I saw a similar piece being posted on This is Anfield a while back, and this relates an experience one of our editors had, of late.
A writer on this very site, had a sick cousin who was in Alder Hey Hospital, minding his business following some therapy. Then, members of the Liverpool squad [and Jurgen Klopp!] came to visit the lad, in his hospital bed. As this is a sensitive & emotional topic, this will be discussed in a piece to come from another editor.
This article is, indirectly, linking to that. Liverpool supporters have a lot of festive cheer to rejoice about this month, but the club are also making supporters off the pitch happy too. This article is to do with our famous supporters, Liverpool’s tradition & our self-proclaimed ‘famous atmopshere’.
In our recent home game against Sunderland, we were unable to break the deadlock at Anfield despite having several good openings to do so. This resulted in a fickle section of the fanbase getting agitated at the failure to put the ball in the back of the net. Now, I’ll admit, this is something I have been guilty of doing 10 years ago, and maybe, if this happened two years ago it wouldn’t have mattered.
Rafa Benitez was a pragmatic manager, who, didn’t showcase that much emotion in front of television/cameras, but he still cared about our beloved supporters & wanted to make them happy. Rodgers was instilling confidence in the side, as we came very close to that title push, but after that season, we endured a frustrating spell which saw us embark on our worst start to a league campaign in years. The pre-season target of Champions League eluded us in May, which saw frustrated & angry fans bring aeroplane banners to games, wanting the Northern Irishman to be relieved of his duties.
I was one that did support BR, but I wasn’t too keen on him after a few seasons at the helm. He made some baffling decisions, some which impacted us more than others. But I found the criticism unjust on him – especially considering the fact that he had just come a fingernail away from delivering us our first Premier League title in history and our first league title since 1990.
Rodgers tried to steer Liverpool to the top, but in the end, he did earn his sacking. When Klopp came in, our confidence went from a low ebb to a high ebb – both on & off the pitch. As individually, players improved, the fans were also exposed publicly by Klopp, for leaving early following a 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace.
Signs of fickle mice ready to sharpen their knives. Even though Klopp may have seemed like a depressed 48-year old German back then, it did demonstrate merely, how much he wanted the supporters not be disappointed; he too, wanted to nurture the fans too, into a partisan one like many of us experienced during our childhood, 70s etc.
Many supporters have been complaining about the regress of our ‘famous atmopshere’ of late, with some pinning the blame on the older sections of the fanbase, and the ‘tourists’, or, as some foolishly prefer to put it, ‘glory hunters’.
Now, I do strongly advocate having a better atmosphere and making the ground more intimidating, especially when United, Chelsea & Everton etc come to Anfield – this was something raised a few months ago, when a picture divulged LFC fans with cameras out in front of Jose Mourinho, in response to the ‘intimidating’ atmosphere the Mancs would be greeted with.
But it’s deceitful to blame the older supporters for the fall in atmosphere – like it or not, they have contributed hugely to our unique fanbase, and tradition of Liverpool. The Liverpool way is not to boo players off the pitch, hurl abuse etc, but we aren’t exactly a ground full of supporters who go shouting ‘who are ya?’, ‘you’re fucking shit’ and what not.
This dross is flawed in the city of Liverpool – whilst we are located in the heart of the United Kingdom, any Scouser doesn’t feel a part of it. You don’t see Liverpudlians hugging the Union Jack flag, and you don’t often see Liverpool supporters gunning for England either during an international match, due to the English establishment turning on Scousers in the 80s & 90s, with a few political righties seeing Liverpool as politically inept, solely because of our undisputed hate of the witch, Margaret Thatcher. We are Scouse.
Also, with regards to the older fanbase – they have supported the club thick & thin, through the hard times & adversity, to when the club was at the pinnacle of English & European football. They are the ones that make the fanbase patriotic, if anything. So, does that make the ones who grudge against older supporters ‘glory hunters’. Will leave ya to that.
Same goes to the tourists – the people who dub the tourists as “glory hunters” really need to look at themselves. Liverpool’s worldwide support is arguably the most inclusive out there – examples include, as mentioned in the piece – in 2013, when 90,000+ Liverpool supporters filled Melbourne Cricket Ground to sing YNWA and get behind the team. if the supporters really were “gloryhunters” – why would they turn in their droves to pay tickets for a friendly they technically don’t have to go to?
If you compare that to Spurs’s measly turnout in the same stadium a while ago, that really shows the contrast in worldwide support, and true fans too. Our supporters usually pack every cranny of away grounds, even on European occasions/friendlies with pyro – if that’s not passion/dedication I don’t know what is.The point is, you can’t single foreign supporters/older sections of the fanbase if the atmosphere does wilt. As long as you appreciate & achknowledge the broad & inclusive traditions of Liverpool & you always support the club thick and thin [even through the hard times], that shouldn’t be overlooked. Simple.
Liverpool is a city that prides itself on its diverse ethical backgrounds & cultures, which immigrants & refugees bring – Scandanavian, Chinese, Asian, African, American, Scottish – you name it. Some people see this as a negative trait as it takes the true definition & value of the club. A few Everton supporters claim they are a part of the more ‘creative football industry’ – as someone once said, my arse. Liverpool’s background & character is defined by the diverse cultures we see in Merseyside.
Finally, for the supporters who keep moaning & getting frustrated during matches/trying to send the players on a negative regression, you aren’t a Liverpool fan. Simple. The fact that Klopp was furious on the touchline & buoying the fans v Sunderland when supporters started to get frustrated, showed how much Jurgen cared about LFC, and how he has instilled belief, momentum, passion on AND OFF the pitch. If it was Brendan Rodgers, nobody would be complaining. It’s time to get behind the club. It’s not a big ask for Liverpool supporters, the true ones only [as mentioned]. Let’s just enjoy the ride, get behind the team, create a deafening atmosphere like our glory days – and hopefully the players deliver too.