ATMOSPHERE is one of the trickiest, most slippery concepts in football.
It’s at once fundamental to the game’s success and appeal, while all the while being threatened by its global reach. It’s subjective, your perception essentially pivoting on whether you think a ‘cauldron of hate’ sounds like a good or a bad thing.
In one of football’s many paradoxes, most fans agree an atmosphere of some kind should be created, but we often seem powerless to exert our collective will, with the problem seeming to have grown more pronounced at Anfield in recent years. Listless afternoons where the away fans can be heard above our own for long periods have become far too familiar.
Many of the visitors’ songs, as is the post-modern way of things these days, relate directly to the absence of our ‘famous atmosphere’. It’s far from original, this line, but it does have an essential ingredient of the best antagonistic chants – a kernel of truth.
Anfield is too often a pretty sterile place to be, where the only hostility is directed at whichever of our young midfielders is the current whipping boy and there’s barely any singing to be heard outside a few blocks in the Kop.
Not that it’s all about the singing – it’s possible to be part of a positive atmosphere without bursting into a tune every two minutes. It’s just that lots of us have forgotten how.
In reality, too many matchgoers are at the wrong extremes of football fandom. We have a core of jaded, careworn supporters who’ve seen everything in their time rubbing shoulders with a constantly changing cast of customers who’ve rarely if ever been to the ground before and may never come again. Between the two poles there aren’t enough young people, groups of mates, inculcated in the club’s traditions but not yet ground down by the hardship of breaking off from a good afternoon’s drinking to watch some footballers running about.
At the root of all this is the soaring cost of attending football matches. With young local fans increasingly frozen out, the game is either a one-off treat or a soul-sapping drain on the family finances. Neither is conducive to creating the continuity or underlying enthusiasm which are the oxygen a good atmosphere needs to catch light.
Another major issue, and one it’s hard for Liverpool fans to address given the weight of history, is the introduction of all-seater stadia. Whereas once groups of supporters could go to the match en masse bunching together with like-minded souls to form terrace choirs, now it’s tough to sit near even one or two friends.
For season ticket holders the only continuity is likely to come in the form of the annoying gobshite in the row in front who’s been abusing Henderson/Murphy/McAteer/Nigel Clough for seasons on end.
This is not to advocate a return to standing areas – simply to suggest that seating, for all its benefits, has had a profound effect on the way the game is consumed.
Sociologist and Liverpool historian John Williams, writing at the turn of the last decade, summed up the development of a flatter atmosphere:
“It is much more difficult in the seats to rouse fellow supporters into song. Noticeably, too, very few local, unaccompanied teenage fans of the sort who made up an important part of the Kop’s original standing and singing core now attend at Anfield. Can they afford to? Would they want to sit?”
In fact, given the 18 years which have now passed since the Kop was seated, it may be impossible to recapture the folk memory of terrace culture. We need to tackle the here and now.
Can supporters do it alone? Understanding, on one level, that the team might be lifted through an injection of passion and volume, we seem unable to respond en masse. Anxiety transmits itself from crowd to players (and vice-versa).
This is a problem the club should recognise and try to tackle. One reason is the clear benefits a football team can gain from feeling upbeat and supported, rather than cowed and anxious, at its home ground. Another gets closer to the core of the issue, given Liverpool’s aggressive marketing of Anfield as having a unique atmosphere, reason enough alone to fly over, book a Thomas Cook match break, ‘enjoy’ some tepid food in the Reds Bar and invest the equivalent of Gabon’s GDP in megastore tat.
What happens when you reach saturation point, when more people are there to admire the noise and the colour, to take it all in as part of a tourist experience. than to truly be a part of it? It’s an ever-decreasing circle which will see both diehard fans and big-spending visitors become disillusioned.
So Liverpool FC needs to abandon the laissez-faire approach it’s traditionally taken and get involved in helping bring Anfield back to life.
There are mixed signals on whether they understand what this will take. The tiered pricing at Europa League and League Cup games has been relatively fair, a key factor in making the game affordable to younger fans. While that’s a welcome sign, the introduction of the horrendous Anfield playlists suggest it’s just as likely Ian Ayre’s currently burning a CD marked ‘possible goal celebration music’ as we speak.
The outlook’s not uniformly bleak – the Supporters’ Committee is in its infancy but can play a role here. There’s also the prospect that, sooner or later, we’ll have lots of extra seats to play with. Many observers have made the point that even since the long-overdue introduction of differential pricing, there remains a very small gap between the cheapest and most expensive tickets.
The stadium expansion should be a means to stretch that divide, increasing the numbers paying for hospitality tickets (with a commensurate improvement in the standard of that hospitality) while setting aside a small but significant number of low-cost tickets in decent parts of the ground would be a move in the right direction.
Baby steps, maybe, but steps worth taking on a difficult road towards ensuring the phrase ‘Anfield atmosphere’ can be used with a straight face long into the future.
This article first appeared in issue 17 of Well Red Magazine.
It’s no coincidence that the only parts of Anfield that sing are Kop 304/5/6 where standing is ignored by the stewards.
Bring safe standing to the Kop and the atmosphere will return to Anfield, even the one match tourists will get caught up in the revelry. Leave it as it is and the atmosphere will continue to decline.
Just my take on the matter.
The thing mate it has really only ever been the Kop that sings, maybe it is standing maybe not, i am old enough to have stood on the kop for years and there were many games when the crowd was subdued.
I think it is more to do with what is going on on the pitch, it is ok to say that the crowd should lift the players and i agree…but the last few years of mediocrity are bound to have an effect.
Standing or not standing the Chelsea CL semi is probably the best atmosphere i can remember.
Really good article summing up many of my thoughts when I went to see Swansea knock us out of the cup recently and fell in love with the Swansea away support for their amazing singing which put us Anfield faithful to shame.
It strikes me that a lot of basic practical things could be done to improve the singing. Standing up would be great but for starters – songs and lyrics could be made available online – It would be great if the club took an interest in making this happen with a bit of creativity instead of the lame a to z of old songs. God knows there are enough great musicians out there in the LFC ranks.
Something got to be done, 5 nil and hardly a song, safe standing seems a decent idea, with the same ticket to seat deal so cant be overfilled, especially if reduces ticket prices and creates much needed atmosphere, maybe a system were you can swop tickets or buy in blocks could help too
Brilliant read as usual, Steve.
I was in the Annie Road end on Saturday and there was a chronic lack of atmosphere. Despite ripping apart a team that only weeks earlier had beaten United and Arsenal, and witnessing Sturridge, Suarez and Stevie link up with such devastating effect, the place was like a morgue. As I looked around though, I was struck by just how many day-trippers we have…fans prepared to ‘consume’ rather than support LFC. They don’t know the songs, even the singing of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ resembled a mumbled, school assembly version of ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’.
Whether it’s because they’re in awe of the place, or because they expect, in this era of neatly-packaged Premier League football, to be ‘entertained’, I don’t know. Brendan spoke the other week of the need to retain a Scouse heartbeat to LFC. Anfield needs to do the same.
Atmosphere against all bar the “biggest rivals” such as Man U, Everton and probably Chelsea is poor. I’m a season ticket holder in the Upper Centenary and have plotted the demise of the atmosphere over the years – probably linked with the demise of the pay-on-the-gate, stand with your mates type match going that we had in the 70s & 80s. Nowadays, day-trippers carting sackfuls of brand-new club shop gear, blocking the aisles while stewards explain what bit of the ground they’re in, let alone where their seats are, mixed with trying to get excited about a home tie against Fulham or Wigan is difficult. Not only an Anfield problem, by the way, as many away grounds are quite sterile too, but that’s more because they’ve NEVER had an atmosphere! It’s just that LFC seems to have lost something and that’s more significant, that other clubs realising that they never had it in the first place. Solution? Take all the regular travelling fans, who watch LFC away from home and probably sing together every fortnight and recognise each other from regularly travelling away, and give them their own section of the Kop for home games too!!
I love that last idea so much. What’s wrong with it? I can’t think of anything serious really. Is it kind if how the Italian clubs run the ‘Ultras’ or whatever they choose to call themselves?
Its essential safe standing returns for the atmosphere. Perhaps if we lobby one of these fan groups that meets with Ayre we can see this happen. I would thin k improving the atmosphere has a commercial incentive as more people will want to come and also standing even safely fits more people in. Also it would be a nice idea to buy tickets for areas not a seat, then people who know each other our more likely to be next to one another, the unfamiliarity of the person next to you may have an impact on atmosphere as well.
I agree with you on the lack of noise. Since our 08-09 season when we finished 2nd, it’s been mainly downhill for the club in term of manager swapping, finishing positions.. etc. and it’s had its effect on the ground. Whilst it may be down to age, frequency of attendance, marketing etc. I’m still unsure about the idea of standing. As far as I’m concerned that should never be allowed in Football Stadiums again. Plus, the crowd usually stand up for the big games anyway.
I think the regular match-goers just need to momentarily forget our lustrous history, need to forget how this manager or that manager played this style or that, need to forget where we finished in the last few seasons. The club can only move forward with the support of the fans, and this negativity that floats in the air during home games needs to disappear.
One thing in particular that’s annoying me is the Brendan Rodgers song. Normally, it starts just after the Dalglish chant. Now I know we’ve been chanting for Dalglish for years, but maybe now more effort should be put on Rodgers? It’s so awkward when the Kop sing ‘There’s only one Brendan Rodgers.’ Half the people almost scoff with laughter.
Get behind the team and stop dreaming of the past. Liverpool FC can get back to where we all want us to be, but only with the help of every single fan. Less negativity, more optimism please.
I’m a liverpool fan living in Australia and when the tourist argument gets brought up it makes me feel a bit uneasy, I feel guilty that I’m part of the problem, i know I’m one of the many international supporters who will probably one day make the long trip to Anfield only to find myself sitting with other ‘Day trippers’. Part of me wants to apologize but I also want people to understand that Liverpool is a big part of my life and getting up between 1am and 5am every week is part of that. Having said that Liverpool appeals to me in the way its part of the community and without that we are just a franchise.
Don’t worry about it mate, it is the English disease, much easier to blame a visitor than look at themselves, not sure how many season ticket holders there are (lets say 50%) i doubt the remaining tickets are all sold to fans from Oz or Asia or Ireland etc
Thanks for the support, Steve. As another member of the Liverpool South South South South South club like Andrew above and Phil below, I’d love to be welcomed at Anfield by local fans. I normally like to watch the game closely, yell a bit, sing and chant along to the songs that feel right. I can only observe via TV, but I don’t think it’s the daytrippers at fault; I think it’s the people who see Liverpool as the Kings of Europe and can’t get their passion going for what they perceive is a ‘mid-table’ team/manager. I hear the Fields of Anfield Road sung a lot more these days – is that an attempt to get the old-timers on board?
I travelled from Australia to watch my first game at Anfield this season. Although it wasn’t the result i’d hoped for (played against some rugby team called stoke) it was the realisation of a lifelong dream. I was lucky enough to obtain seats on the Kop, and like what Ike said, the standing in our area was ignored by stewards. For me it wasn’t only the singing and noise generated that created the atmosphere, it was the knowledge that those around me had for the game. Maybe coming from oz, with football supporters in short supply, this was a luxury. It shouldn’t be understated how special a place Anfield is, I am envious of those that can make it to games week in week out. We have standing areas here in oz but our season ticket allocates a seat so that over-crowding doesnt happen. It works well and a lot of noise and atmosphere is created from these areas. Maybe it’s something the powers that be at the club could look at implementing.
I’m a London fan and maybe a change in atmosphere could be as easy as singing “simple songs” that new fans can pick up and join in with. I remember my first time at Anfield, I couldn’t sing 80% of the songs because they were complicated and I’d not heard them clearly over the tv when I was at home watching. So I had to study and go on the internet to find out the words to some of them.
My point is, there are fans who don’t know the songs and only come for one visit and that can dilute the atmosphere, but if a simple song was sang and or words to songs easily available I know new fans will be more than happy to try and learn them. Because new fans more than most want to join in and create and be apart of the famous Anfield atmosphere.
Good honest piece Steve,
Last idea has merit, but not without practical issues.
Let’s say you want to put 3k regular away travellers in the kop together – let’s say blocks 204-206
What do you say to the current ST holders in that area? Your being moved to the upper Anfield road because we don’t think you sing enough?
Great debate but without robust suggestions we’ll struggle to change the atmosphere.
Role of supporters committee important but also SOS.
Probably a stupid idea and it probably wouldn’t work but why not sell tickets for The Kop based on previous credits. It means you will have regular match goers in the one place.
My nephew and I go together and are constantly frustrated by the lack of singing.
I’ve been saying this for a long time that the KOP is a red herring, it doesn’t have to be the area where the people who sing most are sat.
Our suggestion is to sell ‘singing section’ tickets blind to fans who really want to sing. You get given a crappy area of the ground but sit with like minded fans.
Selling the ticket’s ‘blind’ means that only the fans really committed to singing would opt for them and would understand they are making a committment to something.
Until then I’m only getting tickets for the back of the KOP from now on.
Good read as usual Steve, nice one.
It’s a complex issue for sure. There’s the broader issues of the footballing landscape (all-seater stadia & the changing demographic of the football fan etc), but also Liverpool-specific factors. For me, the main one is simply a lack of belief from Liverpool fans. We used to feel invincible, but our mortality has been brutally exposed in recent years as we dealt with the H&G saga and the legacy it left. As a fanbase, we’ve lost confidence. It will take time -and some sustained success- to restore it.
I’m not convinced that a return to standing areas is the solution. I cherish my memories of standing on the old kop, but at times it was a harum-scarum place (that was part of the appeal) and there’s no way that environment would be tolerated nowadays. I think we’d end up with a severely diluted version of what we are trying to recreate. Still, it may be better than maintaining the status quo, so it’s probably worth trialling.
Lastly, it’s wrong to compare the away fans’ fervour with the Anfield crowd’s passivity as away fans are a hardcore cross-section of our opponents’ fanbase. If you follow Liverpool away, our fans seem like a wild mob, foaming at the mouth with passion, compared to our opponents’ home support. So it’s never an apples v apples comparison. (Unless the match is at a neutral venue – Wembley/Millenium Stadium etc.)
Thanks again for a good read.
Funnily enough, me, my cousin and my mate went to the Unirea game, and sat in the Main Stand.
We were pretty gubbed and the atmosphere was pretty stale, so I stood up and started singing. All i got was some dodgy looks and a ‘Turist!
So even when us part timers join in in we get shot down. Thats as big an issue IMO.
Good article Steve.
It was noticeable on Saturday at the Norwich game that things were more upbeat, but the atmosphere is lacking indeed. I even managed to get caught on the fan-pic telling a joke (it was 0-0 at that point) so an improvement on previous nail-biting until we get that first goal. That first goal that feels like you’re waiting for a bus – as in it either shows up or it never does, and in the meantime 3 go past the wrong way.
I’m not an ST holder, I merely have membership, which can be a chore but has improved in recent seasons for obtaining tickets. I get to around half the home games a season, and with the Auto-Cup for Members being brought in it enables a few of us to feel more secure in getting a decent run of games in every season – providing we have a cup run, or progress in the Europa League. The problems with the match day atmosphere are complex, but a few issues I’ve noticed can be symptomatic of the ticketing/seating arrangements of the club, coupled with the fanbase.
As I don’t have an ST, I have to pick and choose where to sit. So where to sit? On the Kop? It’ll be full for the big games, so it’s the extreme ends of the Main Stand or the Annie Road with the families for the big games. There’s more choice for the ‘smaller’ games, but not always by much. Next time you’re at Anfield on match day, have a look at the groups of fans that have a lot of fans mixed in with bright red scarves and hats on, or wearing brand new shirts during the warmer months. Those are the Members who get a handful of games in a season, or maybe it’ll be fan making a once in a lifetime trip to Anfield. Either way they’ll be (hopefully) just as passionate about LFC as we are. Granted, there are family units that I’ve sat near to who make as much of a contribution during a match as Milan Jovanović did a few seasons back. They’re making up the numbers, and from their point of view that’s fine and dandy; it might well be little Billy’s birthday treat for all we know, the one that he’ll remember forever (especially after a 5-0). That seemed to be the case on Saturday in the Main Stand – plenty of groups of families and friends, many foreign (as in not UK) accents and lots of LFC club shop carrier bags. The atmosphere around these fans is fairly quiet, punctured by the odd fan who knows the songs, the traditions or the protocol, but they are outnumbered.
My belief has always been that we need to gain inertia early on in a game, just like we do on the pitch. As frustrating as it is to watch the play on the pitch at times, getting 15-20 minutes of songs in would build up the noise levels. All it takes at present is a goal (simple, eh?) or a good bit of play; witness Luis on the byline on Saturday to hear the immediate response. The stadium reacts as one due to the genius on display, but it can be lost so quickly at present. That needs to be kept hold of – by singing an individual players song or by repeated simple chanting. Something everyone can join in with. Which is the point, the songs may well be complicated to a first-timer, but how many songs for individual players do we have? Of the starting eleven, it was only Carra, Lucas, Stevie and Suarez with their own songs – and all I heard was the Suarez song several times (no complaints there) and Stevie’s after he scored. Maybe we need some simplistic songs for Johnson, Agger, and Raheem to get the uninitiated to join in? The improvised Sturridge chant after he scored is a case in point. As basic and boring as it may be, it serves the purpose, right? As for getting behind Brendan, I’m with the previous reply about it being awkward. Why on earth is the Kenny chant made whilst Brendan is on the touch-line? It forces the Rodgers chant as almost apologetic in tone.
I suppose a lot of it is about bottle as well. Who wants to look like an idiot being the only one in your seating area singing or even worse, starting a song without anyone joining in? We’ve all been there. Maybe we need more areas given over in the ground to singing sections. Maybe the club can be pro-active in the games that need pepping up in sorting tickets beforehand, the ones you look at in the fixture list and see a dreary 0-0 written all over.
Building the inertia is fundamental to getting the atmosphere on the right track, and the way I see it the cup competitions are vital to that. The tiering of ticket prices is a great step forward in bringing in a different dynamic at Anfield, and it gives us all more games to choose from. No-one is forced to go to all the games, so if an ST holder on the Kop can’t commit to the Europa League then that ticket can be given to a Member who this season will have watched 6 games (including Zenit) in the same seat. And we all know how special European nights are at Anfield. Continuity is paramount to building atmosphere; those fans that don’t get in regularly then start hearing the singing section clearly and understanding the songs and, without wanting to sound pretentious, the responsibility of joining in and getting behind the Redmen.
Apologies for the long-winded reply, but it’s a couple of seasons of frustration at the lack of direction and focus, as I see it, coming to a head. It is hard to disagree with the away fans chanting about the lack of atmosphere, and that needs to be addressed. As does the half-time playlist!
The home atmosphere has always had the potential to be quiet since all seaters, particularly against noddy clubs when the going is easy and the ref isn’t biased. It’s the same everywhere. The away fans often get into it because they’re on a day out, and beered up.
It won’t be long before ambient crowd noise is piped through the tannoy. Edited TV coverage sometimes dubs in a crowd as it is.
This has p#ssed me off for years and the club does nothing about it. Without the fans the club is nothing. The intimidating atmosphere of Anfield has won many many games in the past. However, that does not suit the club/premier league model. They want families spending hundreds of pounds, not groups of (mainly) blokes going for a good time/laugh and spending money in the local pubs.
There has been some great ideas about how this easily be rectified (my idea of ‘sit where you want on first come first serves basis’ being the best !!) But seriously, this is worth a debate on the podcast. Can TAW seriously talk about this and lobby the club about improvement?
If you walked into an all seated pub it would have no atmosphere, so what would you expect in an all seater stadium. Also when getting excited with passion for your club you have to be so careful not to say the wrong thing (unless you’re an Manc at old trollop) in case it’s taken up the wrong way. But it’s a great article & very true.
That would be great if you could do it on the podcast one of the weeks. Another idea I was thinking of but I personally think it would be a bit far fetched and wouldn’t really suit everyone. It would be great to get The Kop to house the local fans, create a culture where you get the Irish and Scandinavian fans to purchase tickets for the Anfield road end and have both ends exchanging songs for the 90 minutes to ramp up the atompshere. In many ways its the locals Vs the out of towners in a bit of a battle to create an atmosphere.
It will never come back! There you go! Never!
No good thinking about trying to create an atmosphere.No good allowing supporters to stand up.It’s finished;that’s the end of it.Go to Old Trafford.They roar for a throw-in.Just like the American fans used to when “soccer” first came to the U.S.A..But that’s Corporate for you.
We came from working man stock in my day.We had The Beatles.We were all composers.Brazil in 1962?Brazil Cha!Cha! Cha!We made it Liverpool Clap!Clap!Clap!We had You’ll Never Walk Alone.We were all singers.
We were from a City of hard-.knocksWe worked Saturday mornings and went to a Wedding in the morning then went off to the Match after the ceremony.
We had The Beatles,Gerry and The Pacemakers and The Searches and God Bless her Cilla Black.
We played football;we played hard;we weren’t as good as those we watched.But we gave everything when we played;we gave everything we had.We didn’t think about the money they got because in reality it was just a few quid more than we were getting.So we roared them on.Because they were just like us.And we knew some of them.And they weren’t “Fancy Dans”!They were hard-working lads just like ourselves!And we admired their committment and skills.
And we had Shankly.Who understood us and what we wanted.And he chose players who understood what we were all about and made sure that they understood it.
Anyway,In those days we won because we were singing…..we did’t sing because we were winning…..it’ll never come back.
I loved the good old days!
God bless Cilla Black!!!!!!!!! your joking i hope. here’s the horrible bastard sitting down for dinner and having a nice chat with Kelvin Mackenzie.
Incidentally this is the reason why Heston Blumenthal should never have been allowed on the Justice single
Like Tarbuck; Tories token Scouser.
For Christ’s sake Lad you’ve obviously never seen the the sky over Liverpool otherwise you would understand a comment like “God bless Cilla Black”.
You clearly don’t understand a comment about a particular person with the caveat “God bless him or her”.
Chill out Mate,For your own edification it means because I won’t!
‘never seen the sky over Liverpool’
how do you come up with this shit?
I think you are not a real human, probably an experiment by those rascals at LJMU, they have downloaded a bunch of 1960’s cliches and added a little twist of Dave Kirkby and Voila, Brian B
Oh!You caught me out there Mate!That’s exactly what I am.I live in a jam-jar most of the time.I’m programmed to talk about…
I lived with me Ma and Me Da
And Anfield wasn’t that far
We made the journey every Saturday
To go and watch the men in Red play
We didn’t like Beckham,we didn’t like Scholes
We liked The Reds to Score lots of goals.
Dave sends his regards,he lives in the jam-jar next to me.
Lighten up eh?
“I loved the good old days!”
I was thinking more of 2004-05 myself.
Lee,that’s great if that’s as far back as you can remember.There’s nothing wrong with that.
Just enjoy your memories.Like I enjoy mine.
The repeated blows on the head in frustration on the way out of Anfield admittedly don’t help my memory, but no, I can remember a little further back than that. It’s just the most recent point in our history where the noise needed to come back, and did. For a bit. It’s not lost forever, just missing.
Yesterday won’t help find it though.
This is something I’ve been debating with friends for a long time and, in truth, I feel you’ve made most of the points I’d want to make. I think it’s ridiculous that can’t have seated standing areas (as in area’s where the stewards don’t mind you standing in front of your seat). Obviously, none of us can advocate bringing back standing area’s but I feel like I’m on a special needs day out when I’m sitting in my seat singing and clapping.
As you’ve covered my points I want to make my points brief. Agree, as innovators of songs we need some new ones. I cringe when I hear ‘we hate Nottingham Forest….’
In my school days, 10 or more of us would meet up and stand on the Kop for 75p. Now, we travel together and all split up at 2.40pm and go our own ways. It’s actually feels fairly weird heartily singing on your own.
The dynamics of the crowd has changed. It used to be predominantly males from 16 – 40. Recently, an opposition keeper took a goal kick and floated it just over the half way line. The woman next to me said ‘ooh, he’s got a good kick on him’. It just deflated my mood.
I have to sacrifice things in life to get by. At the Villa game I was desperate for us to win for momentum reason. Coming out of the ground all I could think of was how better that money could have been spent. The price weighs on my mind. I want value in a way I never used to.
Look at grounds with fairly good atmosphere’s. Swansea, Stoke and Spurs are all clearly on the up in comparison to a few years ago. Utd are the pinnacle hence their arrogant songs. Fans need to feel they’re part of something good. There was no shortage of singing on route to our 3 Wembley visits last season. I lost my voice twice yet I feel a bit mouse like at Anfield.
Read the comments on here each week. A lot of supporters can’t accept we’ve lost our place at the top. They’re generally in their 50’s as are a lot in the ground. Being bitter is not conducive to going to the match in high spirits.
Season tickets have been in the same hands / families for so long it can sometimes be a chore going to the game but you feel you should go. It’s not special. My sister runs a lot of establishments around Liverpool and not only do they rely on the Irish and Scandinavians but she says they’re always boisterous in the city before games. Without the day trippers it would be even worse.
With the rise of the internet, fans know more than ever about the owners and the people who run the club. A lot of fans are at war with some factions of the club. Loyalties are shifting.
To sum up, I think we used to think the club was ours and for hundreds of reasons, it feels less like that. It feels like we’re just spectators. It will never come back how it was because everything’s changed. We’ve changed.
Robin,The World of Football has changed.Nothing to do with us.We’re still the same.But we’re now in the minority.
The current generation of fans have different outlooks.Whereas we were there to support The Team and the only thing we could give was vocal support,the modern generation’s support is to discover a player in the Chilean 4th Division who should replace Lucas.
We used to discuss the basics and fundamentals of a game;should Callaghan have played;would Brian Hall have done better?
It’s now as old-fashioned as singing and chanting.
Get yourself a Wi-Fi or XBox!Teach yourself “Soccer Manager”.
Or just sit back and remember “The Good Old Days!”
Haha. The only thing I’ve got left to cling to is this – remember Chelsea in CL semi. I wonder if we were to be successful again it would bring the atmosphere back. I think atmosphere is passion mixed with nervous energy creating a Big Bang effect and the atmosphere at the final whistle is an out pouring of relief. On all the best nights I’ve left the ground feeling drained. Maybe that’s the only hope.
P.s funny comment earlier. Great poem.
Sounds like you’re from the same school of supporters as me!
Your thoughts are well reasoned and convey committment along with a degree of frustration.
Next game;look out for an old boy clutching his head one minute then screaming “Come on!Come on!” the next.Nervous exhaustion is only part of it.I come out physically and mentally drained sometimes.
Mind you I used to come out like that in years gone by but in those days it was exhilaration!
Let’s keep hoping!
Safe standing back on the Kop – maybe “sink” 103 – 107 into a standing area – with the other areas of seats elavated so as not to cause viewing issues.
A split Kop – where “Ultras” memberships (which are gained on Away Day and European game merit) are given the first option of Standing.
I know standing is a tricky one for our club. But standing doesnt cause injuries. Incompetence does.
And our standards would be higher than anyone elses in this area.
Stand. And. Deliver.
A good discussion, with many perspectives well expressed.
I’m a London-based LFC member; I get to about 5-10 Anfield games each season (in all competitions), and I see the team play each time they’re in London — usually sitting in the home section of Spurs, QPR, Chelsea, Arsenal, West Ham, etc.
I’d only add the following:
a) London clubs are finding the same ‘atmosphere’ issues with FAR more ‘once-off’ tourist package visitors, just by virtue of being in London. It’s a problem for us, and we should seek to address it, but this is a football-wide trend, make no mistake;
b) People can be for or against safe standing, and at this club more than most, everyone is entitled to their positions. But the fact remains people are standing in grounds, and until some top tier clubs trial safe standing, this issue will not go away. Moreover, it is MORE dangerous having thousands stand in seating areas, for all sorts of fire, safety and evacuation reasons;
c) The atmosphere is not optimal, and I’m shocked to hear people said there was little singing in a 5-0 home win. BUT: we must remember, the Benitez era — in my view, and in the view of many supporters — didn’t begin until the Olympiakos result. Only then, did people really start to believe.
Injury time winners, come from behind victories, or any sort or drama helps to galvanise the players and supporters together. We STILL haven’t had a single home goal in the last fifteen minutes of a match under Rodgers, let alone a 92nd minute winner.
Make no mistake, the moment we win a big game, and the crowd wills the ball into the net, like Olympiakos, like 4-3 against Newcastle, like St Etienne, things will improve.
The Rodgers generation hasn’t had an Olympiakos moment. Let’s see how things sound when that moment comes — and it surely will.
The Germans are very good at this, and the Italians and the Spanish. But think about it for a sec. How many times have you watched a game in Italy or Germany where there is an absolute lunatic hanging from halfway up the fence giving it big licks on a megaphone. He’s up there conducting the crowd, and they’re absolutely loving it. And that shit is really intimidating. So we need a Scouser with a megaphone and a semi-death wish. Can’t be too hard to find one of them, surely
Replacing the atmosphere would be a simple matter of a 100,000 seat stadium and big concessions for the local unemployed and implementing a boys pen.
Was a Kop regular throughout 80s now only at occasional away games due to living in London. Away atmosphere is still boss, can’t wait to take a friend for the first time to see us play Arsenal tomorrow. For me the WHOLE POINT of going to see a game as opposed to watching it on the Murdoch box is so SUPPORT YOUR TEAM i.e by singing and cheering/jeering non stop for 2X 45 mins. Don’t want to get on my high hoarse(sic) but I honestly don’t understand the psychology of anyone who attends and does otherwise? Can anyone here explain their thinking?
This is an issue that really needs looking into and solving. I don’t think it needs to be too complicated and agree with those above talking about easy chants and songs. The Man City Carling Cup game last season was the best atmosphere I have heard/seen/felt at Anfield for a fair while. Glen Johnson came out after the match and said how amazing it was and how it was so much more positive and enjoyable for the players. That day many of the regulars around me were not present and there were lots of younger (15-35 yr olds) fans both with Scouse accents and Irish, Scottish, London accents. They were singing, bouncing, standing half the game and generally having a good time. The other thing was that although they all joined in heartily with YNWA and FOAR lots of the songs were kept simple – chants of “Liverpool” and player names so everyone joined in. Everyone went and had a good time.
Of course what happens on the pitch will have an effect and there have been many excellent points raised above about seating people who sing, or know each other, together, ticket prices and accepting we are no longer the best in Europe; but we can start by making things simple. As it is most people feel far more comfortable getting involved in simple clapping and chanting that gradually builds enthusiam than bellowing out a club anthem when no one around them joins in. If it’s simple it will build and get people used to making noise again. The grumps won’t be able to scowl at and berate enthusiastic fans if the majority are doing it. The majority will only do if it starts simple.