FINAL whistle goes and I’m furious. Furious with Liverpool, furious with them for losing when there’s a big Saturday night planned, for placing that in jeopardy. I’m furious with them because Basement Jaxx are playing in Sefton Park and they shouldn’t do that to that night out. I could be the most furious.
Indulge me and think about this for a second — you were presumably furious too. Possibly, probably for different extenuating reasons. We’re different people, you and I. We don’t have the same experiences, the same context, the same pressures. What links us is loving Liverpool, not necessarily anything else.
There’s a problem in writing and talking about football at the moment in that the immediacy and breadth of reaction and collective fury becomes a race. And it’s a race that appears to be placing every Liverpool performance — and every performance by a Liverpool player — in the explicit context of being about whether or not Brendan Rodgers should be Liverpool manager.
I wake this morning to see the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce getting dog’s abuse online for a piece that is intensely critical of Liverpool’s players and approach. The abuse he gets isn’t for being too harsh on our heroes but instead for not going further and openly slaughtering the manager. It means he’s in his pocket. Or in, up or around his arse (these people are very much into anal references). Does he deserve that? Really?
One thing that should link us in addition to loving Liverpool is a bit of decency and respect for one another. There’s talk today too of death threats to Dejan Lovren on Instagram. True or not, he’s closed the account. Debate beneath these pieces recently has been mostly dreadful. Lacking in decency, lacking in respect. Everything ramped up.
So while my fury around the game and performance was first around the night out being potentially ruined for others it was extended to the endless, exhausting narrative around Liverpool’s manager, and how Liverpool being discussed without the manager explicitly being discussed is deemed a shortcoming in discussion. A shortcoming apparently warranting abuse.
Let’s nail this. If Liverpool are rubbish Brendan Rodgers will pay for that with his job at the end of the season, if not before. If we are discussing Liverpool being rubbish then we, me, James Pearce, Gareth Roberts, whoever, are discussing Brendan Rodgers by extension. It doesn’t need to be explicit and sometimes footballers have to take responsibility to some extent as well. It’s fine though because they won’t lose their job at the end. They won’t take the ultimate responsibility.
But let’s allow them to take at least some responsibility. Let’s treat them like men. Dejan Lovren has to take responsibility. Let’s treat him like a man. A man who is determined to back himself and make it at the highest level. He is also seemingly easily distracted by the crowd for both the daft step over and the frankly criminal error. He has to take responsibility for his inner buffoon, most of us have one, most of us have to take responsibility for it and not let it out in the workplace. Stop backing yourself. Do the belt and braces football.
Elsewhere, get going, get playing. Be better. Move the ball faster. Emre Can. Oh, Emre Can. I can’t watch a season of that. I can’t do it. I’ll end up clawing more folicles from my head. And I’m of an age where I can’t take these chances.
Liverpool made me so furious I needed to have a night off. I couldn’t write this. I couldn’t make this happen. I needed a night off. I needed to clean my brain. I needed to stop this. I needed the football to go elsewhere. Sometimes we need that.
In the end Basement Jaxx were great. Face was danced off. Brain danced clean. Now an international break to negotiate and Liverpool’s attacking play needs to improve and improve quickly. The shape needs to be better, the guile needs to be better. The Reds have already left themselves with limited room for manoeuvre.
Seasons can get away from you quickly. Liverpool were dreadful. Liverpool were genuinely bad. No messing round, if this persists people will get their cards bad. Red alert, red alert, a catastrophe. Don’t worry? Don’t panic?
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo