That’s what Kop Idol Robbie Fowler says in his Mirror column – and he knows what it takes to be one of Liverpool’s best forwards.
However, the best players go through this because they have mental toughness and self-confidence. This is what brings them to the top. This is why I liked what the manager of Ollie Watkins said about him so much.
This confirms what I have seen over the past two years: a striker who develops and takes precedence whenever asked. He was playing on loan at Weston-Super-Mare just five years ago.
But he intervened in Exeter, in Brentford. Now he’s been asked to take the biggest step of all – in the Premier League – and has done so too. For me that shows he has the mentality to be a better striker.
It angers me when people say it’s gut feeling, you’re a born goalscorer. No you are not. These are countless hours of hard work. And it’s a matter of application and learning. You learn every time you step out on the football field.
I look at him and see a striker ready to learn, ready to work. In fact, last year I spotted his pace of work is incredible, and Dean Smith says he’s the best pressing center forward in the league.
For me, this is important. Because the best teams want? An attacker who plays a crucial pressing role. Manchester City, Liverpool, United States, Chelsea. They all want a forward who plays the press with energy and intelligence, and does more than one job.
Sure, they would love someone who scores too, but it’s not just about goal anymore. Far from there. Watch Roberto Firmino at Liverpool, watch City with no recognized number nine and Chelsea sticking with Werner.
I’m not trying to sell Watkins – honestly Villa fans! – but he’s taken the plunge every time so far, and I can see him doing it again. At the highest level, if he can keep the trajectory of his work rhythm, his attitude and his mentality.
Interestingly, Jurgen Klopp absolutely sang his praises a few weeks ago, and you can certainly see someone with their pressing ability – and the stats that go with it – doing well under this type of manager.
And believe me, clubs like City and Liverpool with their huge analysis departments will have run these stats on multiple occasions by now.
Many people have said the £ 28million Villa paid for Watkins was a gamble. Some said it was crazy. It doesn’t seem like either now, and you wonder if it may not have been a wise investment.