I LIVE in rural Perthshire at the moment, in a two-horse hamlet with a little pub, and a bus stop, and not much else.
The little pub shows the football, so the other night, when Bournemouth came to Anfield, I nipped in for a couple of pints to watch the Liverpool game. Sat in their usual spot, with a decent view of the telly while playing dominoes (and nicely soused) were Margaret, aged 74, and Norman, aged 71, married some 47 years.
Now, modern social media has changed the world in recent times, but it’s fair to say that in rural Perthshire, and in the shape of Margaret and Norman, I found myself confronted with a different view of the world than the one I’d steadily become accustomed to over the last few years.
Norman says: “Oh, the Liverpool game’s on?”
With this, Jürgen Klopp’s face flashes onto the screen.
Margaret says: “I want them to win Norman. I quite like him. That Mourinho’s making an arse of it, but I do quite like him.”
Norman nods thoughtfully, and the dominoes resume.
Now – Margaret – in three sentences, she’s told the half dozen regulars in the little pub all they need to know. And now me – sat here at my laptop in rural Perthshire – I’m relaying that message to you. It’s all you need to know.
People want Liverpool to win. Do you feel it?
People quite like Liverpool’s new manager. Do you feel it?
People don’t like other managers quite as much as the new Liverpool manager. Do you feel… (you catch my drift, I’m guessing).
Now if Margaret gets it, why can’t you?
Don’t fucking fight it. Feel it. Be like Margaret the septuagenarian domino bandit – drink it in. Jürgen Klopp is bigger than Jesus.
Liverpool have just appointed a manager the rest of the footballing world (even the 74-year-old women who are barely conscious it exists) genuinely admires – loves even – to the extent that if things work, Liverpool will probably find themselves everyone’s second favourite team again.
That’s hanging in the air all around you of course, but here online, we’re all analysing tactics and furrowing brows and hipstering ourselves out of our nuts while we write off Divock Origi.
Jonathan Wilson – I’ve had the privilege of meeting him and he’s a lovely, lovely fella, and his work – my God there’s a fella whose work I admire. But the other day he wrote an article telling me – telling you, friends – that Jürgen Klopp is not the Messiah. Well, I’m here to tell you folks, Jonathan Wilson may be the Don of all things sensible in the world of football writing, but just this once, fuck all that off.
Fuck it all off and feel it. Embrace it. Testify!
Take your smartphones and throw them into the sea. Take your sardonic attitude and dry ironic tweeting style and fire them into the sun. Stop being inert, and stop being cynical. Just feel the fucking love, folks. It’s simple.
Jürgen will save us. Get on board for the big win.
(May Jürgen bless this reading, and to His name be glory and praise. Amen.)
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda-Photo