Harking back to the past, enjoying the present or anticipating the future…
Liverpool FC supporters will be well versed in debating whether the club still deserves the honour of ‘big club’ status. Similarly they must live with the horrible truth that they’ve never won The Premiership or, as it is now known: The Premier League. Division one titles don’t count? Many would think this true.
I should state that I have found myself embroiled in debates, no, arguments, concerning whether or not the team I love is able to return to the top or whether they ever left. I no longer join in. It is an argument that doesn’t befit a fan of Liverpool Football Club. I know Liverpool’s place in football history, I know the joy of supporting a club that is revered across the world. I know we have a manager that believes in his players and that we should also believe in them all to do us proud.
I also suspect I should support English teams in Europe but certain, shall we say, old adversaries make it nigh on impossible to do so (think locals or the upstarts down the M62 – just one of each mind). I find myself unconcerned with other’s arguments because I get pleasure from Liverpool itself. I will freely admit to enjoying our winning past and no one can remove my memories of John Barnes and Steve McManaman terrorising fullbacks, and Ian Rush shepherding Robbie Fowler into goalscoring brilliance; but I also gain pleasure in seeing a rekindling of the panache and flair that first drew me to the Liverpool flame in the mid-eighties (along with family ties obviously). Have faith. Believe. Jürgen Klopp has said nothing new. He has reminded many though. He gets Liverpool. That’s why he came.
Do I feel guilty agreeing with a former Manchester United player as I sit watching Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville bicker and tear teams, Liverpool included, apart with wild abandon? A little yes. But agreeing with Gary from time to time doesn’t mean I hate Carragher or Liverpool! Do I feel an unhealthy fondness for David Beckham because, let’s face it, he was brilliant in an England shirt? Beckham was a super footballer and my commitment to Liverpool isn’t weakened or cheapened by admitting these truths. Only an idiot wouldn’t rate Cristiano Ronaldo, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs or Paul Scholes (although we may secretly prefer their Liverpool counterparts out of loyalty, I mean Steven Gerrard was better than everyone) so denigrating them to rile or provoke opposition fans seems pointless and churlish. This is not the Liverpool way and this simple fact has been forgotten.
The appointment of Jürgen Klopp should, if nothing else, lead to us appreciating our team more than enjoying schadenfreude at the expense of our Premier League opponents. That he is German and we have no word but a German one to describe ‘delight in the misfortune of others’ is wonderfully apt. We are Liverpool, and we should enjoy that fact above all else. What other teams do is of remarkably little interest to me!
I completely understood Klopp’s fury as he stood watching fans leave early. The image of his school master stance should haunt those who left. It said ‘HOW DARE YOU’ in rich Bavarian baritone. It is not the Liverpool way. Yes tickets are expensive: so stay and sing to get your money’s worth! And Ian Ayre seems to have realised that pricing is an issue…let’s see what he does about it.
What am I really saying? I’m echoing Jurgen’s call to believe. I’m saying talk about Liverpool. I’m saying rave about Liverpool. Let the other clubs talk about themselves, it doesn’t befit us to concern ourselves with their struggles. Enjoy the football now. Then was lovely, tomorrow is but a concept, now is when we cheer, scream, sing, cry. Now is what we have.
Other fans can talk about us because they can’t help themselves. We’ll happily talk, sing and cheer about Liverpool too. This is Anfield. We are Liverpool.
Written by @thealbatrossa