Steve Gerrard, Gerrard
He slipped on his f***ing arse
He gave it to Demba Ba
Steve Gerrard, Gerrard.
AND with that nifty little ditty, any conflicting feelings I had about England at this summer’s World Cup all but vanished.
The last time that I actively wanted the English national team to do well in a tournament was at Euro 96. Back then I was child who had yet to develop any of the apathetic or negative feelings that have since grown inside me for all things ‘Three Lions’. I admit that that summer of international football in our own country was intoxicating for the ten-year-old me.
That being said, I still wanted Italy to win that competition and went to Anfield to watch them against Russia. My Father (an Italian) introduced me to football and therefore Italy have always been my international side of choice. Lucky me.
As a kid, England I could take or leave, usually. As an adult though, I’ve basically gone about purposely ignoring them until that becomes impossible (every other summer unless Steve McClaren is their manager). The little plastic St George’s flags appear on cars, the pubs fill up with idiots who can’t handle their ale and millions of people form an opinion on a sport that they hardly follow.
Mercifully, this all usually ends with England being sent packing on penalties but, frankly, the whole experience does my head in and I only really begin to enjoy international tournaments when England exit.
Before last weekend though, I was genuinely worried that this World Cup would buck the trend. Liverpool have five players representing England in Brazil. They should all be in the starting line up, too. I’ve always wanted to see our lads do well individually for their national teams and, given that such a large red contingent will likely be taking to the field for England this summer, I was beginning to dread the prospect of having to cheer on a side led by Roy Hodgson and backed up by that S*n sponsored brass band and all the ‘10 German bombers’ whoppers.
Panic was truly setting in.
So then a massive ‘thank you’ is in order to the fans of Newcastle United, our seventh placed ‘rivals’ from down the East Lancs Road and our neighbours, Everton. When they all relentlessly ripped into Steven Gerrard last week with the type of gusto and relish that you would expect had their clubs actually won a trophy, the panic subsided. Supporters up and down the country revelling in the slip that ‘cost Liverpool the league’ had made up my mind. Get behind England this summer? Not a chance.
I must stress that this isn’t a choice made solely out of anger for one song and a stream of piss-taking Vines, though. When Manchester City fans were banging the aforementioned tune out at Goodison Park a couple of weeks back, I didn’t really have a problem with it. Taking the mickey is part of football and, as they were the beneficiaries of Gerrard’s slip, I could understand them rubbing our noses in it a bit. Part of the game, and all that.
Newcastle fans doing the same though? I wasn’t having that. Those lads will be cheering ‘Wor Stevie’ on all summer long and yet last weekend they spent most of the game at Anfield mocking their international captain by chanting the name of a striker who basically pissed on their legs and ran off to London for more money. ‘Demba, Demba Ba’ indeed. ‘Irony’ mustn’t translate into Geordie. Neither must the words ‘small time’.
Throw in Everton fans doing the Poznan at Hull and United fans flying a nonsensical and bewildering banner over Anfield as they limped to a humiliating Premier League finish and I was back where I started: hoping that Steven Gerrard ‘slips on his f***ing arse’ once more in Brazil and Luis Suarez sends England home as a result.
If all the over the top Gerrard/Liverpool mocking wasn’t enough to steer me back to sense, then Roy Hodgson’s 17-hour press conference this week – Sponsored by Vauxhall ‘Is your team a sports car or a family saloon Roy?’ Barf. – sealed the deal. I just can’t get behind England, it’s not possible.
If they were a club side they would be the type that has cheerleaders, plays the Fratellis when a goal is scored and their fans would sing songs exclusively to the tune of Sloop John B. The whole ‘In-ger-lund’ experience has always left me cold. It just has an air of small time about it and nothing epitomises small time more than spending the last day of your season singing about a player whose mistake had no effect on your club’s own (mis)fortunes. Yet that is what thousands of football fans around the country we’re reduced to on Sunday. Good for them.
No doubt most of those lads and lasses who exhibited their hilarious ‘Gerrard Bantz’ will be getting behind ‘Roy’s Boys’ in a few weeks time. Me? Thankfully I’ll be supporting the Azzurri and Luis Suarez.
F*** England. Forza Italia.
Pics: David Rawcliffe/Propaganda
Being Irish I couldn’t give a sh*t about the Irish team and international football in general either, don’t watch it. Only care if Liverpool do well or not. Certainly could never support a team with Rooney, Young, Jones etc in it. Tho I hope Sturridge, Sterling, Gerrard and Johnson all play great and bring that confidence into next season.
Your an Italian who hates England? Nothing new there then! Come on England Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling, Johnson and Sturridge! Stick it to Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica so all those fans have to give Liverpool players some hero worship this summer. Might just shut them up for next season!
Ingerland fans can do one, as an Scouse Liverpool supporter who lives in the south, the level of hostility that other teams show the reds never ceases to amaze me. They are two faced and xenophobic chanting is embarrassing. End of !
Thank you for posting this as I’ve been pondering this issue for some time.
I totally understand your antipathy towards the national team and a lot of the things you mentioned annoy me about it too. Yet rejecting it because of the attitude of others towards LFC players still appears pretty flimsy to me. All the top clubs’ supporters whinge about their players being the object of scorn by press, pundits and fans alike, even before they’ve kicked a ball for their country. No matter how many goals Wayne Rooney scores or trophies he picks up, he’s still mocked as a ‘failure’ in a lot of places whenever he dons the three lions, to take one example.
Because of the frenzied sh*t-slinging that goes on now (in the stands, online, everywhere else) between rival fans all season long, it does become increasingly difficult to recreate any sense of unity when the summer tournaments come round. I don’t know if that’s always been the way or not. Can you imagine an England crowd singing You’ll Never Walk Alone as they did before the semi-final at Euro ‘96? It seems unlikely somehow.
There is the deep irony of a Liverpool-heavy England squad being managed by Roy Hodgson. I don’t understand the enduring hostility toward him from fans. His tenure was a case of good manager, wrong place, wrong time. Personally I’m looking forward to the Liverpool contingent showing what they can do. Think of it as a dress rehearsal for Europe next season.
Completely agree with the points about Hodgson. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he went when he did, but to hear some fans talk it’s as if he came to LFC and deliberately tried to fuck things up. There probably have been employees through our doors who came to pick up a cheque whilst doing as little as possible, but I don’t think Hodgson fits that description. I’d like to think we offered basic levels of gratitude and respect to anyone who came to LFC and tried to do a job, however it worked out.
The reason Rooney is mocked as a failure when he plays for England is because he IS a failure when he plays for England. No amount of goals scored or trophies collected at club level can change this. Now,i’m not saying that this will always be the case(he may well put this right in Brazil),but so far his international career has been underwhelming at best.
And ‘Hodgson a good manager’? I wonder at what level of football he could be considered a good manager. International? Champions League? Sorry fella,not in my opinion.
I didn’t realise Liverpool fans still followed England anyway.
This article stinks of lemon. I am sure Liverpool fans didn’t goad John Terry after he missed that penalty in Moscow? Or Wayne Rooney . . whenever . .
Stop trying to polarise yourself, its gets tiresome and boring.
If you dont want to support England then dont, we wont miss you. Just don’t bother spouting this rubbish.
I am sure Gerrard will play with the same passion he always does.
I wouldn’t worry Dave. We ain’t getting out of a group in which only first 2 qualify and that contains Italy & Uruguay. 3rd place at best. Send the Liverpool lads back for a decent rest before storming back to win the league next season.
Club and country are completely separate matters. Are you telling me if it had been a Man City player who slipped and caused that goal, we wouldn’t be singing about it.
So because other fans sang a song about our ENGLISH captain, we shouldn’t wish him and other English players we have going to WC success?
Shite like this make you look bitter and gives non LFC fans more ammo to hate on us.
Did you not read the article properly? He said he can accept Man City fans singing that song because they were the ones to benefit from it. So you responding with “Are you telling me if it had been a Man City player who slipped and caused that goal, we wouldn’t be singing about it”, makes no sense at all. Thing is, I don’t think we would have acted like that, not to that level anyway.
As he said though, Man City can do that because they benefited. What about all the other fans of other teams in England though? You say he’s giving ammo to other fans to hate us; yet they same to hate us anyway. How else to explain the Arsenal fans singing that song? Or even Aston fucking Villa (of all teams) taking such delight in us failing to win the league? Or Crystal Palace trying extra hard to beat in a stadium full of noise when the week before against Man City, at the same stadium, they uttered barely a peep and their players looked like they had better things to do? So fuck ’em, the massive bunch of cunts!
I’m not Scouse and always felt uneasy about how most scousers hated England. Over the years I’ve started to feel indifferent to the national side because of the treatment of Carra by the national side, by the media and by the fans. The way Gerrard was forced to travel to London to prove he was actually injured (halting his recovery time) when none of the other players had to do so didn’t help either. This hatred for the team I support from the rest of England (and the hatred towards Gerrard) has made me actively dislike the England team and its fans. Anyway, I’m from the North and what other Northerners haven’t cottoned onto is this, the national side is for the Southerners. Looking at the Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and Millwall fans, they are the biggest, and most entitled, dickheads on the planet.
I’m with you Dave,
That shite song was also being sung by Villa and Arsenal fans too, when they weren’t even playing us or in a title race with us. What’s that about?
Small time, snidey twats.
Can’t be arsed with international football any more than watching it as an entertaining (at best) diversion, while the proper footy is in hibernation.
But actually supporting an international team (in my case Ireland)? Not for me. It really is the last bastion of small time whopperism and phony patriotism. The English support is particularly obnoxious, fuelled by dickheads in the media getting everybody all riled up, like it somhow matters.
I just hope our lads have some fun and come back in one piece.
And Adam… Hodgson a good manager? Managing Forest in the Championship is about his level.
The author is half-Italian and follows his father’s national team, so for Dave the opprobrium heaped on Gerrard in the last fortnight is just the straw that broke the English camel’s back rather than a game-changer. Those who are upset at the article should bear this in mind.
I’ve never been big on schadenfreude. It takes too much negative energy to extract genuine pleasure from the misfortune of others, even your arch-enemy. I think John Terry is a class A cockwomble, but I felt sorry for him when he missed his Moscow penalty and finished the game in tears. I like to think that this is because I’m a human-being before I’m a LFC fan. If you love your club – I mean truly love your club rather than simply self-identify as a “fan” – then empathy with a Terry in Moscow (or Suarez in south-east London last week) ought to come naturally. If it doesn’t, then you’re probably a bit of a cockwomble yourself.
What I’ve never quite understood about the Gerrard hatred is that his behaviour is not the sort that normally attracts high levels of antipathy. You can at least understand why Terry, Suarez, Robben, Busquets, etc. invite the scorn of other fans. But Gerrard has never been particularly dirty, he’s not a play-actor, he’s not a serial diver, he’s not always in the ear of the ref, away from the pitch he doesn’t conduct himself in a manner that draws attention to himself and, most importantly, it’s not as if his club career has been one long parade of triumphs that has brought trophies and medals galore…so there’s no jealousy angle.
It would all be maddeningly puzzling if you didn’t remember that the sort of fans who sing this shit about Gerrard are themselves irredeemable fucktards.
When Torres played his first game against us for Chelsea, we sang “You should have stayed with a real club.” This chant has the benefit of being both humourous and also represents a dig at the club rather than the player. It’s depersonalized ‘abuse’. The song about Terry’s Mum liking Scouse cock, on the other hand, is embarrassing…at least for me it is. Just the way I’m wired.
It may just be nostalgia talking, but I’m sure ‘banter’ used to be funnier back in the day.
There are many plus points of living in France and towards the top of that list is no English football média banging on about how wonderful United Chelsea etc are and the assomption that every football fan cares about England.
My kids and i go to our local bar and watch every LFC game and what makes it such à Joy is that there are sky pictures but French présentation, and with their natural blind spot for Wenger and Arsenal to one side, in general Canal plus love Liverpool, Anfield Suarez and the rest of the tricky reds.
When prince Beckham took over the England team i gavé up on international football however
With so many tricky reds in the England team i was going to give it another go and then i remebered one thing. Roy.
The idea of our tricky reds playing hodgeball is like putting marmite on lobster, it will need all of steve Peters skill to get them ready for next season. Brendon talks about Raheem at the tip of the Diamond for England. There is no Diamond in hodgeball only marmite and i hâte marmite.
So i wish our lads luck and hope they come back ready for next season with as few mental scars as possible.
Hillsborough songs. Heysel songs. ‘Sign on, Sign on’.
England and their small time, drum beating, Sun reading, one song singing fans can fuck right off this summer. I’ll be trying to enjoy the tournament and hoping our players don’t injure themselves playing Hodgson’s turgid brand of ‘football’.
League banter will always be league banter. I’ve given as much out as I’ve taken. Always in good aspects , never treading on the truly terrible (Hillsborough, Munich etc). As a Liverpool fan will I support England? Course I will. I’m English and I want the team to do well. These sorts of tournaments are where we, as a nation of divided factions should come together under one banner, albeit for three weeks and enjoy everyone’s company at the pub and support the players from our country. F*ck the I-Tais, Come on you White Knights!!! :-)
Hmmm… It’s articles like this which have turned most neutral fans in the county like me from wanting Liverpool to win the league to now actively revelling in their failure.
The sense of entitlement emanating from the whole club, management across to the fans, has now turned into quite astonishing levels of bitterness.
I’d get used to the song if I were you, I’d imagine most away fans will be singing it at Anfield next season (although I can’t imagine you actually go to the game). It’s impossible not to laugh at a club that pretty much celebrated winning the title 3 weeks too early…
What can we learn about a “sense of entitlement” from someone who purports to talk for all “neutral fans”? And this is the “sense of entitlement” we’ve cultivated after nearly a quarter of a century without the winning the bloody league? You’re making no sense, fella. Perhaps you can supply a single quote from a player or fan that evinces this “sense of entitlement” you are so certain has been displayed? Just one?
As for celebrating 3 weeks early – what in the name of Jesus H Christ are you talking about? I read almost all the popular LFC blogs and listen to the podcasts and there’s been at least half the fanbase convinced we’d never win it this year even when it was in our own hands. This is all just a figment of your imagination. Are you confusing “celebration” with levels of fan support that you’re just not used to seeing? I realise you probably support a team that only gets the flags out when you’ve actually won something, but round these parts we can spontaneously generate those sorts of atmospheres and it’s indicative of nothing more than growing excitement and, yes, increased hope (but not expectation). Are you not permitted to get excited about the fact that you’re in your first genuine title race since 1997? Sorry, we’ll tone it down next year.
Thanks for your concern trolling.
We don’t give a fuck about neutral fans anyway JLG. Now go back under your fucking rock in Barnstable or wherever you’re from…
I am a huge fan of Argentina[have been since 1977].You are right about so-called experts when the mundial is on but unfortunately this the modern fan who thought football was invented in 1992 when the premier league started.
This squad is one of the most promising english squad for years and you decide to ignore them ’cause some muppets do sing their songs? Not my cup of tea. In the end they will all sing the real Steven Gerrard song, and that’s the other side of the english football fan culture.
Irish liverpool fan here with a different angle.
With so many Liverpool players in the team and the recent other Lions success (in the rumpy) I think im ready, after five years living in london, to cheer on ‘Roys Boys’ this summer.
I think the abuse Gerrard gets (and got about his missus and his alleged assault etc) nationwide, stems from the deep rooted north-south & working-upper class divide in the UK. To compare to Ireland PRE world cup 2002 I can tell you anecdotally that although being from the south Roy Keane would have had 90%+ popularity and idolatry amongst fans from all over the island supporting all manner of premier teams.
But as Carra says in his book- hes a scouse first and english second.
I think the abuse Roy gets is churlish. hes clearly not a cutting edge coach, in the prime of his career but he seems an honest man who must know something about football at this stage so deserves a bit of support.
(behind closed doors of course)
Laughably bad article, it’s stuff like this that makes the entire country mock liverpool fanbase. Wah wah wah some fans made fun of out captain, wah wah wah I’m not gonna support England now. What a whopper.
U OK HUN?
Some interesting issues in the comments section.
Firstly, I can’t understand the worry that other fans will dislike us more because of Dave’s stance (which is also mine). So what? People don’t like us anyway and we shouldn’t be begging for approval. I think this is, with exceptions that are obvously acceptable, a general feeling of disinterest when it comes to the national side. If a Liverpool fan wants to support England, even to the point of facepaint, then fine but I personally have no affinity to either the whole Team England thing or the FA that backs it.
There’s also people of my generation and background who don’t feel English given the political divide of the 80s and the prospect of standing next to people singing the national anthem gives me the hives. I don’t care if that makes me/us unpopular with fans.
The best England result is no Liverpool injuries.
Hopefully that fucking band (from Sheffield, sponsored by the S*n) will be mugged of all their instruments as soon as they touch down in Rio…
Can’t help but agree with most of that really.
How awful it is to be torn away from what should be a natural love for your home nation during an international competition.
I’ll support our lads, they’re making the effort, they want to be there so they deserve nothing less than our support….the same goes for all of our other international players.
Yet I won’t be supporting our beloved FA’s England….just add the FA into the equation and their seemingly compulsive obsession with ridiculing our club and certain players over the years.
Forget it 3 Lions.
God Save The Queen and The Great Escape. Put them together and you get mediocrity and latent xenophobia. Mix in a little bit of racial stereotyping, some ill-deserving smugness, and simmer for 120 minutes. Voila, disappointment cake. Serve with a 1966 vintage vinegar. To be enjoyed uncomfortably with acquaintances you otherwise would only see through safety glass at a prison visit.
I love the World Cup.
Born in Liverpool and have always considered myself British, to the point where on my Facebook homepage I have the Liver bird with the motto Scouse, not English beneath it. I will support Inger-land during the World Cup in Brazil, but I support all the British national sides.