IT’S a question we can never truly know the answer to. One we can theorise and ponder over without truly nailing a definitive. What comes first, the passion or the performance?
After fearing the trademarked famous European Anfield nights had been lost forever, we have had some long overdue reminders of what the new version of the old ground can still produce this season. Laugh at us, mock at us, say our days are numbered, but when Lady Luck did us a favour and paired us with Manchester United it was the kick up the collective arse we needed. How could you not be up for that one? How could you, with every inch of your body and soul, not want the Reds to knock them out? And that was what happened. Everyone was on the same page. The passion in the stands was matched by performance on the pitch. We won, on and off the field. A big two fingers offered their way. Just the way we like it.
When The Kop finds its voice like that, when it puts on a display like that, are we really to believe it has no effect on the players and officials performing below? Among the many cliched retorts of footballers, is the line that they ‘block it all out’. They ‘just get on with their job’.
Yet home advantage remains just that. And it’s got to increase by a huge degree when it’s home advantage that pierces your eardrums. If it’s your fans making the din, that’s when it must feel like you are at a club in the truest sense of the word.
And does it effect the visiting side? Of course it does. A picture of Manchester United players furtively glancing at The Kop before kick off was captured and suggested as much. If your every touch is booed, and the opposition’s cheered, how does that not sow doubt in your mind and how does it not put a spring in the step of your opposite number? How does it not put into all of their minds the famous victories that have been achieved in L4? On this very pitch? Plenty are reductive about it all. Yet it happens. And it happens at Anfield.
More, that we did it, and did it so well, against Manchester United made us, the fans, and them, the players, believe we could do it again. Always banging on about the past us, aren’t we? It’s like any other ground these days. Well this was now. All the moans about the make up of the crowd were put aside. It’s still there. We’ve still got it in our armour. And while the draw again did us a favour by conjuring up a date with Dortmund, we all, fans and players, raised our game again for what now must feature among the very best of Anfield all time.
We needed that. It had been too long.
Video from inside the team bus taken by Alberto Moreno. We willed that to happen tonight the Reds, willed it. #LFC pic.twitter.com/Qp36c10CTO
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) April 14, 2016
A constant tide of snide is aimed Liverpool’s way from fans of other clubs. Those that shouldn’t matter. But hear something enough times and it’s hard not to wonder. Apparently we’re deluded, dewy-eyed romantics who live in the past, pretending our club is great when it’s just like any other. It’s not special, they say. It’s just another club. Well sorry, lads. I’m in the Liverpool bubble, but I’m not seeing any other club’s fans turning it on like we did for Dortmund before, during and after. That was special. That was different. And that’s why we bang on as we do.
So back to the opening question. The passion and the performance. It feels this time that events have conspired against Liverpool. The fist-pumping, chest-pounding, head-exploding high of a comeback win against the best side in the competition seems long ago. Since then, Liverpool have plodded in the league, Mamadou Sakho has been banned, Divock Origi is out for the season, done by a donkey, and the mood has further been dulled by Leicester winning the league. 77 points. Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda.
Amid all that was something far more important. The momentous events of last week, the right Hillsborough verdict after 27 years of waiting, made football seem an irrelevance for many. Understandably so.
Just as it seems that the best moments on the pitch are a coming together of the holy trinity, perhaps that mood filtered through the club to the players on the pitch. Despite the pedestals players, managers and football staff are placed on, they are, after all, only human. The magnitude of the verdict will have been recognised and felt.
Many fans didn’t much feel much like a game when Villarreal away arrived, perhaps it dripped into the players’ minds, too.
Whatever the reason, Liverpool lost last week. The Swansea game and the poor performance that followed on Sunday were perhaps understandable, especially given the team selection. A white flag was waved and the game only served to reinforce what we already knew about some players around the squad’s periphery.
But on Thursday we need to realign the sights. To do what we do. We want a performance, can we bring the passion? The opposition may not stir the soul quite like the previous two rounds but this is a European semi-final. The last four of a major competition. A chance of a trophy, and a beautiful one at that, and the opportunity to stretch an honours list the envy of clubs worldwide a bit more.
An early start at Anfield Road is again the word. The King Harry. Six bells. Bring your singing. A Hillsborough mosaic is also planned for The Kop. Villarreal have been all nice and friendly and displayed their own tribute to the 96 fans that died. Thanks. But we need to shout and snarl again come kick off. We can get in their heads. They’ve blown it in semi finals before and today, on the anniversary of the Chelsea semi in 2005, we should know all too well how we can play a part on nights like these.
Remember Dortmund’s panicked huddle? How, without being urged or prompted, we kept on coming back with more even when it looked like we were out? Another song. Another roar. Another attempt to raise them, to back them, to make them feel like they’re special .That’s the spirit. That’s the passion. And as far as I can see, that’s what gets you a performance.
Make us dream, was the now famous banner, emphasising that players, managers, and the even the club in terms of its general direction, can get us in the right place to bring atmosphere A-game.
But we can make players and managers believe. Our passion, our noise, is infectious. A scientific study may not say so. A cliched quote may deny it’s the case. But come on.
It’s a large part of why Jürgen Klopp took this job; he picked us as much as we picked him. Because all that energy, that unwavering, relentless pursuit of a goal, even in the face of adversity. That’s what we’re about. That’s ingrained in the identity of the club and the city. That’s Liverpool.
Thursday then. Forget Leicester. Forget Mancs peddling shit jokes about sperm and whatever else distracts from the job in hand. The world revolves around Liverpool for us. As it should. Let’s do another famous European night and talk about the rest later. Bring the passion and bank on the performance. Be a believer not a doubter. Pour the anger, the relief, the upset and emotion into another Anfield atmosphere to be proud of.
See you at The Harry.
MC5 were a great band – kick out the jams m*****f******
Right on mofo!
Manc sperm jokes? No idea what the score is there. Must have missed something.
Truly hilarious BANTZ about Peter Schmeichel, Kasper, Liverpool, titles etc….
Whenever Mancs shoehorn Schmeichel into a joke just remember how Robbie left him on his arse and remind them that Schmeichel signed for City.
Is right mate. If I was able to exert influence among Liverpool fans I’d be right on it for Thursday. Well done. I hope those brilliant Spion Kop kids are on it too.
Just on the atmosphere, we’ve all debated it in the past until there was no point left to make. I feel we all missed one key point though, in hindsight. Atmosphere isn’t just about singing / flags etc it’s about actually more about people being involved. Whether it’s shouting, clapping a pass, that ‘go on’ roar as we attack or even that silent nervous anticipation, it doesn’t actually matter. It’s about the energy in the ground and the ground being alive. When you get that on all four sides there’s no better place. All it takes is for the fans to be up for it, nervous, excited and expectant. The singing follows as a result.
Surely, we can all be up for this one!! Come on Reds!!
Of course, the greatest European nights were Champions league nights, and our decline under our current owners sees us competing in the second class Europa League.
When we fell into the Europa under Benitez, no one was interested…”Play the kids” was often heard.
The top 4 teams around Europe still see it as a humiliation…..a second rate competition.
Qualifying for the Champions League via the back door, the Europa League,is cost effective. You get your hands on the 1.027 billion Euro pot from the group stages onwards, with a team that didn’t have the quality to compete in the domestic league, playing other lower quality, cheaper European sides.
We wont be competing for Champions League honours or League Honours anytime soon, as it isnt profitable.
Hence us competing for Champions league qualification and being 8th in the league.
The club is a corporate franchise whose purpose is to relentlessly pursue profit….FSG do not give a fuck about honours, tradition, The club, the supporters or this great City. Not one flying fuck.
Its always nice to win though….even if our days of top honours are well gone.
Firstly, success for LFC is what makes FSG more profit whether we’re interested in that or not.
Secondly, who gives a fuck about the owners? The money’s there to improve the quality of the squad. We’ve finally got a manager who can attract players and knows how to win.
Just enjoy it mate. Why worry about corporate issues. It’s all about the team, the manager and the fans. The team is on the rise. We just need a bit more quality and we’ll get it in the summer. Fans of other clubs don’t spend as much time scrutinising the corporate side of things. Why do we? These are hardly the days of H&G.
The bottom line we’ve wasted the money we have had. £32m for Benteke, £25m for Lallana, £20m for Markovic. The list goes on. Had we bought better we’d be doing better. We’ve got a new manager who many of us feel will bring in more quality. Then we won’t finish 8th. Nothing to moan about at present. We’ve got a second leg of a Europa semi coming up. That’s all we need to worry about.
True we need to worry a about the Europa as we looked like s cheap school boy side against Swansea.
But it’s only the Europa mate.
And judging by the response to the ticket prices, plenty of people give a fuck about our fucking owners.
Crumbs mate, they throw ’em, you lap ’em up.
Different team against Swansea as you well know. If we looked liked a cheap school boy side it’s probably because it was.
The simple point you’re missing from their business point of view is the more successful Liverpool are on the pitch the more profit they’ll make when they sell.
Most fans are excited having Klopp as manager. He’ll buy the players. The reason we’re finishing 8th is down to poor transfers and not buying a decent striker in the last 2 seasons. FSG are not exempt from blame in that but ultimately it’s down to the transfer committee including Rodgers.
Regarding the ticket prices, we’re lucky we have SOS and Spion Kop 1906. They step in when needed. They don’t just hate every aspect of the club and look at everything in a negative point of view. The only people who do that are the ones who naturally have negative personalities.
Anyway, each to their own. I’m buzzing about tomorrow. I literally can’t wait. It’s doing my head that’s there’s still 23 hours till kick off. Nothing pleases me more than Liverpool winning stuff. I wish all Liverpool fans were sharing in my excitement but if they’re not I’m not gonna lose sleep over it. It’s one of them.
Crap! Wise up! Demise under owners. Open your eyes you fool!
Demise. Yes. Compare the league finishes and trophies under G&H and do the same under FSG.
You obviously need to look the meaning of the word “Demise”.
In a Dictionary.
If you can’t intelligently counter an opinion, and can only insult, don’t reply to the comment.
You prick. Away fan by any chance?
As a regular match goer in the 70’s I don’t remember thinking the UEFA cup was second rate. Our first Euopen trophy if memory serves. You should just enjoy it mate I can only sit and watch 10000 Kim’s away.
At Mushroomscouser, you are so negative you would piss on a christening. It is sad in a way that for you the glass is perpetually half empty, constantly espousing a view that is forever bleak. The point of the article is to encourage fan spirit and participation, to get behind the team, support their best efforts, eke out even better performances on the night. Fans like you, are not needed, not wanted, not welcome, are not even fans. Just stay away on Thursday, just stay the fuck away!
Hes a manc
Actually as scoouser, born bred red and living in town.
You fucking beaut.
You’ll be saying the Europa is better than the CL next and anyone who doesn’t agree is a manc.
Support your local side, Oxshott AFC or what ever one stick town you come from.
See you there Robbo! Absolutely buzzing for tomorrow night! Can i close my eyes now and it’s 5pm tomorrow evening and i’m on my way to Anfield?
Clapping at coaches means you’re very special and wonderful?If we don’t win does it become a bad idea?
I’m from Aintree and have supported LFC for a greater number of years than you’ve apparently got in your IQ. You may be a scouser but your posts are usually anti Liverpool fc. Toffees’ troll?
Great. You are from Aintree and a fucking sheep. Who the fuck are you to say who is or isn’t welcome and who the fuck are you to call anyone a troll because they post something you don’t approve of?
If you can actually counter any of my Original comment, please do so.
I knew a lad from Roosevelt Drive in Aintree. He was fucking idiot too.
The match is tomorrow, if you think anything written here will affect the he performance or the atmosphere, I apologise, for you are evidently thick as shit.
Again, can we jib all this? It shouldn’t be too hard to have a conversation in the comments section without it descending into all this bollocks.
Just sad that
If you mean me I’m from Old Swan. It’s probably why you’re a fanny and I’m not.Dont let me stop you from thinking you’re great though.Mainstand season ticket holder BTW. Doesn’t mean we all think the same though.
If I was wrong and the post wasn’t aimed at me about being a blue troll etc. apologies on having a go.
Not you. Not a problem.
King Harry. Do It for the red men. Nearly lost my daughter in the King Harry at the Dortmund game. This is it. Our season, next season, smash it for the reds.