Unnecessary pressure on Curtis Jones has to stop

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It is all good praising the impact of what a player brings to a football team, especially if they are young. But we have a responsibility of choosing our words carefully more than ever.

Of course, I am talking about Curtis Jones, who has had a wonderful start to his senior career with us after shining for the U23s in recent seasons.

With nine goals and five assists from 14 appearances in the Premier League 2, the local lad was rewarded with six outings in Jurgen Klopp’s side, which meant that he was eligible for a league winners’ medal as we ended our 30-year drought without a title.

Jones was already held in high regard after his goal knocked Everton out of the FA Cup last season. But following his stunning brace during our 7-2 victory against Lincoln City on Thursday, the comparisons came out of the woodwork once again.

There have been plenty out there that have labelled Jones as the “next Steven Gerrard“. Why would someone want to put that label on someone at such a young age?

It is completely unnecessary and puts huge pressure on his shoulders to perform. No-one is guaranteed to make it at his age.

But some may come back at me and say that picking the Liverpool legend’s old squad number despite Jones himself saying that it was merely just a coincidence that he chose it, due to the fact his decision was based on family reasons.

Those comparing the £4.6m-rated Melwood graduate with Gerrard are building him up to bring him down. This is something that has regularly happened with the England team for a long time.

I remember the build-up to the European Championships in 2004 where the “golden generation” were tipped to win the competition with an emerging Wayne Rooney banging the goals in, but came up short due to an unfortunate refereeing decision that went against them.

It has never been different with English players and it’s about time that we took responsibility and turned a corner when we hype players and teams in this manner.

I believe Jones will make his own legacy in football. Whether that is with us, or with another club, remains to be seen. So stop putting pressure on him.

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