GETTING it out the way. Getting it all out the way immediately. You need transfer committees because no one is a genius and knows everything. But I have the first say and the last say and so now you know. That is that. That’s that boxed. This history stuff is amazing but you can’t carry it round with you every day. That’s that boxed. We’re not going to worry about money. We’re going to worry about football. That’s that boxed. Other legends have done this job but I can’t compare myself to them. I, we, have to live in the moment. That’s that boxed. This team and squad is good. Let’s believe in it. That’s that boxed. The ambition is at least one league title within four years. That’s that boxed.
It doesn’t get any clearer than all that. All that nonsense about what should be what and how should be how, and what should be expected. All swept up and dumped into the bin. And then:
I don’t care about the press. I want to get on the training pitch and work with footballers. Emotional football. Full throttle football.
Football. Football, football, football. Football for the people in the stand, football for them to forget their problems, football for the people to love.
It’s eleven lads, another eleven lads and a ball. It was that in 1892. It was that in 1947. It was that in 1959 and in 2005 and any day you care to mention. It was that in Germany. It will be that in England in 2015.
The reality of course is that there will be money, there will be committees, there will be nonsense and fluff and there will be structural issues. There just will be. This is inescapable and we know that.
But for ninety minutes, every few days, what we know can’t matter any more because it is in knowing it, in being ground down by it, we’ve allowed ourselves to lose sight of the point of the enterprise. And that has now been swept up and dumped into the bin. For ninety minutes every few days there is just the eleven lads wearing Red, representing a unique city, a specific diaspora. Eleven lads running round, running hard, leaving everything out there because they will know what football means, if they didn’t before. There’s a simplicity in that and it is the only thing in town worth embracing, that’s been the case for so long and it has never been truer.
It is, as calls to arms go, straightforward. Crystal clear. And if you aren’t looking forward to Spurs and Kazan, to Southampton and Bournemouth, if that just doesn’t get you going, wanting to be emotional, unashamedly emotional, optimistic, passionate in a way that outsiders love to mock and our own meek minded souls call “embarrassing” then you know what? There’s the door. There is the door and you can walk through it and both you and us will be happier for that. Because for ninety minutes every few days, this fella represents Liverpool, eleven lads wearing Red represent Liverpool and we represent Liverpool. Wherever we are on globe, with an even greater responsibility if we are in the stadium.
No one is asking anything arduous. The request is this simple: for ninety minutes, every few days, there is nothing else in your life. That’s the point of the enterprise, always has been and always will be. Just ninety minutes getting behind a bad half-joking loveable weirdo of a city, a football team which will always be a bit flawed in some way because almost all of them are but us doing so in a manner which covers flaws. Shifts us all from doubters to believers, now.
You can distil almost everything Jürgen Klopp has said into this sentence:
“Forget all that, let’s just enjoy this.”
Instructions don’t get more straightforward.
So, sound. Let’s do that then. I wish it was Saturday 17th October right now.
Up the Reds.
Pics: PA Images/Propaganda Photo