WE ALL have our little patterns in life.
Me? I make a slice of toast. I butter it and spread on some strawberry jam. Before I set it on the plate, I take a bite out of the corner. I don’t even know I’m doing it.
That’s one of my little patterns. I suspect it’s a result of having to mark my breakfast table territory as a nipper – take a bite, they’ll know it’s ‘taken’, you know? But even when I’m in the kitchen on my own, I still do it. It’s a little mental sub-routine that runs subconsciously without my even thinking about it.
But now I’m married, and naturally the old lady hates it. I’ll make us toast and next thing I’ve taken a chunk out of hers. She’s seldom happy when that happens. But until recently, unless I was laden with lurgy, she’d sigh and munch what remained of it. But no more – she’s taken a stand.
So being a modern broad-minded fella, I’m trying to change this wee habit for the greater good. To jolt myself out of it (and this doesn’t always work mind) I have to say to myself before it pops out of the toaster “right, she’s gonna go mental if I get this wrong – don’t take a bite this time – just leave it”. And then I sometimes leave it. But sometimes the sub-routine still kicks in, and hey presto, two bits of toast, sat on our plates, corners missing.
And she goes appropriately mental. She’s not a morning person.
They’re stubborn you see, these little patterns.
But maybe if she keeps it up, I’ll:
- think twice about taking those bites.
- develop the kind of aversion that kicks in, remembers the pain of the resulting ballache, and prevents me taking those bites
- eventually just deliver each slice as God intended as a matter of routine.
Voila. Bon appetit.
It’s just the same with football clubs. (Bear with me here.) In fact, it’s the same whatever the size of the organism, or the organisation, or the governing body, or whatever it is. We have our little routines we go through without really thinking about them. There’s a trigger, and off it goes – we all sleepwalk through them step by step. We make assumptions on behalf of our counterparties in life, and even when other people’s assumptions take a chunk out of our collective toast, we harumph a little and we put up with it. That’s life – we just get on with it.
But sometimes we don’t. We make like my old lady and we deliver some ballache to the biters in return. But first we have to muster the right level of resentment and guts – that takes time.
So Rafa Benitez sees his instructions ignored on the touchline and waves his hands as the ball hits the back of the net to say ‘ah whatever, you know better than me’, and hey presto, the quirky and delicious little organism that is the British football establishment takes a chunk out of Liverpool Football Club’s toast in the process. The club are outraged. There’s token defiance. But ultimately they sigh and eat what remains.
Alex Ferguson alleges that Fernando Torres is a diving cheat. Hey presto, the establishment takes another chunk out of another slice of Liverpool Football Club’s toast. Only this time, Liverpool’s manager, himself part and parcel of said establishment, picks up the slice and licks off the jam in the process, singularly failing to stand up for his player, and throwing in the fear that Manchester United might decide to buy him in the next transfer window. A few crumbs remain on the plate, and the club and all its constituent parts – the players and fans anyway, begin to experience acute pie rage. We want our toast, and we want it real bad.
Hodgson out – he’s toast. The fanbase devour him with a little nutella – it’s a special occasion after all.
Steven Gerrard can’t play for England cos he’s not fit to play. Capello says that if Liverpool want their toast intact, they’ll have to send Gerrard down to the team hotel to collect it. But the club’s made a New Year’s Resolution this year. Kenny’s at the helm and there are new owners talking the talk, and ostensibly walking the walk, so it’s not gonna let its loved ones put up with half-assed toast anymore. The club quietly reminds the establishment that it’s not happy. The establishment harumphs a bit.
Wayne Rooney violently kicks a Johnny Foreigner in open play. UEFA, enacting their own little pattern, applies the textbook ban. The FA has another pattern that kicks in on these occasions. The Alan Shearer kicks to the face occasions. The FA appeals. They want their toast, jam, and whipped cream on top, served on a silver platter. And hey presto, they get it.
But Liverpool’s made a Resolution, so Kenny pipes up and reminds them all: so how is it any different for you? From now on, we’re having the exact same, and if we don’t get it, you’re gonna be hearing from us.
And so we arrive where we are now.
We expected our toast and jam intact, but the FA has served up the proverbial shit sandwich. That’s not what we ordered. And we tried to tell them what would happen if they did that. Not in so many words, mind, but we gave them ample warning.
It matters not a jot how this ends up legally – the cogs and gears of due process will kick in – each with their own agendas and little unconscious patterns – and eventually we’ll arrive at a result. But they’ll all know at the end of this that Liverpool FC won’t sit back and accept being fucked with any more.
There’s value in that that goes far beyond the details of the case in question. Ferguson, over two or more decades, has made it clear that when breakfast time comes, he wants ‘the usual’. The FA scampers up the stairs to his bedroom, with his paper neatly folded and some nicely heated slippers to slip his toastie little toes into. It’s what he’s come to expect after all. Imagine the ballache if they failed to deliver! It’s not even worth thinking about, etc.
Give it time and get behind the club. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll be getting brekky in bed. But here’s hoping it’s not matron from the FA – it’ll be Salma Hayek after we’ve binned the old dears off.
brilliantly put Roy always an insightful read your posts…. great to see lfc have their balls back its been long enough ! take this to the highest court presenting facts not and not just hear say and surely that should be enough to clear our Luis… ill never buy mirror or mail ever again the just couldn’t get their headlines out quick enough. bamboo them from the presses too
As a side – I don’t have butter on my toast if having jam or peanut butter, but I still understand what you are getting at.
Great stuff Roy, as i’ve mentioned to a few my friends and colleagues at work, over the last 20 odd years, LFC would have taken than lyeing down. Not anymore, not under Kenny’s watch and its great that we have a new regime at the top as well because they are backing him to the hilt.
It was one of Rafa’s issues(to the SoS i believe) where he said that the club was not as 1. Under Moores and certainly under H&G. There was no backup to Rafa if he tried to take on the establishment and thats why tended not to bother.
So pleased to read the statment last night from our club.
Fine piece. The real fans stand four square behind Suarez.Those who don’t are so desperate not to be tarnished by the guilt of association that they become what they always were – closet racists out in the open desperate to put daylight between themselves and a footballer of mixed race.
After you’ve bitten the corner, just slice the pieces in half and give the old lady the two bits ‘sans’ gob shaped hole ;)
Article in Telegraph today –> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/liverpool/8971768/Liverpool-face-Luis-Suarez-racism-row-dragging-on-until-late-in-the-season.html states … “There was at least some relief for Suárez last night when Merseyside police confirmed that the FA’s judgment will not lead to a criminal investigation similar to that affecting Chelsea captain John Terry.
The police will not act unless a complaint is made, and Evra has made no representations about the Oct 15 incident.”
How wierd if someone made a complaint and the merseyside police decided no case to answer; whilst paradoxically Terry gets found guilty by the Justice system, but the FA decide no case to answer……..
Surely, Liverpool can use the refusal of Merseyside police to prosecute in their defence of Suarez. If the police don’t consider a crime has been committed how can the FA? Simplisitic I know but still..
The thing about the Terry case, is that someone made a complaint to the Police. Some have argued that perhaps it was an ‘anonymous’ source from the FA that made the complaint, knowing they wouldn’t have to deal with it!
The other interesting fact now, is that the FA tribunal would have to have been conducted ‘without prejudice’, that is, evidence inadmissable in a court of law. But all the video evidence surrounding the events that day is admissable, including the Negrito’s appearance on Canal+; & the evidence from ‘top-level sources at OT’ would all get a hearing in any defamation suit. How very interesting!
The thing is, expecting the right outcome from the legal process is like slaking your thirst with salt water.
We have to focus on the process, and the fight. Fuck the result. The establishment want to take a giant shite on us? Well, we’ll make them think twice about doing it again, ever.
Notice today comments about how the players doing what they did was ‘inappropriate’ from journalists. Ignore them and stick to our guns.
Lets not get too paranoid
I know this won’t be incredibly popular, but I am going to post anyway , it seems that Suarez has made a comment to Evra, his defense is that it was not considered offensive in his homeland. Liverpool FC’s defence rests in a fools pass ” he didn’t know any better ” well maybe he didn’t or maybe he did, continuing to claim innocence does nobody any favors , apologise learn from this and move on. We should challenge the severity of the punishment but let’s confront this and accept a mistake has been made. Ad for Evra and Man Utd in all this they have capitalized on a situation and milked it for all it’s worth. Negrito , negrita
PS ta for the nice comments again folks.
The FA seem to be dragging their feet in regard to publication of the tribunal transcript, justice seems to be whatever the FA says it is! Judge jury and executioner , surely some mistake?
@Bill…IMO, the issue regarding “he didn’t know any better”, is a pretty good defence depending on the way you look at it.
Suarez was speaking in Spanish at the time the ‘word’ was said, and in Spanish the meaning of the word doesnt hold the same meaning / offence as in the English.
If Suarez was speaking in English & threw the ‘N’ word in there it would mean he had learnt the english language and therefore what the word meant ‘in english’ along with its potential offence.
Surely the issue is surrounding the ‘meaning’ of the word in the language it was spoken?? So basically Luis didnt know any better because he doesnt speak our language (and to expect him to be fluent in all aspects of our language after 11 months is abit unreasonable!)