“AT the moment, all of the LFC family is a little bit too nervous, a little bit too pessimistic, too often in doubt.”
Those were Jurgen Klopp’s words in his first interview as Liverpool manager. He was in the city only for a few hours, but he had correctly diagnosed the atmosphere around the club. Everything he had watched, read and picked up on suggested the “faith is the weapon our enemies most fear” stance was no longer apt: fatalism is now all the rage.
On Wednesday evening, Daniel Sturridge spoke for the first time since picking up a knee injury on October 15. In fact, the striker has consciously done very limited media this season as he concentrates on returning to his best possible shape.
The 26-year-old revealed he was “fit and ready to go.” Positive news. A massively encouraging update given his injury troubles as well as the club’s. The reaction to his words went something like this…
“How soon before he’s crocked again?”
“What came first? The chicken, the egg or a Sturridge injury?”
“Yeah, we’ve heard that one before…”
“What lasts longer? A crisp or Sturridge?”
“Let’s place a bet what his next niggle will be…”
Yeah, yeah, yeah. We get it. He’s got 99 problems and injuries are all of them, but is it too much to ask to just temporarily park the pessimism? Allow yourselves a chance to be happy? To, you know, be a supporter?
Klopp is a football romantic, who “likes the emotion in the game.” When he stood and took in The Kop as Borussia Dortmund manager in August last year, it was one of the experiences he always wanted: to feel the famed aura of a storied Anfield.
Part of the reason he is back on L4, this time as Reds boss, is because he felt a connection to that kind of magic: when players and supporters push each above and beyond, making the unbelievable the actuality.
The reality is that such belief is a fantasy now. Klopp has been instructing his squad to play from their hearts instead of their heads, and perhaps the fanbase should follow the same path.
There’s so many things to be miserable and cynical about, why add Liverpool to the list?
Klopp’s outlook on just about everything is so refreshing. When he delivered the side’s injury updates in his press conference on Thursday, all of them contained positivity.
Jordan Henderson is “in a really good way”. Mamadou Sakho “is not that serious”. Sturridge “may only need five minutes of training” as can be the case sometimes with strikers. Even where-is-he-now? Jose Enrique got a shoutout from the manager.
The man the masses wanted as Liverpool boss is here. He’s made a difference to the attitude of the players. We’ve seen aspects of his fighting football on the pitch. The press hang on his every word. His guffaw is the dog’s bollocks. And the hugs, oh the hugs…
Fans should be extending that positivity, feeding off it and spreading it like butter on toast. Not rolling their eyes and rubbishing practically everything.
The 48-year-old has referenced the doubt on multiple occasions. He has already “felt pretty alone” in the job, which he hasn’t even been in for two months yet. #KloppForTheKop has materialised, but perhaps it’s time to initiate #TheKopForKlopp?
We rate the players, we berate the players, we get on their backs, we get off early…
Part of trying to be the hardest team in the world to beat is having the hardest supporters in the world to discourage. Can we be this? Let’s try to be this…
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Like your articles normally Melissa but not sure of the point here: supporters making jokes about injured players? And this is new in the history of football? Miserable supporters? And this is new in football too? Quiet, deathly attitudes at football ground?. Well this is actually relatively new. And important. And maybe a link to how supporters feel? Maybe, maybe not. For me though Attack the reasons and the issues why the grounds are like this. Being miserable ain’t one of them. That’s football (and by extension society) Supporters love being miserable and happy. If we were all delighted and happy clappy it would be Lego! People love to discuss because of these different personalities. Part of the fabric. If honest, genuine considered discussions on the atmosphere matter but just telling people they should ‘support’ better feels all a little tedious and patronising. There are bigger issues to use your platform for me. Anyway cheers
The issues on ticketing, alienation of young support and such has been dealt with excellently already on site – both written and via pods.
Just because things aren’t new in football, doesn’t mean they’re right.
I chose to extend the manager’s message, because I agree with him.
Thanks for the reply. It’s appreciated. Thanks for your explanation explaining the intention. As the reader Melissa I didn’t see that extension of the message. What’s right and wrong? Why is your truth correct? What’s the overall message? That a homogenised support free of mixed personalities and difference should just ‘support’? Shall we do that on all issues, big and small? Just support. i don’t get the obsession with crowd. People come to football games for a multitude of reasons. They enjoy it in a whole host of ways. It’s a social cultural event which probably has a fair amount of routine to it. Do you think bill or Alice are suddenly going to have a character metamorphosis because Juergen came in and won a couple of footy matches? At the heart though they all want LFC to win and be successful. They just express it differently to you. In relation to history Melissa you can’t move forward until you understand the past. The elements that link LFC fans, Juergen klopp, two very different footballing cultures are very much a consequence of the past. I am like you. I support passionately, unequivocally and loyally. I respect people who have a different way though but on my three favourite days at andield they all wanted the same thing as me. To win and be happy. A rallying cry is fantastic. A polemic is less enjoyable. Anyway thanks very much.
I agree with you, Melissa, and disagree with Anthony. I’ve written in response to other Wrap articles about the parallels with youth football. Parents and spectators don’t get on the kids backs and criticise a bad touch, a defensive error, or a stray pass because they know the kids would be totally deflated. They say things like “good effort”, “don’t worry about it”, “unlucky”, “keep trying, it’ll come”. Many LFC players are only a few years older and yet they get terrible stick from people whom are supposed to SUPPORT them.
I’ve also written about the number 1 tip from a very successful elite sports coach: “focus on the good”. One of the examples he uses is Rory McIlroy. When his putting game is a bit off, you’d think he’d spend all his practice working on his putting. In fact, because he knows that his putting is not where he wants it to be, he knows that doing too much of it in that state of mind will make him feel bad about himself and his whole game will suffer. So, he starts with parts of his game that are working well – driving, iron shots, short game – and only when he’s feeling really good about himself does he start to practice putting. And because he feels good, his putting is more likely to get back in the groove.
And I’m sure that’s the same for footballers – be they kids or professionals: if someone keeps reminding them of all the things they’re not doing well, they’ll probably feel pretty bad about themselves and their whole game will suffer. If they focus on the parts of their game that are working well, and are encouraged, then they’re more likely to feel good about themselves and their whole game is more likely to improve.
That’s all Melissa is saying: support the team, encourage the players, praise what they’re doing well, be positive and optimistic. Or as JK says be a “believer”. That’s far more likely to help LFC achieve what we all want (ie. wins and moving up the table) than slagging players off, being cynical and making snide comments in the name of so called humour which is almost predestined to be a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Interesting info on Rory McIlroy, GardieB. Cheers for that.
The other thing Jurgen said when he arrived was along the lines of “we can create something special here….if we want, IF WE WANT”. His emphasis was on WE and WANT.
It’s a shame that some folk can’t grasp this and get on board. It’s what Shankly saw and nurtured when he was manager too.
I think as LFC supporters we have all been through a lot….not least the fall out from Hicks and Gillett. The scars will take time to heal but will be all the quicker to do so if each of us support what we love.
My nephews teachers were very good at focusing on the good. He would come home with enough feel good certificates for effort to paper his room with. Unfortunately in falling over themselves to supply the hugs no one addressed his real issues
Another brilliant report Melissa.
But a lot of us have got hangovers.We got out of our heads a couple of years ago on something we knew wouldn’t do us any good in the long run.Then we woke up with a pounding headache of reality and that feeling of “Oh! No! Work tomorrow!”
I love everything I’ve seen and heard of Klopp.
But I think I’ll take one sip at a time for the minute.
But it wouldn’t take much to make me swig another few pints of it again.
Some supporters may make a conscious choice to be pessimistic or nervous but for most of us it has simply came with the territory.
We witnessed our club YET AGAIN fuck up a transfer window after we came so close to winning the league, we’ve seen the team yet again be beaten at home against lowly opposition, we’ve seen Sturridge yet again break down injured etc etc etc.
What I’m saying is that the support reacts to what it sees and experiences and what it has seen and experienced in recent years, bar 13/14, hasn’t been very optimistic or promising.
It’s like telling a depressed person to just snap out of it; it doesn’t work like that.
The fan base really really wants something to believe in, to be optimistic about, to get excited about but we’ve been here before and seen it cream pie us in the face. It’s not gonna happen overnight, we need constant signs that things are changing for the better and one month with Klopp isn’t enough.
Are you paid by the word?
Seriously, what’s the stats on Sturridge’s injuries? Mainly in the winter? God love him but he’s finished. He’ll play on Saturday and score, I’ve no doubt. but he’s finished. If he was a race horse he’d be shot.
Are you paid by the number of blag profiles you set up?
it is really unfair to pick on Sturridge..
He didn’t choose his genes nor the timing of his injuries. He didn’t run in the London Marathon and pulled his hamstring, for example.
He does not need to prove to anyone anymore in my opinion. His goal to minute ratio in Red Shirt is up there with the best of the best we have ever had…
I believe, nonetheless, he will prove all his doubters wrong, by just playing his usual game and does what he do best, I hope in Red shirt!! ~ for many good years to come.
I would like to concur with those putting forth the idea that the articles scolding, making fun of, berating, chastising, etc. supporters, defining and re-defining what ‘supporting’ ought to entail, how it should manifest itself, what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, etc have been done to death.
We do not need to have what Klopp said re-interpreted, simplified, amplified.
And, cynically, what we, non-match going, supporters do, feel, say or write has the square root of eff all effect on how the players perform and how the club does.
Another thoroughly good talking down to for LFC fanbase. Address the problems on the pitch before we look at the problems in the seats.
Well Klopp is taking care of the pitch. Why not do both at once?
Always like your views Melissa, football, like beer, wine, port and music is one of the better things in life and should be enjoyed and not taken too seriously.
Massive fan of The Anfield Wrap in general but I have to say I read through this article with a mixture of confusion and bewilderment.
So you’re not a true supporter if you have doubts about our highest earning player who’s missed over 60 games since joining us and is clearly frail to put it nicely…that seems to be what you’re insinuating but maybe I’ve misunderstood your point on that. And yes I know ‘it’s not fault he’s the Club’s highest earner’ but the bigger the wages the more output expected…that’s football. You’re conveniently overlooking the fact Sturridge has been given way, way more support than not from Liverpool fans…a quick look at his Twitter and Instagram after one of his many injury set backs in the last 18 months especially demonstrates that…well wishes and plenty of backing from a fanbase that I genuinely feel is still one of the most supportive and understanding around…despite suggestions of the contrary going around at the min.
“Fans should be extending that positivity, feeding off it and spreading it like butter on toast. Not rolling their eyes and rubbishing practically everything.”
Excuse me…what??? Maybe you’re unaware of this but there’s been banners made, t-shirts done, and songs/chants for Klopp since his arrival and the feel good factor and belief his appointment has brought has seen Liverpool fans once again ridiculed and laughed at by opposition fans for this deluded and dreamland outlook many feel we have.
Highlighting this fans leaving early issue in wake of the Palace game isn’t half convenient timing either…as a few contributors on this site have written and talked about in the days after Palace…it’s been going on for decades but suddenly one home defeat and it’s all the rage albeit fuelled by Klopp’s post-match comments. You’re just needlessly picking this out to back up your argument when the reality is the atmosphere and feeling around the support has improved tenfold since Klopp’s appointment. Even the home games has seen an improved atmosphere and that’s saying something. Spurs away was rocking as was Chelsea. Maybe highlight that eh?? Or would that not fit the agenda.
In summary, I found your article try hard and a little superfan like without any real evidence to back up your points. But anyway, each to their own.
Like some of my fellow supporters I like JK s comments this week pre-match at Citeh ..
“City – best team in the league?
Klopp: “I don’t care about if they’re the best team in the league. All I care about is if Liverpool are the best team in the league.”
THATS how a true Kopite should be talking …..
but, you seem to have missed the point,,, how many “false dawns! ” have we had since G & H and now Henry-Werner took over the “business of Lfc” … ..MY generation grew up with the majority being working class – to middle class supporters , many of us the main highlight of the week was the game..
now Lfc fans are more like “spectators” and lacking the enthusiam and hunger and absence of inhibitions to shout and chant and sing for our team through the game,
listen to the “away” support,,,,thats more like it.. the f,.s.g busniess model, has softened up the attendance with higher priced tickets .. and 3 kits for little johny.. corporate boxes, and “fans” who go off to get cola and stuff during the game woudl have been hung by their balls on the Kop I stood in a s a lad…
we have had to put up with G & H stealing the club from us, Moores sellign us out, apathy amongst large sections of the more afluent fans,, and a social media / video game playing fan base who think that they are football experts because they know how to use a computer,,,
They forced out Rafa , who had given us 2 european finals in 5 seasosn..! *we were top of UEFA ratings…and proud,,,
I nearly gave up when they appointed the biggest fool in Football as Lfc “manager” (Hodgson) and ignored Kenny,
then Henry, employed then sacked OUR Kenny mid-contract , ignored Rafa (who deserved the chance to finish what he started) and employed a novice who looked & sounded good in the media.. but had won nothing (like “woy”) … and IMO, wont…
(PLUS THEY lost all our “heroes” too… Pepe, Agger, Xabi, Torres, Masch, Suarez, and final straw..Stevie..!)
and you claim that the masses wanted Klopp, well some of us just want f s g gone, but IF Jurgen can stand up to Henry and co.. all well and good…. but he also has to accept that after the last several years of knock backs …some of us arent just going to be “kloppites” because you, the media and “the mases” like him… (thats the same media,btw , who liked Hodgson and Brent…)
Also, I woudl suggest that the gushing of some jounos over every single utterance of JK is so OTT that we feel it need some “balance” …
I suggest Jurgens getting paid well, so he has to earn it.. early signs are promising,, but… lets see him “deliver” .. I am a supporter, but I wont give any more money to f s g to waste on their HORRIBLE transfer policies…so ist not just about “gorgeous Jurgen” ..is it?
just a reminder, Harvey, we are in 2015, a month and bits away from.year end..
and by the way…”if you believe…they put the man on the moon…” (REM)…
are you going stay bitter about past negatives forever?
Rafa, Kenny, StevieG (and more) have given us brilliant history, and they now are a part of that excellent memories…just have to let go and join in with the Believers….