IT has been, without doubt, Fenway Sports Group’s boldest move since assuming control of the club five years ago. But even if Jürgen Klopp never wins a game as Liverpool manager (he will), even if his time in charge is an absolute disaster (it won’t be), he will leave having achieved something no man has done for over a decade.
He’s united a fan base that has at times been hell bent on tearing itself apart.
In hindsight, more than the debt, more than the in-fighting and fractures it caused within the club, more than the destruction of a bloody good football team, possibly the most damaging and lingering aspect of the toxic Hicks and Gillett debacle was the factions it created among Liverpool supporters.
From the moment, fresh from pounding the streets of Athens all night after defeat in the European Cup Final, a distracted and disillusioned Rafael Benitez intimated that all was maybe not what it seemed with Hicks and Gillett, the paranoia, deflection and spin began to manifest itself in all four corners of the club.
Some fans, frustrated by the defeat and the manner in which Benitez often agitated publicly took Rafa’s pelters as a man politicking, empire building, looking for an excuse, a way out or a new contract, depending on what week it was.
Even in the midst of the 08-09 title challenge at the height of the Hicks and Gillett civil war that would nearly bankrupt the club, Benitez was still held in contempt by surprisingly large swathes of the match-going support.
The Spaniard would further anger his detractors by signing a contract extension, obvious proof in the eyes of those that wanted him out that Benitez was exploiting the warring owners for his own benefit while still managing to fool those loyal to him
Around about this time saw the explosion of social media, a fine tool for radicalised idiots to find each other, a promised land for the pub bores and Champ Man anoraks of the nation.
The birth of the mostly faceless “I told you so brigade” that plagues football was born.
Ultimately, the powers-that-be in the club seized the opportunity of the media frenzy that followed a poor league campaign to relieve the Champions League-winning manager of his duties at the club.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the night Benitez was mutually consented by Christian Purslow some celebrated like they had won the lottery, whilst others, and I’ve no shame in admitting that I was one, drowned our misery in wine and beer and mourned Rafa like a long lost friend.
The divide was not only real, it was vicious and filled with spite.
But if we thought things were bad then, they were about to get a hell of a lot worse when the club replaced Rafael Benitez with the antithesis of what the club once stood for: Roy Hodgson.
Such was the entrenchment caused by the war with the owners and Benitez, many (myself included) howled with derision at the appointment, and weren’t shy in telling people who had been keen on ousting the previous manager of what we thought.
“Happy now, ey, lads? Look at the state of that cunt.”
Hodgson was inevitably put out of his misery six months into his tenure (some would say six months too late) and the minor clamour for the return of Benitez was drowned out by the near universal approval for the return of Kenny Dalglish.
And for a few glorious months it worked.
A fragile truce ensued, a run of fantastic results and brilliant football kept any dissent just below the surface, but the following season the cracks began to show and, as ever, it was never simple.
Inertia off the pitch fuelled a vacuum in the stands and among the fans.
There was a sense that the club were forced into giving Dalglish a permanent deal to appease the fans but were privately suspicious of Kenny’s capability to operate in a modern structure having been out of the game for such a long period.
Despite a League Cup win in February — the club’s first trophy in six years — and an FA Cup semi-final victory over Everton at Wembley, there was a sense of FSG planning on life after Dalglish.
And after finishing the season in eighth position on 52 points, and despite winning Liverpool’s last piece of silverware, Dalglish was called to Boston and given the bullet after 16 months in charge.
What happened next was a clusterfuck.
People close to Rafa Benitez made it known, rightly or wrongly knowing the effect it would have, that he would relish a return to Liverpool to finish off the job he started, and given the track records, or lack of, that other managers linked to the job such as Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers had, it was incredibly difficult to understand why our owners wouldn’t at least speak to someone who on paper was out of our league.
It had long been suspected that FSG had been put off Benitez by elements within and around the club, and the fact that they would look to either Martinez or Rodgers before Benitez afforded further credence to the belief that Rafa had been stiffed.
The two-week gap between sacking Dalgish and appointing Rodgers only further exacerbated the ‘debate’ among fans and when Liverpool appointed the Northern Irishman the reaction from many was initially one of indifference and resignation
“What are Liverpool doing giving a fella like Rodgers the job, what’s he won?”
It was a “project”. An experiment dreamed up in the Boston lab of marginal gains and hidden value.
But by now the nature of the warring and infighting, aided and abetted by the further growth of social media had changed how Liverpool fans communicated, and Rodgers, despite an impressive patter and amiable nature was up against it from the off and was viewed by some as a symbol of the club’s lack of ambition or rather, lack of a cast-iron will to win against all odds.
The seeds were sown before a ball was kicked and ‘Being Liverpool’ didn’t particularly help either.
But after a slow start, the near miracle of 13-14 bought Rodgers massive credit but, just like Houllier and Benitez before him, Liverpool failed to hit the ground running after finishing second the previous season.
A man who did brilliantly was suddenly struggling, the entire season previous was written off as a Luis Suarez-inspired fluke and the tensions and long held suspicions crept back over the horizon.
The reaction, sadly, was typical of what we became as a fan base; people who never liked Rodgers didn’t need much encouragement to make their views heard, and likewise, those so stubborn they would follow Rodgers over a cliff such was the determination to not let ‘those other bastards win’ grasped for any straw on offer.
Both sides searched for absolutes in a spiteful sea of grey and the race to be proved right and shout loudest was back on.
Yet again, being a Liverpool fan was exhausting, the language used in exchanges over a man doing his best in the most difficult job in football was depressing and debilitating.
Rodgers was subjected to the most vile, heinous personal abuse and insinuations all for the sake of not winning enough games of kick the ball in the goal.
The relish and venom in which the ‘I told you so’ brigade spat their ‘opinion’ was only matched by the glee in which it was delivered.
Even in the real world, where people have faces and being a shithouse has consequences, there were plenty who had a nagging suspicion from the get go suddenly becoming more noticeable, not because they began shouting louder, more that those who wanted everything to be ok became quieter with each passing week.
As with Dalglish before him, the writing appeared to be on the wall for a few weeks for Rodgers until the owners finally swung the axe. Then, given past behavior and the silence that emanates from Boston, it wasn’t a stretch to imagine the worst about what would happen next.
Another “project”, another “experiment”, another bright young thing that won’t kick up a fuss. Garry Monk?
More confirmation that we aren’t dining at the top table anymore, more entrenchment and seething resentment among people who keep score on the right and wrong about football scale. More division.
But then, something amazing happened.
Jürgen Klopp happened.
The city has been buzzing for days — on a scale of 1 to 10, it kicked off at 11 and hasn’t let up yet and even better, everyone, and I mean literally EVERYONE of a Red persuasion, is happy.
Not one dissenting voice, not one “what abar this fella?” or a “fuckin’ shite, him” to be found.
More a sense of happy, staggering bewilderment that the club has made a decision that no-one saw coming until it was already done.
No pissing around flirting for weeks with an agent and telling everyone about it only to be trumped by a fella with a bigger wallet and flashier car at kicking out time.
Hopefully a sign of things to come. Liverpool Football Club have dealt with this appointment with absolute conviction and speed, and for that, they deserve a pat on the back, keep it up though eh, lads, and sign Reus, yeah?
The appointment of THE hottest property in European football has, in a few glorious days, put ambition back on the map and got the fan base firmly back on side and for the first time in years, united and feeling part of something boss.
Town has gone to town.
Someone and something to get behind, a fella who is clearly his own man and won’t be fucked about.
It was a day that many, myself included, thought beyond us, the fractures too deep and irreparable, the skills and ambition of the leaders of the club incapable of walking the walk.
But now, instead of having a stadium full of people ready to war with each other, for the first time in over 10 years, we’re ready to go to war together.
I’m always one for patterns and history repeating and the last time Liverpool showed enough balls and ambition to convince a fella who hadn’t long won two domestic league titles and knew his way around a European game or two to move to Liverpool the season didn’t end to badly did it?
And his first game as Liverpool manager?
Time to embrace the madness. Together.
Pics: PA Images & Propaganda Photo
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Tremendous stuff. “t’s no exaggeration to say that the night Benitez was mutually consented by Christian Purslow some celebrated like they had won the lottery, whilst others, and I’ve no shame in admitting that I was one, drowned our misery in wine and beer and mourned Rafa like a long lost friend.”
I think history has shown which ‘side’ was right on that one. Hopefully from now on, no ambiguity, no ambivalence, just us.
I probably need to get a life and I’m afriad I’m in the “I told you so” camp when it comes to Rafa as every chance I get I remind everyone what a mistake this was in sacking Rafa. I agree though it’s time to move on, we have our man now and we all need to get behind him and we will. UP the reds, great piece by Andy
Spot on. Never understood why Purslow and Broughton have not been held to account much more. There was no particular need to sack Benitez and the appointment of Hodgson was a scandal. We have been paying for that appointment ever since. Hope for a new start now under Kloppo….
I don’t think Andy had you in mind when speaking of an “I told you so brigade.”
Whilst I fully appreciate the tremendous amount of hope for the future there is around at the min after the appointment of Klopp, I think we need to be very careful that we don’t expect Klopp to solve all the clubs ills by himself.
Couldn’t disagree with a word of that. It’s exciting to be a Red again.
As usual from TAW, great stuff. The only minor point I’d pick up on is why do you all go on about Twitter in a derogatory tone? Nearly every article I’ve read in the past week or so has had a paragraph on Twitter…
I completely agree with the substance of what you all seem to be saying, by the way.
It gives people a voice and puts them on the record. They then want subsequent events to happen so they’re proved right, or better yet, ‘in the know’. It gives the cranks, the moaners and the attention seekers a platform. No doubt.
However, why don’t you all bin Twitter off then?
Instead of having a paragraph in every (great) article marinaded in contempt about Twitter – and I don’t doubt you all get some completely unwarranted shit on it – simply delete it.
It adds no value to anything. You all want ‘footy to be a laugh’. Is Twitter aiding you in that pursuit? If not, then get rid. If it is, keep it. But stop going on about it!
Yeah, the Twitter bit annoys me a little as well. For some of us stuck outside of Europe it offers us a chance to connect with LFC fans around the world. Heck, I wouldn’t have known about this place(TAW) if it weren’t for Twitter. Twitter has its cranks and jerk-offs just like anywhere else. But Andy’s big point is spot on. The only bitters are Scum and Gooners with some Toffees thrown in.
Not everyone should be allowed a voice.
Ling Live Chairman Mao and Great Leader Kim!!! :)
Really good that, mate.
I find it an odd situation that we get ourselves in. I saw some tweets from Linda recently and had a look at her timeline. It saddened me a bit really. She was really engaging with the fans. I think she’s a nice women who does a lot of good and this is one of the first times I’ve seen her respond to tweets. My view was she felt she could finally engage without the abuse, but she still got some. Overall though, the same people who send cringeworthy tweets abusing her and Henry, or asking why we haven’t signed Reus, were sending equally cringeworthy tweets praising her. She was accepted now. I’ll be honest, I find that disgusting and embarrassing for Liverpool fans.
I think FSG have got some things right and some wrong but I certainly don’t buy into any other theory than they want Liverpool to be a success. I also think they changed how they communicated with the fans after the first year. The timeline is lost on me but remember the open letter on here. Whatever ones views it’s better than silence. There were the odd newspaper interviews and tv interviews. Then it all stopped. I think they decided openness wasn’t best. Every word got twisted. Every point turned against them and regurgitated 6 months later as a stick to beat them. My guess is the board meeting went a bit like this. “Let’s keep communication to an absolute minimum because these people are fuckin weird. They’re clueless, angry, aggressive and actually, quite retarded”.
But look around. Our players get criticised and in truth, abused by their fans. I don’t have to say that the manager has got it as well. We’re only too aware. Then we turned on the fanbase. Some said this kind were no good, others said that kind were no good. Despite turning on the owners, the manager, the players and the fans, we still found the energy to turn on Ian Ayre. Obviously we turned on the transfer committee. I’m actually in favour of this one but we turned on Mighty Red, haha. That’s not enough hatred for us though, so we looked to turn on any journalist who’s has access to the club. Poor James Pearce took a lot. Tony Evans enjoys and invites it so is slightly different. Then it was TAW’s time to taste some. But remember, if a player doesn’t want to be part of this vicious and vindictive environment it’s because he’s a greedy little bastard.
It’s absolutely unbelievable that one man has been able to walk in, lift his hand in the air, Jesus style, and say, stop! enough now, and all the hatred has miraculously turned to love. I’m gobsmacked. Maybe the water into wine story happened too. References to Jesus, Lennon and Shankly are aplenty recently and for good reason. Klopp is a dreamer and a believer but he’s not the only one. We, as fans, need that or we go nuts. As we begin this exciting journey though, I’d like it if we learned a little bit from the past and be mindful how self perpetuating hate and bitterness becomes. For now though, peace and love xx
Overall though, the same people who send cringe-worthy tweets abusing her and Henry, or asking why we haven’t signed Reus, were sending equally cringe-worthy tweets praising her.
How much of the cringe-worthy stuff is from Scum and Gooners, and their ilk? Especially Thursday night? I sent her a Tweet asking to tell her husband thanks. I also mentioned Reus but jokingly. Besides, do we really need another Sturridge-esque player, meaning injured way too often?
It’s defo Liverpool fans mate. People are strange. No need to tweet the owners. I find it embarrassing especially if it’s abusive.
Definitely be a few beauts questioning Klopp’s appointment it we’re not top by Christmas.
How long will it take to crash this shinny new car???
About the same time it takes you to learn to spell shiny?
Interesting point about the owners. I think English football and the fans in particular have been a massive eye opener for them and they’ve been learning as they go along. On the whole though it frustrates me when fans moan about them. Once you get the fact that their model is clearly about a long term sustainable approach and not just chucking wads of cash around, their big decisions have been sound.
And as one of the lads on the Citytalk podcast said, every club buys players by committee, it’s just become a big deal at Liverpool because they’ve given it a name
All along, my view on FSG is that they are a good bunch of owner. They chose Moneyball policy to stay competitive while developing both on field and off field ‘sexiness’.
Step by step, they are taking the club forward. Yes they will benefit from upside $$ in valuation, but they are smart enough to know that valuation will stall if onfield performance does not improve drastically.
They signed Suarez, Sturridge, Coutinho, along with all other key players now (except Lucas and Skertal), therefore we cant fault them in.my opinion. Since FSG cant be at the club full time, they need someone they can trust and Ian A fits that role. some of the fans blame Ian when some hiccups happen along the way. To me, he is doing his best…not just as a biz exec but as a lifelong Reds fan too.
(i dont have social media acct, so didnt know what nasty stuff were exchanged).
Most important thing is as the article says the fans are all together now…Amazing what one right action can do…
Great article, summed up our recent history nicely.
I’m expecting great things during the Klopp era but not from him alone, I think there is much more to him than a gegenpressing strategy – I think he has a gift for getting those around him to dig deep and give more, if everyone gives an extra 15% the team will be amazing,
– a Klopp team is more than the sum of its parts, that’s what he brings
How hypocritical of you Heaton!
Ok, I’m going to bite, why am I a hypocrite?
Excellent piece I’ve been buzzing all week the only disappointing thing is we have 2 wait another week for a game . I was pro rafa, pro Kenny and pro basically I’m pro the Liverpool manager (except Hodgson off course) until comes the time when he can no longer take the team forward which I think was the case for Kenny and Rodgers . It’s an exciting time to be a red we now have a manger who would be on the shortlist of any club in world football, with a good squad of players bar one or 2 positions which need to be strengthen. Can’t wait till my next visit to the city the place will be buzzing again
It’s nothin’ but flowers until Klopp starts building the team around Joe Allen and makes Mignolet captain.
But I’m all for the Twitterati fading into the background of a united front. I’m sick of arguing with thugs. I’m doing my best now to pretend that this vocal minority are not part of our famous support.
You sing YNWA in the good times and the bad. Let’s just hope there’s more good on the way. But one thing is for sure, Klopp does know how to tick off the boxes. I’m almost afraid to let myself fall in love all over again. But Liverpool supporters are nothing if not romantics…
To be honest, for me Rafa’s time was up. The whole thing had took it’s toll and both sides needed a break. However, I always said that if he was to go he needed to be replaced with someone better. We then got Roy.
With Rodgers I never felt he was really up to it. I never felt he could sort a defence which is vital to any successful side.
I never want or like to see any manager sacked even if I’ve lost faith in them. I was saddened that Rodgers got the boot, because it means that the club has failed as much as the manager did during his time. The only exception to this was Hodgson who was a disaster on and off the field.
Right now though, FSG have finally backed the ‘big club’ talk with actions by getting in one of the best in the business. If they back him with players he wants I have no doubt he will build us something we can be proud of in years to come. He will also ignite Anfield with his drive and passion which is something the place needs.
As he said, it’s time to write a new chapter. Believe.
This is a bit besides the point, but considering how exciting it is to have Klopp and the realistic expectations most fans have for his early achievements at the club, how fucking incredible was it that Rafa won the Champs League in his first season?! Legend.
This brilliant article shows why Andy Heaton is “Head Meff at The Anfield Wrap” as his own Twitter bio states.
People basically are who they are — whether it’s in a pub, on the street, in the ground, or on social media. Twitter condenses it mercilessly though, so you get a stream of word bullets more often than not read, taken, replied to, and used out of context, either in the moment or months later. 24 to 48 hours after posting it’s past history unless some sad person who has no life goes searching for something to embarrass and humiliate someone else with. And then there are the attention seekers who deliberately make outrageous statements or post endless meaningless polls because in some bizarre corner of their world number of RTs and Favs is a stat that gives their poor life meaning.
Over the past year I watched sadly as many decent, interesting and intelligent people dropped off into silence, driven away by the howling mob. In his press conferences (there was apparently a separate 2nd one fans didn’t get to see), Jürgen made it clear that moaning about money spent and the transfer commitee, while always being dissatisfied with what we have and hungering for this player or that one as a saviour is all nonsense, and he doesn’t want it while he’s at Liverpool Football Club. He’s going to work with what he has for now and begin to write ‘a new story’ for the future. Getting those who are habituated to past hardened attitudes to suddenly switch that off and begin to support unconditionally, positively, with more love for the game in their hearts than bitterness about past skirmishes lost would be a monumental achievement. Entrenched culture is far more difficult to alter than a football formation.
BUT I’m immensely hopeful because he did it twice before. I had some earlier scepticism because the cult of celebrity makes me nauseous, but Jürgen Klopp oozes authenticity and his firm no-bullshit while being basically non-confrontational manner really impresses me. If we get behind this guy and do what he says the stratosphere will be the limit.
Well written Andy. I admit I’ve been one of the I told you so brigade, especially – like you – after Rafa. It’s difficult not to be when you take things like the love and passion we feel for the club into account. I only want the best for LFC, so when I see other LFC fans act in a way not in the best interests of the club (like wanting Rafa out, like defending Rodgers long past the point it was clear he was out of his depth) I and others will speak out. There will be rows, scuffles, fights. Nothing new there when things are going badly at the club, on or off the pitch. Then when you are proven correct, given the nature of the disagreements, it is only natural to go back and say “see, you were wrong and it hurt us because you were wrong so open your fucking eyes next time.” People who don’t care about the club don’t say that – they don’t engage in the first place. Our passion sets us apart, a major reason Klopp is now ours, but it of course has its drawbacks.
Happy to see you now on board Ellie.
I was worried we’d not all be behind Klopp as just 2 days ago on twitter you were still claiming he didnt leave Dortmund of his own volition and that you weren’t impressed by his image. You were saying that he’ll maybe convince you only if he got us in the top 3 solidly for an entire season (as 4th place is wiggly), wins 6 games in a row big and all with clean sheets, and not only gets us into the CL but qualifies from the group too. And it was just a few weeks ago on here you were lying about Klopp, claiming he said it was his career goal to manage Munich.
Glad you’ve come to your senses and realised bringing his image into things would have been hypocritical given your criticisms of those who got personal with Rodgers, and it would have been equally hypocritical to demand of Klopp things Rodgers never achieved in order for you to support him, given your support of Rodgers. And you’ll now of course admit Klopp never said it was his career goal to manage Munich and that was something you made up to convince us he wouldnt be good news and we’d be better sticking with Rodgers. It would be bad enough rival fans lying about our manager, but our own doing it would open up and cause the divides in the fanbase that this excellent article talks about.
If all it takes is an article from Andy to convert you maybe we should get him to write one every day of the week. Well in Mr Heaton – you’ve made a doubter into a believer and we haven’t kicked a ball under Klopp yet!
Mr Pearson in a “missing the whole point of the original article” shocker in order to give it half a dozen paragraphs of playschool “I told you so” rubbish.
Get a life.
Manager change, fans unite. But there’s always gonna be this gobshite.
You are accusing me of being in playschool yet resort to calling me names as you don’t like what I’ve said. A hypocritical and hilariously stupid comment. That’s made me smile. Played.
It might be an idea for TAW to check the IP address of “Chris Mc.” Something tells me this person isn’t Chris Mc and might be someone already posting here under another name. Just a thought.
I have written privately to the TAW moderator about the above post.
Why? Im praising Andy for the article and you for changing your mind and coming on board!
If you have an issue with what Ive written could you not have the maturity to talk about it? Nothing I have stated is false.
I was hoping we’d all be united in our support of the club now with Klopp in charge?
Going back to the beginning of your post is this not a social media outlet ? Why do dickheads who set themselves up on blogs and other forms of media like this assume they’re views and opinions are more prevalent and carry more weight ? Also this match going Shiite ? One of the very reasons for the shot atmosphere is the fact we now have an aged and middle class majority combined with holiday makers and corporate fat cats, the solid base of young working class men has long gone and it’s intimidating atmosphere with it. The absurd conclusion that the clubs ills are caused by cyber bullies !!! With negative opinions is laughable as laughable as blinded sheeple social media tossers whom believe their opinions and methods are the only measure of true support. There are and have been a multitude of reasons for LFC being for the most part shite over the last 25 years but 99% is due to the decision makers being fucking clueless and buying shite player after shite player
Christ this crap about the fucking atmosphere again. Knock it on the head. A bunch of middle class/foreigners/ visitors made enough noise when we had the title run didn’t they?
We have a real manager now,I expect the football will be beautiful when he gets to work on them and the noise will be fucking deafening, whoever is in the crowd.
No Paul, this is not a ‘social media outlet’, it is a website, we also do a few podcasts and that. Hope this helps.
It will be difficult to backtrack from that position if Jürgen Klopp and his coaching staff and training methods manage to develop those ‘shite players’ into a force that challenges for Top 4 and even the League title in the next few years. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s managed to do it. Of course, we’ll all just be so screaming happy then that the moaning will be entirely forgotten and irrelevant. Pray, let that day come sooner rather than later.
Great article and praise should go to everyone in the TAW team for their coverage all week.
Honestly, pre-season I was quite confident and the narrative out there was that Rodgers had finally got the players he wanted (although I do find it strange that those players were also players that King Klopp wanted – I run a recruitment company, so have an idea of what may have happened there). August was good and upbeat, September did it for him (and then last season came back into the frame obviously). I’m taking my 6, 4 and 1 yr old to the derby in Feb and was pretty nervous about how toxic the atmosphere was becoming. I now believe they may well be able to say that ‘they were there’ when something truly great was happening and hopefully there won’t be too many angry mob types putting them off going again.
The whole world sees Liverpool as having the best atmosphere in England and we have held world records for noise levels. Recently, the atmosphere has been embarrassing. The results turning is one thing, but do we really need a conductor? Maybe. Whatever helps. The fans need to unify and recognise that they can be (and always used to be) the 12th man.
With regards to the angry onliners on Twitter and whatever else – there’s an old theory in marketing that people who have a bad experience of a company tell 7 people, whereas people who have a great experience tell 2. People are more compelled to write something when they are angry so the Twittersphere is misrepresenting the whole view. You can follow serious opinionators who take pride in a rational view or you can search for #liverpoolfc and do your own head in. Until this week anyway.
I love Rafa and and he is the standout manager we have had since we win the league. He’s the only one that could have won it and he showed that a class manager attracts world class talent. I understand FSG’s reluctance to hire him – he has a track record of criticising his superiors in public and that would put you off.
But, we now have that ability to attract talent back. We also have a manager that the press seem to like for the first time since the 80s maybe. It would be nice if fewer journalists had it in for our manager and the way they (and let’s face it, all of us) ate out the palms of his hands at the press conference was something I’ve never seen before at Liverpool. Men wanna be him, women wanna be with him as the saying goes.
It’s almost comical that Brendan Rodgers was manager this time last week and almost nothing has been said about him. This is a classic case of pulling a fitter bird than you ever imagined possible.
It will be nice to have a normal defence again though won’t it?
Valid point, Nick, abt twitter where human nature of writing more negatives than positives.
Good luck w the family outing in Feb. Hope ur 1 yr old kid can take the noise level in.Anfield by then. (I took my 1 yr old to 2002 world cup match Korea vs Portugal, and he didnt stop crying for hours after that, possibly schocked fr the noise level). Cheers.
Love that marketing theory analogy. So very true. There’s a pleasure to be had in wallowing sometimes. With Klopp on board now though, it feels like being happy and optimistic isn’t such a bad thing…
Brilliant article. Personally, I supported both Rafa and Brendan strongly during their first years, but I also agreed they had to go.
Some fans’ short memory about Rafa is baffling. The football we played in his last season here was worse than anything I can remember. The Alonso story showed a lack of judgment that was scaring, and the way he explained that story recently show clearly that he still has the unhealthy stubbornes. Why not just be a big man and admit he got it terrible wrong?
Anyway; it is great to see everyone united now behind the brilliant and charismatic Klopp. Good times ahead.
We are a passionate bunch. That’s what drew Klopp here. We’ve had too many technicians as managers in the last decade. Now we have a manager who gets it the way we do. It’s the emotion, the fight, that unites us as Liverpudlians. It is the lack of emotion, the lack of fight that has divided us.
Falling in love again.
Brilliant article, the shifting mood and infighting of our fanbase is a great way of illustrating the turbulence of the club in the last few years. Maybe because 13/14 was such a high, the susbsequent crash has been particularly painful and it felt like make or break time for the club to prevent a terminal decline.
Bringing Klopp in is an absolute game changer, it’s now just about the football. Can’t wait for the ride!
Great article Andy. I was having my doubts on the owners. Were they still interested in winning or was turning a profit enough for them? I feel they deserve some credit this season. They have invested financially and have made a (arguably overdue) decision to change the manager. And what a fucking change. Jurgen Klopp! That appointment shows me the owners still have serious ambition.
I was absolutely bouncing after watching the press conference. By the time I’d sat through the first interview I felt a noticeable, tangible change in my outlook for the future of the club and football in general.
If Jurgen Klopp can have a city and a fan base uniting in a new found positivity before he even puts a team on the pitch just imagine the effect he will have on the players mentality and performance levels on a daily basis.
Whenever Liverpool appoint a manager, or sign any player, the fans convince themselves that it is a good thing – at least to begin with. Sometimes the good vibes only last a week, but they are always there initially.
I don’t think there is any club where supporters are simultaneously so angry about what has happened in the past, while being so positive about what the future holds.
Liverpool and Manchester are quite similar cities, but Scousers are hopeless optimists and Mancunians are incurable pessimists. I think even the musical output of each city reflects this.
Over on RedCafe, United fans seem almost to be in mourning that we have got Klopp. I can’t help thinking that they would be focusing on his disappointing last season at Dortmund, if he had been unveiled as their new boss.
This video featuring Peter Hooton and Andy Mitten, both discussing the difference in the outlook of each city, is well worth a watch…
Interesting comment and thanks for the link. I tried to be objective as I watched it but all I kept hearing from Andy Mitten was mild ‘we’re better than Liverpool’ sarcastic snide, while Peter Hooten spoke fairly objectively and with a bit of class about what football and music and supporting Liverpool have meant in his life. I’ve sometimes noticed that people who actually have an inferiority complex tend to overcompensate in the opposite direction — bigging themselves up to make up for feeling less than. ;-)
Andy Mitten isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, to be fair Ellie. United have had lots of respectable fanzines over the years and United We Stand has arguably been the best of them.
They never had a genuine equivalent of The End though, or even The Anfield Wrap. That’s probably just down to bad luck. I’m pretty sure that if the right match-going United fans had gotten around to putting one together, it would be of a similar stature as The End or TAW.
Andy Mitten is a good bloke, but when you put him alongside someone like Hooton (talking about working class culture and inter-city tribalism) he is always likely to come across as the guy who has slightly missed the point. Mitten has been an avid observer, rather than a genuine participant.
Again, a very interesting comment. Thanks!
Superb piece. Nailed it. (Just want to say, thank you to all the TAW writers, you crank out masterpiece after masterpiece every single day.)
Still, I think this piece is up there with the best. It’s like reading of our collective soul as a tribe.
Klopp gives us the chance to start again. The ride will no doubt be bumpy. Ups and downs are the only par. As the new gaffer has intoned, let’s become believers again.
Let’s become a United fanbase once more and give this new man and his team all the space to succeed.
Brilliant article Andy as others have said. This appointment does feel for the first time in years that we are all united as one and we can look forward to the future together as one. Lovely seeing positivity coming from Liverpool fans and I hope it stays this way. There wasn’t even this much positivity when Kenny came back but I think its because we see Jürgen as more long term and as a man who will get our club back to where it should be.
was calling for Kenny to be the short term bridge, if BR to be dismissed, till the end of season and a proper appointment could be made.
But WOW, FSG goes direct with THE APPOINTMENT!!!! No doubt it will be one hell of a ride.
I see this as a true turning point, and the real sense in which all reds have embraced the appointment confirms this. We either move together towards our 19th or we truly become Aston Villa. There’s no in between now.
There is only one way to engage with this and that’s full on. As Neil said, let’s remember why we spend good money going to the match. To watch 11 men in red trying to kick a ball into a goal and encouraging them to do it with a load of other people who are there for the same reason. You know, enjoying yourself rather than as some form of penance. Let’s give him the atmosphere he deserves, surf the madness and who knows where it might take us.
20th ! ;)
But I doubt the Rodgers acolytes have really come on board it’s not that long ago they were rubbishing. Klopps record in a bid to get their man a little more time. If things don’t go well for Klopp they will be on here saying…….Told ya!
That’s my stepdad with the banner. He died last year. That made my mum and all of us very happy.
Lovely style of yours – congrats and btw, you actually captured the real(!) meaning of the first verse of the German national anthem:
It was written in the late 19th century there Germany didn’t really exist at all and was divided between dukes and kings. – So the bloke who wrote that got imprisoned for it because the meaning was basically:
Germany as in a united country within its borders over all (the kings and dukes – and not other countries!!!). Hope this will happen to LFC, congrats! I guess the best possible choice, because the really means what he says.