BIT of background first, writes LES JACKSON. I’m 57 years old and one of those miserable sods the TAW regulars constantly go on about who’s been going the match for years (since 1968, actually) and sits in the Lower Centenary moaning incessantly and generally being a “not very good” fan. Certainly no “super-fan” me!
Well, the 57 years old and Lower Centenary bits are true. The “moaning incessantly” bit isn’t. I don’t actually consider myself to be a “miserable sod”. I (mostly) enjoy going the match, always sing You’ll Never Walk Alone and join in with some of the other songs when I feel like it. And I don’t when I don’t. I’m more inclined to shout a few words of encouragement from the sidelines than deliver a stream of abuse but, of course, I do occasionally let my frustrations show in a more unseemly manner. I have a mind of my own.
If I had to label it, the overriding philosophy I subscribe to would be “live and let live”. So, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest when fellow supporters leave the match a few minutes early.
READ: Klopp was right to lament leavers of Liverpool
The exception to this would be when we concede a late goal (as tends to happen a bit too frequently at Anfield) and huge swathes of people get up and leave en masse — I find that disappointing more than anything else. But otherwise, a few minutes early? What’s the issue? I often leave during the final minute of injury time just to avoid the scrum at the final whistle. I can get to the gents in plenty of time then, an absolute necessity at my age. Does that make me a bad fan?
It’s absolutely certain that other fans have their own reasons for leaving early — a family engagement, a nightshift, trepidation as to what state they might find their transport home in on the way back… (some scrote smashed my car window in on Sunday. Well done, if I ever get the chance I’ll return the favour by breaking your house windows with your head but I digress).
There’s an undoubted myriad of reasons, including maybe that they’re just not that bothered. Again, so what? It happens at every game at every ground. So why the ongoing angst at Anfield? Is it because we’re supposed to be the self-proclaimed “Best Supporters In The World”? Because here’s the news — we never have been in all the years I’ve been going to the game!
April 1975 v QPR. Last home game of our most successful manager’s inaugural season — we finished second to Derby County. An (admittedly small) section of The Kop’s Best Supporters In The World chanted “Paisley Out”!
May 1987 v Watford. Rushie’s last home game before his move to Juve. One of Barnesy’s final games for Watford. A future Liverpool legend disgracefully abused for 90 minutes by a large minority of The Best Supporters In The World.
November 1987 (you remember 87-88, we were brilliant — best I’ve seen) v Watford (again), a less than full house on a Tuesday night. Still unbeaten in the league (and would be until late the following March). Booed off at half time with the score 0-0 by The Best Supporters In The World. We won 4-0.
Something more up to date? December 2008 v West Ham. Rafa’s Liverpool draw 0-0 to go top of the league. Roundly booed off at the end. Jeez, even when we were winning everything we rarely got full houses and the atmosphere at times was soporific.
There are plenty more examples of such behaviour by The Best Supporters In The World. And, of course, there are plenty of examples of where the fans have been brilliant as well — Istanbul and the run-in to 2013-2014 being two of the most recent examples.
I would suggest that puts us on a par with the fans of most other clubs. We’ve just been fortunate enough to have loads of opportunities to show our best. It’s not so pretty when we show less than that though is it?
And what IS the criteria for being The Best Supporters In The World? I mean, apart from the demands on time and money, it really doesn’t require a great deal of self-sacrifice to follow the “best team in the world” all over the place does it?
Show me a group of Hartlepool fans who travel to Plymouth and Exeter every season knowing the chances are they will come back empty-handed each time and I could make a case for them being The Best Supporters In The World.
People are different. To some of us, the match-day experience is everything and we can’t imagine our lives without it.
To others, it’s just part of the bigger picture of their life. And towards the end of a match their thoughts turn to those other parts that now need to be given their turn in the list of priorities. And if that means they want to leave a few minutes early so be it.
Live and Let Live.
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While you’re undoubtedly right to burst the bubble of nostalgia, you also didn’t address the answers to the “So what?” question that have already been given or which could easily be produced. These include failing to back and support and inspire the team when they need it (though credit for acknowledging that leaving due to a late goal is bad), degrading the atmosphere for everyone else, making players feel unwelcome, and occupying seats at the ground that could go to others who would get more out of the experience.
I’m sure there are others, but it’s not merely a live-and-let-live situation. Obviously this isn’t end of the world stuff, but there is a harm going on here.
A bunch of guys who get paid very, very handsomely for turning their hobby into their job need backing, support and inspiration to do exactly that job they are getting paid for handsomely? I find it a bit difficult to follow that lead. If they can’t find the mental strength, inspiration and will in themselves to turn a match around for those who pay significant chunks of their often not so handsome wages just to watch the players pursuing their hobby, well, then they might spend some of their handsome wages to see a shrink who might help them to get the best out of themselves.
You’re missing the point. It is not whether the players have a good job or not (although I expect there would be quite a few downsides you wouldn’t expect, particularly lack of job security), it is whether they will play better, enjoy themselves more, thereby making us enjoy ourselves more if they receive genuine support instead of streams of abuse. We would probably also end up with better players too (I reckon sterling could have been talked around if he hadn’t copped it down both banks). If someone wants to sit at home and spend there time abusing the tv that is fine but to take the spot of someone who would actually enjoy it is pretty low, particularly guys who have seen it all before an are clearly getting a jaded like the author of this piece.
Of course it is possible that I miss the point. It is also possible that you miss the point, entirely.
The players get paid to do their job. You probably get paid to do your job and so do I. I actually get paid to do my job as best as I can. Every boss I’ve ever had expected that. And I accepted it. It is the way things probably are. I do not expect my boss to cuddle me all day, to cheer me on, to inspire me and so on. Naturally! At the same time My working days are probably a bit longer than that of those overpaid prima donnas that football players seem to be today. My working life will be much longer, too, as I don’t get paid that handsomely. Still I manage to motivate myself, every day, to do my very best. And I truly believe that millions of employees do the same all over the place.
Sometimes I do something so good that my boss is so pleased that he praises me, even in front of the entire workforce. This is AFTER I did my job as best as I can.
Now, your line of thought seems to be that those football players want to get the praise even before they did something, to get it for them to actually start doing their job as best as they can. I guess in most professions one wouldn’t get any far with this kind of attitude. “I work only a bit until the boss (or the customer) encourages me to do my job properly, and as best as I can”. No, the players should always do the best they can and earn the praise. Not the other way round.
I’m sorry mate, but there’s a lot more discussion to be had around ‘failing to back and support the team’, ‘degrading the atmosphere’ (what atmosphere?) and ‘occupying seats…that could go to others…’ before laying those ills at the feet of a few early leavers. You might even start with those who arrive late pissed up and spend half the game going back and forth to the toilet. They miss far more than the last few minutes.
Why does the fact other people also do bad things absolve the early-leavers and groaners of responsibility for their own bad action? You’re right, showing up late and constantly leaving to use the toilet is also a problem at any event. (The toilet thing has more to do with rudeness than any of the other stuff.) Maybe more should be said about those problems. But you haven’t defended leaving early on its own merits against the criticisms people make–you’ve just said “So what?” (a question that’s been answered, although you’re welcome to dispute the answers) and “Yeah, but so-and-so is worse.”
Also, the early-leavers who flood out in an exodus when things go awry are especially noticeable because their leaving amounts to a statement of disgust against the team. Groaners who shout abuse at players are guilty of something else altogether that’s even uglier. That’s probably why they’re being singled out.
You might not be guilty of either of those things. Like I mentioned above, full credit to you for not being one who flees at the sight of a late goal. If you’re one of a small number leaving when the team are 2- or 3-0 up or whatever, that’s not really a big issue. But your article has come up in the context of matchgoers jumping ship because we leaked a late goal, and it feels like you’re defending that. People have offered reasons that matchgoers shouldn’t jump ship (or scream abuse at players, or screw around on their tablets, or act like they’re in a work meeting). You’re entitled to say “So what?” or to try to pass blame if that’s all you want to do, but that in itself isn’t a defense.
Yes indeed – the mass exodus when we concede late is an issue. And I think Klopp’s point of view is that there is little belief around the club in general that when that happens we can turn it round. I rather thought he was saying that situation needs to be addressed, and it must be addressed on the pitch first. Once that’s done the fans will start to believe again that anythings possible and the mass exodus will stop.
I don’t think anyone is complaining about people leaving 2 minutes into stoppage time when the team is leading and playing keep away until the whistle blows, but when the team is fighting and people are leaving it’s sad.
Remember how everyone laughed when the Chelsea fans left early? If it says something when it’s about the other side, it says something about us.
Despite everything I’ve said in other articles on here, I don’t really have much of a problem with this. I’ve sat in the Lower Centenary a few times recently and find it a god awful place and not somewhere I’d be happy to sit and watch Liverpool regularly. It’s not what I want from a match.
When I first starting going to Anfield without adults in the mid 80’s it was for the atmosphere rather than actually watching the match. In the Millennium when I returned from a decade abroad that changed and I started really enjoying the match itself. Now, I can’t get enough of the football. I find it so intense and exciting. That said, I still go for the atmosphere. At Gerrards last game I swore I would never sit anywhere other than the Kop again. It was a terrible experience in the LC. I’d rather sit at home and watch on a stream than pay £50 to sit in there watching the match in silence. Each to their own as you say.
I think I’d like to see the Kop cleared out of none participants. I’d like to see the none official standing section extended wider and deeper so the majority of the Kop is made up of people who want to stand and sing. I doubt it could ever happen though. I’d guess if someone asked you to move to a place you can watch the match in peace you’d say no and claim you had a right to sit and watch in silence where ever you wanted (and you do).
The problem is, you want to watch a match in your way and I want to watch a match in my way. Singing is the sole reason I go to Anfield. It’d be nice if we could reach a compromise and have a designated area (the whole Kop). That way, we could justifiably criticise people who are in the standing section but not singing and the rest of the ground can eat their prawn sandwiches or whatever it is they want to do.
Thanks Les that was a good read and if you look at the videos of Hughes and Terry Mac talking about the Anfield crowd in the 70s they often said they were often castigated for only winning 2-0. The Anfield crowd has always been difficult and players have to win it over, you need balls to play for Liverpool and players need to prove they have what it takes. how many people left the Chelsea 05 semi or the Newcastle game when Collymore scored at the death. Had Liverpool a record of scoring goals in the last 5 mins of game over the past 18 months then people would not leave. The players lift the crowd and the crowd the players, but the idea that the 12 man stays to the end of the game is a myth, people have always left early and probably always will ‘so what’ they are the ones that miss out on last gasp goals, it doesn’t make you a lesser supporter, but what the players can do is keep going to the end and what the club can do is make more of an effort with the twelth man and not take them for granted because it always has been a two way street
You’re right. Once we get into the habit of winning / saving games late on the mass exodus will stop. But that needs to happen on the pitch first
I’m a bit confused here. The mass exodus that you explain as necessary in some cases would stop if the outcomes were better? Won’t the pudding get cold?
Thank you Les. I have been receiving plenty of abuse for supporting this view over the past few days… Funny thing is, many have been abusing me, while suggesting all fans should stick together with the obligatory YNWA stamped on at the end of the abuse…..It baffles me that YNWA is so often placed at the end of many a tirade, when clearly, these same fans are doing nothing like fostering the YNWA philosophy….. But, you know what… Thanks. YNWA.
Well… this is it, in fact. The local Anfield match goers who treat going the games as a chore, not a privilege, moan and groan, complain about the day trippers and ‘tourists’ killing the atmosphere… complain about prices, the attitude like “I pay a lot for my ticket, so now entertain me while I cross my arms and see if you’re good enough”.
These aren’t supporters any more. These are spectators.
So what? Well, if you don’t find it thrilling enough to go and support the team any more, then there are thousands of those who will happily take your place and the chance is, they will actually stay and create some atmosphere, and give the team support, instead of leaving early because they think ‘so what, nobody’s hurt..’ The thing is, it does hurt. We are lucky to have one of the best coaches in the world, and he does feel hurt and disencouraged by this thoughtless ‘so what’ shit. If he gets disheartened by a few hundreds who think nobody’s hurt if they leave early because it’s more convenient to do so, how on earth is he supposed to encourage his players? He must get the energy from us to give it back and produce results.
The team might have scored twice in the last minutes against Palace, if he was focused on what to change to help the team score instead of being distracted and baffled by the view of the fans’ exodus.
Would you really spend the next 10 years going to every home match? never mind for 40 years like Les. I am not a season ticket holder and I live in the Lakes and there is no way i could do it even if i was given a season ticket because I work and I would not be able to arrange my like around work and go to every home match, I could do about 10 games, maybe 12 at a push, but not any more than that, and if after 5 years by leaving early i could arrive home an hour earlier than if i stayed to the end would i leave early? probably. Does that make me a bad supporter? It may be a privilage to have a season ticket but it is also a great commitment both in time and money, anybody can do it for a day but after 40 years I think Les has earned the right to have a piss before the final whistle if he wants, and rightly or wrongly there has always been the attitude “I pay a lot for my ticket, so now entertain me while I cross my arms and see if you’re good enough,” this goes back to when people were paying a couple of quid never mind 50. You could argue Bob Paisley did this for the first half of most home matches when he watched from the directors box. Imagine a manager doing that now!
Nobody has stated the obvious, a minority in that stand have always been that way but it is not the fact that the opposition scored that did it, they would have left if we scored. Jurgen got the wrong end of the stick.
If he was distracted by fans leaving he’s no business being a manager. If anyone’s focus needs to be on the game it’s his, not a few fans who want to be somewhere else.
I really think you have a rose tinted view of life at Anfield. And frankly, I have to do a job 5 days a week to survive. I go the match because I want to and largely I enjoy it. But it’s on my terms.
I don’t need another boss (or bosses) telling me how I should behave in ‘my’ time. So if I leave my seat a minute before the end of injury time to go the loo I refuse to beat myself up over it. Although no doubt you’ll do it for me.
Our next home league match is going to be toe-curling stuff. All the flags will be out, and YNWA will be sung that little bit louder than normal, a bit like Iain Duncan Smith’s “The quiet man is here to stay and he’s turning up the volume” warning.
There will be a raucous cheer, as the game gets under way. A ‘Do not go gentle into that good night’ cry of defiance, from middle-aged men who’ve spent the last 35 years claiming to be the first lad in town to wear Stan Smiths, Lois Jeans and a Peter Werth polo shirt to the match. It’s time we showed our German friend just how hard this city likes to party.
After the first few minutes, a familiar funereal hush will descend upon football’s great Mecca and the away fans will start taking the piss out of us again. The whole pantomime might at least encourage them to come up with a brand new song, which is something I suppose.
Klopp is the expectant Catherine Howard, lying ripe in the marriage-bed on her wedding night and awaiting the Great Henry. We are that famed monarch, lauded throughout Christendom for our fighting prowess and unparalleled virility. Soon our kingly robes will drop to the floor and he will see us naked – Stinking. Obese. Our wretched old body galled with sores.
This could be a long season.
Lot of self-centred shite in there Les…..well done.
Ooh! Fancy having a ‘self’ centred opinion! For future reference who would you suggest I ‘centre’ it on?
Maybe try to think about supporting the team when they need it rather than everything having to be on “your terms”.
How about not waiting until the team proves it can score in the last few minutes before you can (reluctantly) give them your support. Take the bull by the horns and give the support unconditionally.
The “me me me” attitude that comes across in your article and subsequent posts are fairly depressing tbh.
Hilarious mate. It’s my opinion. Where’s the me me me? I choose to go the match in my spare time. I have another life outside of it. Apologies for that.
Sounds like you’d rather I conform to how you see the world. That sounds more like ‘me me me’ from ‘you you you’.
Ah Les, you’ve posted a decent counter-argument in your article then spoilt yourself in the comments. You nugget.
First posting, I’ll have to utterly disagree with the OP, I am afraid to say: It is not only disrespectful towards the players, but really creates a negative psychological momentum, particularily a manager like Klopp feels.
Klopp was really gutted, maybe he just “bought into” something that doesn’t exist any longer, but he surely expected Anfield to be somewhat on par with the Westphalenstadion.
That said, I presume he is the driving force behind the idea of lowering ticket prices and bring a younger and or more enthusiastic crowd into Anfield. The place in its current state is a disgrace and a morgue and doesn’t really live up to its name. – Any Second Division club in Germany creates more volume than Anfield does. Hope EPL stadions get their standing ranks back, because this is also an issue.
Uber fan deliberately misinterpreted Klopp in order to grab the moral high ground and impose their self defined criteria of who is a fan and who isn’t on everybody else. Next there will be ethnic cleansing on the Kop for anyone not obeying orders to sing. Ignore these clowns, Les. It is a game of football and if any club knows it’s NOT more important than life or death,we do
“Any Second Division club in Germany creates more volume than Anfield does.”
Well, most probably do. It must be a culture shock for Klopp to be honest. His last employer had a stadium filled with 80.000 people every home game who sing ALL MATCH LONG. They really do. And now this. A stadium famed all over the world whose visitors don’t recreate anything such as the atmosphere it is famed for. My guess is that this is an attitude thing. Sections of our fans expect us to push for the title every year, to dismantle every opponent. Well, I surely would find that very exciting, but in reality much has changed since we last were the best team in the country. The expectancy is unrealistic.
I don’t think Klopp was gutted, particularly. He seems pretty smart and will know that poor atmosphere is a problem at most big European clubs.
When we played Chelsea, it wasn’t so much the result that was significant. Looking at Mourinho and Klopp standing together on the touchline, you couldn’t help feeling that a baton was being passed.
‘You’re not special anymore’ – the jaded Portuguese making way for the shiny new German.
Mourinho has always looked to take the pressure off players by making himself the story. Klopp’s approach seems to be different. He wants the fans themselves to feel under pressure. Divide and rule.
A high-risk strategy, but one that may work with fans that like to think of themselves as ‘special’.
Klopp may have looked hurt, when he spoke of feeling ‘alone’, but I think he just knows the right buttons to push. I hope that’s the case. I want a manager that is really smart, rather than one that wants to be loved.
Final bit from me on this. The point of the article was to state my belief that Anfield match goers are no different from any others.
The angst at early leavers, if it’s greater here than at other clubs, must have its roots somewhere. And my contention is that it stems from many wanting to live up to the self-proclaimed’best supporters in the world’ tag.
Which I don’t think we are.
Over and out!
Then what can we all individually do to become the “best supporters”?
Maybe staying and supporting the team when we go one down with 10 minutes to go wouldn’t be a bad start?
Just a thought like!
Another good start would be to not turn against a new manager on the day he signs, but to back him. The same goes for certain players. Unfortunately this is getting a habit. How about supporting the team and the manager, even if one thinks some of them are not good enough?
The best supporters in the world probably wouldn’t think “This manager is not good enough for us, because he has never won something”. Just ask yourself what one Bill Shankly had won before he became the manager of our club. Or what one Rafa Benítez had won before Valencia hired him (a few promotions and a few relegations). Or what on Jürgen Klopp had won before Dortmund took a chance.
@Les: If you compare it to the EPL you are right, if you compare it to supportes in general, I disagree.
The public transport and infrastructure around Anfield is really poor and I think this contributes to some people getting off early. This should have been sorted out years ago by the City Council, LFC and Everton. In the Rick Parry podcast he stated there’s a disused railway line between Anfield and the city centre which would really help both local supporters and those who travel from further afield.
What’s the leaving early situation going to be like next season when there’s another 8,500 supporters in the main stand?
A small number of people will have a genuine reason for leaving slightly early no doubt. However, those who get up moaning and muttering to leave because the opposition have had the temerity to take the lead on 82mins have the right to do so, but, do the rest of us a favour and don’t come back.
The atmosphere is bad yes, but there is always discussions on forums, podcasts and in other media on how we should improve the atmosphere. It drives me nuts that these discussions even happen. If your going the game and sitting in the kop you should be singing the whole game making noise supporting the team forget the other stands this should be the norm. If you don’t want to sing sit somewhere else. They really do need a sections in the kop with reduced ticket prices say £20so younger fans who want to get rowdy can sit together create atmosphere. We are such a normal club now because we the fans let it get this way.
The difference between leaving early for a good reason and leaving routinely for missing traffic or because you cant be arsed being there is massive. Whats the point in going at all? Plenty of other people would be glad of the seat.
Guy who sat next to me in 08/09 missed about 14 goals through turning up late/leaving early.
Have a word with yourself.
Thing is, there are plenty of other people who are lucky enough to be able to afford a ticket who will support the team for the whole game….and they do it on behalf of the millions of supporters all over the world who are not lucky enough to be able to get to the game.
Great article! Have often wondered if much was different or if nostalgia was tinting our view. We all support in our own way, as long as we support i suppose it shouldnt matter! YNWA
Maybe you will disregard this as I am writing from another country but I just can’t agree. I haven’t been a supporter near as long as you, however it kills me to see people leaving games early. I’ve only been to two matches but I make the pilgrimage to Anfield every time I can. I think I speak for a lot of fans from around the world when I say, you are lucky go to so many matches. You are lucky to get to see the team we all love so much so often. We would do anything to be able to attend more matches. For us, when you walk away early you are just throwing away a potential experience that we value so much. Not to mention you are turning your backs on the team and we would do anything to take your place in support.
If, towards the end of the match, the thoughts of Liverpool supporters are turning towards other parts of their lives enough for them to leave only a few minutes early, then this is not the club that I found in 2008. I don’t recognize that mentality and I won’t accept it.
not arsed about peoples bladder control being used as an answer for leaving a few mins early, you’re not the problem. more concerned with the ones that left after the goal because they’re not really arsed. klopp obviously think yers are rubbish fans as do loads of others in the ground and who watch it on the telly. so early into his reign as well.
If you have better things to do before the game ends, then I’m sure that you have better things to do for the whole of the game.
Nobody is saying we think we are intrinsically “The Best Supporters in the World”, or that we’re somehow better than fans of other clubs.
What many fans are thinking is that perhaps we could simply try to support the team a bit better than we are at the moment. To achieve this we need to have a conversation as fans, identify some common problems, and find common ground around potential solutions.
I don’t think it really helps anyone to highlight examples of us being poor fans in the past as a way of saying, “See, it’s always been that way – so why should we change it now.”
Let’s look forward – not back.
Klopp is staring the pot so to mix all the best ingredients throughout the dish, he knows exactly what the methods are to his madness.
In short time the Boss will clearly deal with the issues on the field which are proportional to the lack of said inspired support around the ground. I like most have been giving this deficiency plenty of thought as to its likeliest source of replenishment, and to me all roads lead to the need for more Collossus like players in the mould of Sakho. He is the latest Warrir like cult hero in a long line of suitors since the 70’s. When he is near to the ball we can feel and hear the anticipation in the ground. He is a CH for fuck sake! Yet since time evermore it has been the unlikeliest players, the piano carriers if you will, or more to the point the Warriors, who mostly have been the catalysts to provide that spark which ignites the crowd which in turn inspires the pianists to create their magic.
Us mere mortals love to be inspired by the Warrior footballers from Ron Y to Tommy S & Emlyn H, Jimmy C, Joey J, Graeme S, Steve McM, Stevie G, Louis S and Fernando T.
It’s only when I start listing the types who spring to mind that I realised the 3 most recent Warriors could also more than play a bit and who were indeed world class players for periods of their LFC career.
So to me the source to remedying the Clubs deficiencies are clear as daylight. We need more physical leaders who can inspire and rally the crowd which will in turn inspire the pianists. And if we can find any who can also play a it then that would be a huge bonus.
Les articulates the other side of the argument, and he deserves credit for it, and for engaging with the comments. He made me think even though I generally disagree. Thanks, mate.
I still think we’ve largely misunderstood Klopp, and don’t reckon he’d be too happy with the finger pointing going on off the back of his words.
He wants us to turn from doubters to believers, and one way we (the fans) can do that is by sticking around for the last 13 minutes willing the team on. Klopp’s comments, in my opinion, put more focus on the team than the fans, but either way, it was a clarion call for us to change our mindset.
Let’s get behind the men on the park by devoting 90mins to roar them on.
I find it quite bizarre that Les doesn`t quite grasp (or chooses to ignore) the concept that the crowd can affect the result of a game, obviously not as much as the players but it can be done. We cannot compete with Man City,Utd or Chelsea financially but we can create a uncomfortable atmosphere for the opposition.
Maybe every season ticket holder should have every 4th year off..give someone else a chance and then maybe Les could spend his Saturday in B&Q, doing some gardening or moaning at a dodgy stream. Maybe in the 5th year he`ll come back refreshed & enjoy the occasion a little more.. or maybe not.
I think that Klopps comments at the weekend have to be taken with the consideration of his experience at Dortmund in the German league. I have attended many games in Germany, although unfortunately never seeing Dortmund at home, and in all cases the atmosphere at the ground from start to finish has been fantastic. I have experienced the same good atmosphere at PL games, but I think that for consistency the Bundesleague is better. It is not only a function of larger crowds, although that clearly helps, but all the German home teams really engage with the fans both pre- and post-match and make a point of celebrating with the fans at the end of the game if they have won. Not just the team, but also the bench, staff and manager all share together with the crowd in a celebration at the end of the game. Not a token gesture, a few claps, but a joint singing and cheering and celebrating a home victory. Even if the home team doesn’t win the fans stay behind to support the effort and show the team they are behind them and the team stay on the field and show their appreciation for the support they have been given. I’ve witnessed this at a number of grounds in Germany – Hamburg, St. Pauli, Stuttgert, Eintract, Shalke and Bayern – so I think this is a consistent feature of German football. Compared to this Klopp must think Anfield is a morgue and the fans have zero commitment to the team. I’m surprised it has taken him so long to say something.
If the atmosphere in the ground is rubbish for the first 80 mins of a match why should it change for the last 10?
The supporters are now so used to the team playing poorly,dropping points against mid to lower table teams that there is a feeling of apprehension around the ground thus blunting the ability to be positive and to encourage.Good atmospheres tend to go with good teams and performances.
The more I think about this article the more I realise how important it is in this debate. Personally, I’m not gonna comment on the leaving early thing. I’m more interested in the atmosphere and the whole debate around it and some things Les says are a clue to the mindset of the Anfield fans.
I know a lot of people around Anfield on match days so feel a little qualified to say this. One of them is a very passionate fan, has been since we were in school. He sits on the Kop, level with the 6 yard box line on the main stand side, so very central. He meets his uncle, his grand dad and a couple of his cousins there every game. No one can question he’s a Liverpool fan. He’s just not into singing. It’s a social occasion for him. Believe me, the majority of fans I know at the ground are similar. No one can say they’re not good fans as a result of not singing. He’s been all over the world watching LFC. My mate is from Chester but all the family he meets there are from Liverpool.
So, the reason I tell this is simple. He’s got every right to be at Anfield. That’s not up for debate. Point being, if we look at the comments on here, our immediate impulse is take sides. We can’t. If we take this view nothing will ever change in the same way it’ll never change if we keep blaming non scousers for all the problems. Everyone has the right to watch the match as they want.
Once we get over all this blaming and finger pointing we’ll be ready to approach the club and say, look, there’s a lot of us who want to go to the game and sing. We want to wave flags. It’s good for the team, it’s good for the club and in your speak it’s good for the brand. We don’t want any changes in the other stands, we just want the Kop to be for people who share the same vision.
Maybe, the new stand is a good chance to offer some of these Kop season ticket holders the chance to move in there for the same price. You wouldn’t need an audition to get one of the Kop tickets. All you’d need is the knowledge that in Kop blocks x04, x05 and x06 the stewards will not under any circumstance enforce sitting down. The club could then facilitate fans wanting to swap, say Centenary for Kop and vice versa.
To conclude, we’re all different. We all have different ideas of how we want to watch the match. There’s no right or wrong. Whilst we continue this stupid squabbling about ‘types’ of fans then we’ll never get past the first hurdle because it makes the argument intangible. All we need to do is focus our energies on how we can make the Kop full of singing and flag waving fans. What can we do to facilitate that. Only the club can do it so this smokescreen of blaming fans means it rarely gets to their door with any vigour. Someone has to make some tough decisions.
It bothers me to no end when people leave early.. they make you stand up, shuffle past you and disturb your enjoyment of the game. I imagine the same people leave the theater early blocking people’s view of the stage.
I am torn on this Les mate I’ll be honest.
I commend you for writing it though fella….
I think it was the timing of the exodus more than anything else.
More than 10 minutes of the game left… (WE SCORED 3 IN 6 MINUTES IN ISTANBUL)
I think Klopp was right to start a debate about it.
But the idea that no Dortmund fan ever left the ground early when Klopp had them winning league titles is nonsense.
It was the “downing of tools” attitude of those fans who left early that irked Jurgen more than anything.
When you play a game of football it is logical to assume that at some point you might concede a goal.
As a fan you want to see a response, after a defeat and also after conceding a goal.
The fan’s reaction to the winning Palace goal says more about the legacy of Brendan Rodgers than anything else really.
We never really got back into a game after going behind under Brendan.
We did a couple of times but on the whole we rarely won a game after trailing.
That’s why the Chelsea game was probably blown out of proportion simply because we were all amazed at witnessing a comeback… It had been a while….
Great that it came at Stamford Bridge.
I don’t think Klopp is referring to those who leave when the added minutes go up at the end of the game.
He was most definitely referring to those who decided the game was over when we went behind in the 82nd minute.
They showed a defeatist attitude in my opinion.
Istanbul is part of our Folklore because we did not abandon the team even when 3 nil down in front of the watching world.
All the players still mention the noise at half time from our fans.
So to those fans who think that we as fans don’t really play a part in driving the team on then I would refer them all back to that famous night.
We picked the players off the floor by staying with them and we were rewarded with Ol Big ears.
I wonder what we will be rewarded with if we get behind this manager and his players and stay with them no matter what.
Make no mistake about it, Klopp will have us coming up that hill in no time.
Sorry for the essay…
I am trying to get a gig from TAW…..
I’ve had nowt so far… ha ha
Not even a memo…
Have a word Les:)
Yeah, I have a problem with leaving early for any game that’s a score away from drawing. It’s ridiculous and a huge pet peeve of mine which is only amplified by the idiotic commentators who blurt out “well, now up 2-1 with only a quarter-hour to play, that goal must be the winner”…. Really? 15 minutes left and these bellends don’t think it possible for an equaliser to occur? That whole mentality is not only daft but insulting to the club and the fans who can’t afford to be there. If you’re going to leave early, why bother going at all? Sorry, I’ve held in a piss for a lot longer than the 45 minutes. If you can’t. Stay home.
Sorry to say this but ‘WE’ have shot ourselves in the foot big style with our piss poor atmosphere with all the Norwegian and Irish sitting in and around you not singing and taking pictures an selfies !! I needs sorting out by limiting the tourist trips down an getting more “passion and grit” in
My sister runs a fair few bars in Liverpool and she told me on nights before matches, her bars are full of Irish and Scandinavians singing Liverpool songs. If they’re gonna go to that amount of effort to come I’d guess they want to have a good time. I’ve seen them at the match too. I think they always join in. I think you need to look closer to home.
The only thing I can say for sure on this is in Kop block 207 it’s mainly locals and none of them sing unless it’s a big occasion. Everton always goes down well.
I was in the Centenary the night we played Rubin (the night we were all supposed to show Klopp how passionate we were). It was all locals and they embarrassed us.
My season ticket costs me a fortune, I have to save hard to be able to afford it and I love going to the match. Why would I want to leave early, it would be a complete waste of the effort I’d put in to getting there in the first place? I think those who leave early without a pressing reason (getting to the gents early? F*cking hell!) are simply wasting something special.
Yet another endorsement for getting more young lads into the ground. £20 entry for the ‘iron bladder crew’.
My word, a normal Liverpool fan who doesn’t blindly believe they have the best fans in the world despite everything pointing towards that not being the case. Props, it’s a shame most peoples views of your fanbase are built around all the internet fans on places like RAWK, all the Liverpool fans i know from Liverpool are pretty normal and sound. It’s the ones on the internet who never go the game and act like they are ‘super fans’ that have given your fanbase a bad rep.
But it’s not the internet based fans who are leaving the ground early, which is what the debate is about. The problem surrounding the broader internet fan base is another discussion altogether, and while there’s much to criticise about that particular tumour of support, it doesn’t help to deflect attention away from the issue at hand. The article is suggesting that fans who attend games have a right to leave early, which they do of course, it’s not like there’s some sort of pseudo-fascist regime in place at Anfield. However, I think what irks a lot of fans is why would you want to leave early when often the last ten minutes of a game is when the team needs supporting the most. That and the fact there are a number of people priced out of going who would cut off their left bollock to cheer the team on for 90+ minutes.
The role of the player is to play for the people, the role of the people is to support the player. Too many people seem to forget this simple truth. Leaving early does not represent good support. If eleven men in red give up after 80 minutes then by all means relinquish your support, but so long as there’s hope, even if it’s just one man in red giving his all, it is your duty to support him through it. If you can’t or wont do this, then it’s time for you to move aside for someone who will.