England defender Joe Gomez explains how the bumps in his road led to new outlook

Sunday 14 Oct 2018
Joe Gomez has had to show great character in his early career to date

It feels like a fresh start for me this season.

It’s no secret that I’ve had setbacks in the last few years, but I’ve done my best to try and bounce back from them and make things right.

Joe Gomez
  • Born: Lewisham, 23/05/1997
  • Clubs: Charlton Athletic, Liverpool
  • Caps: U16s, U17s, U19s, U21s, Senior
  • Twitter: @J_Gomez97
  • Instagram: @JoeGomez5

And it’s all behind me now so I just want to keep my head down, stay on top of things and I just want to keep going, keep learning and progressing at the same time.

Sometimes, it’s out of your hands and both of the serious injuries I’ve had were really unlucky in a way.

I can’t act like it’s easy either. Maybe it is for some people but for me, it wasn’t anything that I took lightly and I admit that I did struggle at times.

When you’re so young, I was 18 and had only just joined Liverpool and England U21s, when I had the first injury, it’s just not in the script.

I had just broken into the U21s squad when I suffered my first serious injury


Any talk of something that threatens your career is so daunting and when it’s your first real injury, it’s something you don’t expect at all.

You grow a lot during times like that. I’d moved to Liverpool by myself, so to get a setback like that wasn’t easy. My family were all there for me in the immediate moments and for the surgery, but it was the long road to recovery which I had to face head on, on my own.

It took a lot out of me, but I learnt a lot as well – about my body and about myself. It put a lot of things into perspective for me.

Football can be a bit of a bubble which you can quickly get taken out of, so it makes you realise how lucky you are to be out on the pitch and doing what you do.

It definitely made me more appreciative, not that I wasn’t appreciative before, but more aware that it’s really a blessing to be able to play football for a job every day.

But I’m a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and I’d like to think I’m better for it all and now I’m determined to enjoy it.

That’s happening this season too, we’ve obviously got off to a good start with Liverpool and with England it was good to get the win over Switzerland.

In action against Spain last month, when we were unfortunate not to get a result


We played well against Spain in the first game last month and were obviously disappointed not to get something from it, but they’re obviously a top side and that’s where we’re aiming to be - beating teams like that.

And that’s the good thing about this competition as we’re playing them again this month and it’s another chance to test ourselves.

I love playing for England. I’d say winning the U17 Euro with England is definitely up there as one of the best moments of my career.

Our summer of success with the U17s in 2014 will always stay with me


Winning something is always special and we just really clicked as a group that season.

When we went out there to Malta for the Euro Finals, we had a real confidence about ourselves. I remember us being in the hotel with the likes of Germany and Holland, seeing them around and we weren’t intimidated by them, whereas sometimes we might have been in awe.

But we were so confident in ourselves and it was a special time which I’ll always remember.

Even after that summer, I still didn’t feel settled in how good I might be or an accomplished player at the top level.

You’ve got to get that consistency, you’ve got to continue to push yourself every day.

I need to maintain high standards at Liverpool to keep improving


I don’t feel like I’m at the top level, I need to keep pushing and learning and hopefully be in that category, among the best.

Being at Liverpool helps me with that, because you’ve got to be at that standard and if you aren’t then you won’t play.

With the club being so big, there’s that expectation from the fan base that they want a certain standard of performance. It’s the same with England and that’s a massive incentive.

By Joe Gomez England and Liverpool