In the last couple of years I reckon there has been three main mass collective “Oh for fucks sakes” emitted within the Liverpool region and across like-minded households throughout the country, the very nature of which have caused untold damage on the other side of the world. Think butterfly effect, 28 days later, Armageddon-type natural disasters caused by a sharp intake of Scouse breath and the disbelieving utterance of them four words.
The first occurrence was on the 7th May 2015, at about 10pm when the exit poll of the General Election announced a Conservative majority to the sound of that Big Ben bellend’s chimes and all sane, rationale people across the country put their head in their hands, threw their glass at the wall, poured a massive slug of Gin into their mouth and growled “Oh for fucks sake” whilst wondering how so many people could actually, literally go out and vote for such bad horrible right wing Tories.
The second time was during the early hours of Friday 24th June 2016, when it was announced that the people of the United Kingdom had decided in their wisdom to leave the EU, and all sane, rationale people across the country put their head in their hands, picked a glass up before throwing it at the wall, poured an even bigger slug of gin in their mouths and cried “Oh for fucks sake” before adding “are they fucking messing?!” and wandering round for the rest of the day asking anyone who would listen how so many people could literally go out and vote for even worse, horrible right wing tories, one of which drinks out of a glass like an Orangutan trying to whistle and the other main protagonist a blonde Orangutan catapulted into a suit.
The third “Oh for fucks sake” happened on Saturday morning. It spread through Twitter like wildfire – “Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius is out for 2 months with a broken hand”.
“Oh for fucks sake, indeed”.
It felt bigger than the other two examples. Initially, it felt bigger. Worse. Just as we thought we were on the march here he was, Big Si The Mig to wreck our fun, lash the ball in his own net whilst saying less than nothing on the pitch, wearing a bungee cord fixed to the back of the Annie Road, and giving a chipper, top of the morning interview to anyone who would listen about moving on to the next target, re-focussing and the importance of putting the past behind us.
Oh for fucks sake Si, will you give it a rest lad.
It’s funny isn’t it. We have had much worse goalkeepers than Big Si who were thought of much more favourably during their careers, despite loads of evidence to the contrary. Sander Westerveld was fucking awful, blamed mad shit like there being ice on the ball as to why he let goals in and, although we got a bit pissed off with him towards the end, he got off lightly in comparison to Mingo. Chris Kirkland couldn’t save anything next to his legs to such an extent that it was like some form of finishing move diddle on a goalkeeping version of Mortal Kombat:
“Finish It” (kick it by his legs) yet I don’t remember him getting slaughtered to the extent that Big Si does.
Even Pepe Reina, when he went dead fat, swapped his real hands with a ghost for a bit and misplaced his near post by about four foot, was praised never mind criticised.
What is it about Big Si that leaves most Liverpool fans in despair at him having to play instead of a goalie we know nothing about, who has looked decent without really being tested in four pre-season games?
Has it got something to do with his character? Is it something to do with his lack of personality or his apparent shithouseness?
I think for me I struggle with him mainly because of my own past experiences playing in front of a quiet, non-decisive, mute of a goalkeeper. There is nothing worse as a defensive unit than not knowing whether your keeper is going to come for a ball, or get off his line to help you out. Under pressure with a greased lightning forward up your arse you want nothing more than your ‘keeper screaming at you that it is going to be alright or even just telling you what to do. I think it is relatively fair to say that Big Si has struggled with this side of his game so far during his time at Liverpool and you can see the impact it has at times across the back line.
I think he also struggles because of his lack of personality. Pepe Reina was loved because he was a bit mad, was hard, would scream at his teammates, looked cool, liked a bevy and a ciggy and was always made up to leg it outside his box, have a touch, beat a man, and knock a fifty yarder straight to someone’s toes. He is the kind of fella you would love to have a pint with, and frankly he would probably buy the ale just to stop you from going home. Big Si seems to be the polar opposite. Quiet on the pitch, non-descript off it, overly polite, somewhat timid, unable to kick it over the half way line and almost certainly the first to get off on a night out as he’s driving, needs to get home and The Chase is on in half an hour.
I shared a lift with Big Si in the team hotel on the morning of the Man United home league game this season. He was dressed in his Liverpool trackie and on his way to a 10am team meeting and I was dressed in my best Rig out, ready to get on the ale, on my way down for brekkie whilst still absolutely bladdered from the night before. Granted I might have looked a bit like a lunatic but Big Si’s attitude towards our conversation only served to cement my opinion of him.
Me: “Alright Si – Big game today lad”
Si: “Yes” *looks at the floor*
Me: *grabs Si by the arm* “fucking get into these today Si, no fucking messing about”
Si: *slight smile, puts his hand in his pocket, gets his phone out, pretends to text his mate or possibly texts his close protection*
Lift: “Bing – ground floor”
So what of this season; Are we all being a bit unfair? The first point to note is that there is no real indication that he wasn’t going to be first choice anyway. Alright, Karius had started every game, looked good, had a starting position outside his box which seemed to allow his defenders to play much higher up the pitch, screamed at his teammates and has boss hair but we don’t actually know what the manager was going to do. Either way, Kloppo must see something in him, he has just given him a five year contract for frigs sake. Is it time for us to give him a break too? Maybe he has been working on his attitude, maybe he is an absolute hard case and just hasn’t had the opportunity to show it. Either way Klopp is happy with him so maybe we should be too?
I’m not sure whether I have mentioned him before or not but in the row in front of me about 5 or 6 seats to the left is the greatest Liverpool fan in the ground. I mean, I fancy myself as a pretty good fan — I try not to slag the players in the ground (I save it to put it down on paper to be documented through the annals of time) — but this guy is unbelievable. I had a bit of an argument with him about Big Si last year when he let one in at his near post and what struck me was his steadfast belief that he was a good keeper. Maybe he is, I don’t know. What I do know is that we need to take a lead from the super-fan, get behind him, try and give him some confidence so he either goes on to be the best keeper in the league or at least doesn’t end our season within the first ten games.
Lets go big Si, big game today. Fucking get into these, yeah? No fucking messing about.
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