By Luke McGovern
INCREASINGLY, over the past few weeks, I have found myself in the position of having to defend an excruciating run of results, underperforming players and a club legend who is at the forefront of the whole debacle.
It’s as though I am acting as one of those tree-hugging activists, knocking around by the Victoria Monument in Derby Square fighting for whatever it is they believe is right, but with their melodious tones falling on deaf ears as they get ridiculed and told to move on.
Unlike those rogues, I am not fighting a tyranny of global corruption and tax-evading bankers, no; my fight is simply with people like me.
It would be foolish to think you can please 100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time. And It would also be self-obsessive and narcissistic to believe that my opinion is the only one that counts.
But there is a divide at the club at the moment, one of which that has never been seen before.
It is not a segregation between the staff and the players, nor is it the board and the management. In fact, you could say that them four-quarters are currently working harmoniously at the moment. The split is between the fans.
Friends, brothers, sisters, work colleagues, keyboard warriors, all at each others throat. The plot – Liverpool Football Club. The setting – Anfield. The Protagonist – Kenneth Mathieson Dalglish
Now, I am lucky enough to hold a very objective point of view. I am of an age where I did not witness, first hand, the greatness of Kenny Dalglish as a player. I never stood on the Kop singing how I’d walk a million miles for one of his goals. And I did not experience, some might say fortunately, the courage of a man who helped guide the club through the darkest period of its history.
I would like to also add that I was never an avid cheerleader for bringing Kenny back as manager.
I initially thought that a lot had changed in a decade of football since Dalglish had last managed a club, and that the role may be a strident venture back into the realms of management.
I love a good football discussion. But, it is the irrational comments and resolutions that pockets of our fan base come up with that annoy me. By all means get your point across, but at least make it sensible.
For example, and this is a classic that I have heard on phone-ins and in boozers alike – coincidentally when the result doesn’t go our way – “Get rid of Dalglish and get Mourinho in.”
Fantastic, there is your answer, Mourinho.
The man who is in the chair at Europe’s most successful club, on the brink of winning their first La Liga title in four years, thus ending the great Barcelona’s dominance.
But of course, he is likely to come because we are a Liverpool Football Club, why wouldn’t he come?
Plus he likes a challenge. Well, Aston Villa are a challenge but I don’t see the Portuguese maestro being touted around the Midlands as a possible heir to McLeish’s throne.
The forums are full of the ‘Football Manager brigade’ conjuring up names of players for us to bring in.
The team does not need major overhaul, that was done last year, and it would be detrimental and pointless for such a conspicuous change to take place again.
Some fans are so blinded by our previous success they forget where the club is and the circumstance that has led us here.
Financially, Liverpool is not top of the pile. We cannot compete with the Manchester clubs with players’ wages or revenue and our stadium looks increasingly decrepit next to the Emirates and the Etihad.
We must not forget the unprecedented change the club went through after it imploded in the hands of Hicks and Gillett.
Football clubs often adjust their squad. They infrequently – unless they are Bolton – change their manager. And they rarely alter their managing director or boardroom. But Liverpool did all this within an 18-month period.
The whole club was restructured, from top to bottom in a short space of time. To demand instant success, no matter how much has been spent, is unreasonable.
This season is a transitional period, and while one or two key signings would not go a miss, I do not see the point of, ‘selling Henderson for £6million’ and, ‘cutting our losses with Carroll’, which are just some of the suggestions I have heard.
That is not the Liverpool way.
I can see the argument for the league performance possibly signalling the end of Dalglish’s reign. But that does not mean that I agree with it.
The old adage of, ‘the league doesn’t lie’, has never been so true.
Liverpool are where they are because they deserve to be there. And as much as I would love to think that at the end of the season when they take the goals down some plucky groundsman will get his tape-measure out and discover that they are a couple of inches short of the legal requirement, that is never going to happen.
Equally, I can see a valid argument which says it’s crazy to sack a manager who may win two cups in his first full season.
Liverpool have played some excellent football this season, only to fail to convert total domination into points.
The West Brom game was a perfect example of this. If two or three of our chances had gone in we would be hailing the best performance of the season.
For me I can only laugh at how our league season has panned out, it has gone beyond rational explanation.
I am not trying to sit on the fence, but looking at both sides objectively, where a mix of the incredibly good and the incredibly bad leaves individuals deciding if their glass is half full or half empty.
For now, let us be happy we have a trophy and another cup final to look forward too, most clubs cannot boast that.
There are many people who look to knock this great club, so why must we do it ourselves?
You can follow Luke on Twitter here @LukeMcGovern