premier League side, opportunities were thin and time was rarely on your side in an ever-changing landscape under different managers. Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers all were hired during Robinson's time at the club.

Robinson is not bitter and does not possess any regrets about making just 10 first-team appearances for Liverpool - the club he grew up supporting.

It is a tag he carries around with great pride, especially when he gets back to watch them, usually via tickets from fellow youth-team product Jon Flanagan.

However, he feels being such a die-hard Red did him little favours when trying to earn a regular spot.

"I just couldn't get into a rhythm," he said.

"Being a fan for so long to then being around the players on a daily basis - I couldn't really come out of my shell. I was nervous around them. It was very daunting. I was always thinking 'you need to prove yourself' instead of relaxing and playing my game."

One of those players sprinkling the starstruck-dust, Jamie Carragher, remembers Robinson standing out because of his "aggression and a lovely left foot" - but felt his introduction to the first-team environment may have come too soon.

He said: "That is part of playing for the biggest clubs in the world, dealing with big personalities and egos - it's about character not only ability. Sometimes you can get in too young. Some aren't mature enough to deal with certain situations - as you get older you're able to deal with it.

"Unfortunately that's part and parcel of playing Premier League football.

"It is difficult, but playing 10 games for Liverpool is a lot more than a large majority of the kids growing up dreaming of playing for the club. He should be proud of that."

Robinson left Anfield in 2014 after realising it wasn't working out for him under Rodgers.

QPR - then managed by Harry Redknapp in the Premier League - snapped him up on a four-year deal but immediately sent him out on loan to Huddersfield, a decision Robinson calls "weird" and "frustrating".

A knee issue emerged half-way through that season - one that required surgery to reattach a cartilage to the bottom of his thigh bone. Two years of frustration passed - further inflamed by a hamstring injury that restricted his progress.

Our conversation turns towards the dark days during his rehabilitation.

"It was a very tough time in my life," he explains.

"The area where I live in Surrey is so quiet. That was all adding to the stress. Going back to the house, where I was just sitting about. I was isolated. Not being able to walk to the shops just in case the knee swelled up again. I was sitting on the couch from the minute I got back from football until you go in again.

"It was like a sad film. Me looking out of the window at the lads training.

"It takes its toll on your mind. Not having friends or family around you to break up the bad times.

"I was in a deep depression when I was injured."

Like most people fighting depression, Robinson found strength in opening up to others. A report published earlier this year said that the PFA receives 15 to 25 calls a week from players and former players suffering from mental health and well-being issues.

Robinson uses his own personal experiences as an example of how sharing experiences and thoughts is vital when trying to fight the demons. It's a subject he feels strongly about, taking the same lead from fellow professionals such as Chris Kirkland, who have also suffered from depression.

It was the end of last season when my knee was massively swollen and it just wouldn’t go. I was very close to giving up.

"People do struggle but it's finding that help to talk about things in order to get things off your chest and break down why you're feeling like this," he said.

"People speaking about it will encourage others to get help.

"I personally got help myself just to get things off my chest. The therapist helped me talk about things to understand the injury and what I wanted to do going forward."

That show of mental strength is reaping rewards on the pitch this season, where Robinson - more known as a left-back - has been given his chance at the heart of the QPR backline.
Although possessing a tasty left-foot and electric pace, playing centre-back has always been Robinson's preferred position.

Despite lacking in size, his aggressive nature, good positioning and willingness to put his body on the line has earned him plenty of admirers in W12 this season.

In fact, if you squint, it could be well Carragher playing in those blue and white hoops.

It's an observation that Robinson acknowledges with great pride.

"I actually base my game on Jamie Carragher - I like to defend in his style," he said.

"Training with him helped my game. Seeing how he positioned himself, how he reacted to the ball coming into the box and his determination - that's how I wanted to be. That time with him was a huge influence on my game and still is."

When asked if Carragher was aware of his former team-mate's desire to imitate his style, he said: "I didn't know that!

"He was aggressive, I was aggressive.

"He's not the biggest of fellas, neither was I, considering some of the size of other centre-backs like Rio Ferdinand and John Terry.

"I had to be clever and use my brain - that's what Jack will have to do. He's going to be up against physical strikers in the Championship, probably a bit of a size mismatch, but it's all about staying switched on, staying focused and reading the game really well.

"He has great intensity, aggression and a will to win. Other defenders want to get on the ball and show how good they are but the main part of the job that will never change will be stopping the ball going in the net, keeping clean sheets and making it as tough as possible for the opponents.

"I'm delighted to hear how well he's doing at QPR and that he's back playing."

With Carragher given Monday night off, the floor is Robinson's to be the scouse star in front of the cameras.

http://www.skysports.com/football/news/ ... rce=Direct
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Satch
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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by Satch » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:02 pm

More like he spent two years stealing a living from the club as another sicknote. All whilst mopping around despite earning a few grand a week. Nothing to be depressed about.

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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by SheepRanger » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:39 pm

Satch wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:02 pm
More like he spent two years stealing a living from the club as another sicknote. All whilst mopping around despite earning a few grand a week. Nothing to be depressed about.
A girl in work recently asked her manager not to give her feedback on her work on a Friday because anything negative will impact her mental health at the weekend.

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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by patrickqpr » Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:47 pm

Satch wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:02 pm
More like he spent two years stealing a living from the club as another sicknote. All whilst mopping around despite earning a few grand a week. Nothing to be depressed about.
Harsh

Or are you taking the p1ss out of another poster on here?

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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by Satch » Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:25 pm

patrickqpr wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:47 pm
Satch wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:02 pm
More like he spent two years stealing a living from the club as another sicknote. All whilst mopping around despite earning a few grand a week. Nothing to be depressed about.
Harsh

Or are you taking the p1ss out of another poster on here?
I am indeed, although it was aimed more at a general sentiment relating to mental health, held by many fans. It's really fortunate that he had the awareness to realise his mental health was suffering and that he felt able to get help, rather than him find himself exploring more destructive coping mechanisms. Likewise, hopefully, his openness will encourage others to seek help, both in sport and all walks of life.

I think clubs should make it mandatory that all players have regular sessions with a therapist. Many may not have a critical need, but it would remove any perceived stigma from making the first move that many might have, as well as providing the opportunity for intervention, especially with youth players. I wonder what Stephen Caulker would give to go back to his mid-teens and be able to work with mental health specialists.

Suicide is the leading killer of men under 50 (26% of deaths) If that was a more recognisable 'physical' ailment, there would be far more being done. Women are statistically more likely to suffer from depression but men account for nearly 80% of suicides, why? Footballers aren't immune to any of this. Yet many fans think only 'physical' ailments warrant patience and understanding.
Last edited by Satch on Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by patrickqpr » Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:46 pm

Well said aniclap

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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by BiscuitRanger » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:42 pm

It may be a sweeping generalisation but in my view and life experiences woman are better adapted to deal with stress and depression. Men have an inherent need to be defined by there status, prowess, skills and all the trappings that come with that. Being a professional footballer may be one of the most aspirational careers a young man could wish for. Wags and Bentleys, glamour and recognition that transcends socual-economic 'classes'. Not making it to the top but being a semi-professional or league2/3 player may seem to be a failure . Attracting the wag cast offs and the entry kevel Audi and BMW. If a woman proudly announcing she is a WAG of a professional soccer player at Exeter it orobaby carries a bit of a second rate stigma if you work for a third tier investment bank you are still perhaps a broker. If you are a neurosurgeon for a more provincial hospital it's still considered an admirable and respected job. A Burton albion second string player nay make the same money but without the status or even with a stigma of shame attached to it He never quite made it.
Interestly, I've only heard of alpha males. Rarely alpha females . It's in our make up to yearn for recognition. I don't see the same overriding motivation in women.
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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by whittonhoop » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:33 pm

Satch

Great post, mental illness is vicious and no respecter of financial status / profession

Money can’t cure everything

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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by stainesranger » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:10 pm

We need a certain amount of wealth as human beings to look after ourselves and our families and have a bit of money to spend on fun stuff to do (an amount large portions of the population don’t have) but anything beyond that amount, I reckon, is as likely to breed unhappiness as happiness.

Robbo had a great game tonight I thought, when most did not.

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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by Rbee » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:27 pm

stainesranger wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:10 pm
Robbo had a great game tonight I thought, when most did not.
Damn right! Did you see when he ran past Baptiste, who had given up, to make the block?

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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by Giorgio » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:31 pm

...man of the match tonight....he made three great saves...!!!

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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by Hunter S Thompson » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:11 am

MOTM
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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by beaglebum » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:30 am

To be honest he seems to be a bit of a revelation at CB. I know when the others come back he'll be dropped to the left again, but he's done very well and his sliding tackles and blocks have been a joy to watch. Well done young lad. aniclap aniclap aniclap

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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by Dollis Hoop » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:43 pm

This is a fascinating article. Where is it from? I think it's important mention sources, or preferably give a link to the original article.

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Re: Jack Robinson

Post by Dollis Hoop » Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:44 pm

Ah, just noticed the Sky Sports link. Apologies.

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