I SAW Gareth Roberts a couple of weeks ago when the two of us where at the Radio City Tower to record a TAW show. He said to me that I hadn’t written anything for the site for a while, which was true. I told him it was because I didn’t feel I had anything to say, which wasn’t quite as true. Because the more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve realised it isn’t that I didn’t have anything to say, it’s just that I couldn’t be bothered saying it.
There’s been a cloud of pessimism around Liverpool Football Club for some time now. Not even pessimism, actually, just viciousness. Some of the things aimed at Brendan Rodgers and, to a lesser extent, Raheem Sterling over recent weeks and months have been vile. Depressingly so, actually. If you search the hashtag #LFC on Twitter and ask it to only show you tweets that have received 10 or more retweets, loads of them are full of snide.
The fact that Joe Allen has not once been linked with a move away worries me. Just simply not good enough for a club like Liverpool. #lfc
— The Anfield Chat (@TheAnfieldChat) June 21, 2015
People that claim to be Liverpool fans are seemingly desperate for Rodgers to fail or even for deals for good players to fall through just so they can say, “I told you so”; just so that they can be right. Positively-minded pieces don’t appeal to the masses, they want confirmation of their bias and their current feeling of misery towards the manager and those that run the club.
I’m not one to tell other people how they should support the club, but I do always find myself desperate to ask the question: What’s the point? Seriously, what’s the fucking point? What do you get out of wanting things to go wrong? There will be fans, genuine LFC fans, who want Liverpool to lose their first seven away games next season so that Rodgers is sacked and Klopp is brought in. I ask again, what’s the fucking point? Wouldn’t it be better if we won those seven games? Wouldn’t it be ace if for once in recent years we could all get behind the manager and spend the money we’d have to give him in compensation for firing him on another player like Firmino?
Of course their response would be that Rodgers doesn’t have what it takes to be Liverpool manager and they want him to fail for the good of the club. “He didn’t win a trophy in his first three years, he’s as bad as Hodgson!” they’ll cry. They’re wrong, of course, but arguing with them is like trying to convince a fool of something he’ll never be able to understand.
Even the rumours about Liverpool trying to sign Benteke are met with derision and disgust. I understand the view that he doesn’t seem like the right type of striker for a Brendan Rodgers Liverpool team, but why not wait and see what happens before throwing toys out of the pram? If you’re dead set against Benteke coming to the club, if you’re calling him every name under the sun before he’s even so much as had his balls groped by the club doctor, what chance has the lad got? He could come in and score 20 goals next season and you’d just be fuming about the ones he missed. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think Peter Crouch was a “Rafa signing” before we got him, and it took the lad over 24 hours of playing time to put the ball into the back of the net, yet it all turned out alright in the end, didn’t it?
There’s a chance to put the last year to bed now, though. With the signing of Bobby Firmino from Hoffenheim it looks as thought the Liverpool hierarchy could have got their act together and decided to get the club going in the right direction. Wouldn’t it be brilliant if all of the fans could get on board with that too?
Firmino’s capture does several things. The obvious one is that it improves our playing squad heading into next season. But it also shows that FSG are willing to spend the big bucks to bring the right player to the club, splashing out a rumoured £29 million for him, plus another £3.5 million a year in wages over the course of his five-year contract. On top of that it dismisses the notion that good players won’t sign if Brendan Rodgers is the manager.
But the other thing it could do is give the fans a reason to cheer the fuck up. Just take a moment to go on YouTube and have a look at the compilation videos of his skills that Man United fans have kindly put together for us. Have a think about what he could do with Coutinho, Sturridge and Jordan Henderson buzzing around him.
Now take that smile you’ve got and remember how much fun it was at the end of the 2013-2014 season when people were lining the streets of Anfield to welcome to the team bus into the ground. Remember what it was like to not only watch but also sing about the “poetry in motion”. Being a football supporter isn’t a one-way street. It isn’t a matter of you turning up and being entertained and if you’re not then you can boo and complain. The clue’s in the title: you’re there to support. If you do that, if you cheer and sing and jump around and make a racket then the sky is the limit. Christ, we won a Champion’s League final from 3-0 down because the supporters inspired the players to victory. But you can’t just do it when United or Chelsea come to town. The players need you when it’s Stoke and Norwich, too.
The irony is, of course, that the people who agree with me don’t need to be told, and the ones that don’t will have loads of arguments as to why they’re right and I’m wrong. I don’t like telling people how to be football supporters, but I’ll tell you now: if you think you can convince me that wanting Rodgers to fail and Liverpool to lose is in any way a good think for the football club then you’re wrong. It isn’t a good thing, and you’ll never convince me it is.
If you’re one of those whinging bastards that loves to complain then why not decide to change your tune? Why not alter your mantra from “I told you I was right” to “thankfully I was wrong”? Christian Benteke seems like a bad fit to me, and I’d rather we looked elsewhere. But if we bring him in I’ll be the happiest lad in Anfield if he proves me wrong. I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong when I see him lift up the Premier League trophy.
Despite not winning the league in 25 years, Liverpool Football Club are still a big deal. It’s time for each and every fan to stop behaving small time and remember we’re the dog’s bollocks. If you think I’m wrong that’s fair enough. But I don’t want to know you. So tweet me all you want, write angry comments below this piece until the cows come home. I’ll just block you and ignore you. I’d like to reply, but I’m out on the lash singing about Bobby Firmino, Phil Coutinho and the boys from Brazil.
It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to say when Gareth asked me, it was that I couldn’t be bothered saying it. Well I can be bothered now. Fuck off out the way, misery guts: The Reds are coming up the hill, and by God they’re mustard.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda-Photo
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