ROLL UP, ROLL UP FOR THE BIGGEST BATTLE IN TOWN!
DEJAN LOVREN v MAMADOU SAKHO
DIVOCK ORIGI v DANIEL STURRIDGE
JORDAN HENDERSON v EMRE CAN
JOE ALLEN v JAMES MILNER
BRENDAN RODGERS v JÜRGEN KLOPP!!
Have you done battle on Twitter yet? It’s great. You’re not a REAL Liverpool fan if you can’t choose between a series of arbitrary decisions presented to you by someone else. Then, even if you CAN decide and explain why you think what you think there’s a strong likelihood they’ll call you a cunt.
Winning on Twitter is almost as good as watching Liverpool win in real life. Almost.
There were seriously some people in the aftermath of Thursday night who would have been secretly fuming that Sakho and Lovren got the goals that drew us level and won us the match. They’d have tweeted something like, “He got the goal but what was he doing for their second?!”
It’s a weird phenomenon that’s doing the rounds at the moment — the notion that you should choose one player over the other.
Given the imminent arrival of Joel Matip and the blessed bombing out of Martin Skrtel, some Liverpool fans seems desperate to make a point that either Lovren or Sakho is the better player and should partner the incoming Cameroonian centre back next season.
When it was announced by the club that Jordan Henderson would almost certainly miss the rest of the season with his knee injury, some Reds fans announced on Twitter that they were glad he’d be out. They suggested that Emre Can could become a midfield dynamo in his absence, as if the captain had somehow been holding the German back.
Then we get to the continuing debate surrounding Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge. When the former was chosen to lead the line for the first leg in Dortmund the immediate reaction from the press and some supporters alike was to suggest that Sturridge had been DROPPED. I sent a tweet suggesting that actually it was merely a case of Origi being selected for tactical reasons and was immediately lambasted from numerous quarters.
One person told me Klopp would never be picking Origi had Sturridge been knocking in hat-tricks every match and that his ‘poor performances’ of late were the reason that Origi had started, hence Sturridge definitely was ‘dropped’. \
When I replied saying I didn’t agree but that it was ‘ok to disagree about something’, he said I ‘couldn’t answer a simple question’ and then called me a silly cunt. I’m not sure what the question was I was supposed to answer and don’t always love being called a silly cunt, so I blocked him.
Moments later I had a mate of his tweeting me — neither of these people follow me, by the way — saying I was a twat for blocking the original bloke and that it was pathetic that I just ‘ran away’ rather than trying to answer the question.
To this day I’m still not sure what that question was. For my money Jürgen Klopp believed that Origi would run more and offer more of a physical challenge to Dortmund’s defence than Sturridge and even if the England striker had been fully fit and firing he’d still have favoured the work rate of the Belgian.
I said all of that to my new friend but he wasn’t having any of it and called me a twat, so I blocked him too. Admittedly I didn’t help myself when Origi scored and I searched out the original fella to ask ‘who’s the silly cunt now?’, but I was excited and felt Klopp’s decision had been vindicated and we all act badly sometimes. In fact I’m regularly being told that I act badly, but that’s a different story.
The point is, of course, why is that people feel the need to ‘win’? And why do people find it so difficult to agree to disagree? Surely right now we can all admit that losing Emre Can and Jordan Henderson at the same time means we’re going to suffer in the middle of the park? That it’s great for us to have options in attack considering the paucity of choices we had earlier in the season?
It’s also remarkable that some Reds are still keen on having a pop at Brendan Rodgers about six months after he was sacked. Tweets about his misuse of players now that Klopp’s getting the best out of the likes of Lovren are common, even though those same people would have been calling Lovren every name under the sun at the start of the season.
Things didn’t work out for Rodgers and I for one am sorry about that. His sacking means that Liverpool didn’t win stuff and I’m all about Liverpool winning stuff.
I’m made up that Klopp’s come in and I genuinely believe we’re going to win a lot more than we lose with the German, but that doesn’t mean I have to use his performances as a stick to beat the previous manager with. 2013-2014 was the best prolonged period of time as a Liverpool supporter that I’ve enjoyed in my adult life. For that I’ll always be grateful to the Northern Irishman.
Thursday night was, without question, the single greatest experience I personally have had at Anfield. From the comeback through to the performance and the atmosphere, it was amazing. I, like many of you, have spent the last couple of days nursing a hangover and watching the highlights of the game on repeat.
Still there’s some Reds that want criticise us for doing that. ‘We haven’t won anything yet!’, is the common cry. There were more than a few people having a pop at the notion of heading to the ground early to welcome in the team bus. Doubtless they’ve since retweeted Albie Moreno’s video of the crowd from inside the bus and referred to us as ‘the best fans in the world’.
Imagine being a Liverpool fan and not wanting to soak up every single moment of Thursday night. Imagine sneering at fellow fans who appreciate just what that comeback means, even if we don’t go on to win the competition. That’s the sort of thing you expect from Bluenoses and Mancs, not Liverpool supporters.
Nights like Thursday are why you put in the hard yards. That experience is up there alongside anything I’ve experienced in any walk of life, not just football. If you’re the sort of person that wants to belittle that or suggest that fans shouldn’t enjoy moments like those then why do you even bother?
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) April 14, 2016
I’ll be gutted if Liverpool don’t go on and win the UEFA Cup after that comeback, but during the game and in the aftermath of the result I had a bloody brilliant time. It was a genuine joy to be in the room recording The Pink after the match, watching John Gibbons strip down to his boxers because what he doesn’t know about football isn’t worth knowing. They’re the moments I’ll remember.
If Dejan Lovren partners Joel Matip on a regular basis next season there’ll be loads of people saying ‘I told you so’ and loads of others refusing to acknowledge his good play and picking up his every flaw to suggest Sakho should be playing instead. They’ll retweet things said by journalists or TAW contributors to make them look foolish, as if anyone other than them really gives a shit.
At the risk of sounding like someone with a ‘Make Peace Not War’ bumper sticker, can’t we all just get along? Can’t we acknowledge that it doesn’t really matter which player ‘wins’ as long as Liverpool Football Club wins the most?
Jürgen Klopp has picked the right team for Liverpool more often than he’s picked the wrong one and sometimes it may not even have been the wrong team so much as it was the other side getting more things right than we have. Next time you see the starting XI maybe don’t slag our own players off and just wait to see how the game pans out?
Football isn’t about being ‘right’. It’s about winning. And as we all know by now, When The Reds Win, We All Win.