Ben-Johnson-Ident-69--1024x301FRAUD: A person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities. Synonyms: Imposter, fake, pretender, hoodwinker, masquerade, charlatan.

After watching Celtic bladder Rangers 5-1 on Saturday I made the naïve mistake of losing 10 minutes of my life reading the replies to this perfectly reasonable tweet below. Do not, I repeat, do not do it now. It is a portal into another world; Another mad, weird world, where experts in stained t-shirts and two-day-old undies know more about football than anyone else, and anyone purporting a modicum of sense is quickly found, ridiculed and tweeted into submission, left devoid of hope for the future of mankind and wondering how someone transformed a conversation about Brendan Rodgers into Brexit meaning Brexit.

The general themes of the response for anyone who took my advice and didn’t read the replies was that anyone could win the league with Celtic and that Liverpool didn’t win the league because of his mistakes in 2013-14. Both teams could manage themselves apparently, leaving the role of manager wide open for any old chance-taking bluff merchant to waltz in and get a free ride.

Now, I’m not overly familiar with the recruitment processes going on behind the scenes at major football clubs these days but the lack of a vetting process sounds a little remiss to me. I mean, imagine the scene in the interview room when the club’s owners, chief executive and head of HR welcomes you in, gets the initial formalities out of the way, offers you a drink and then asks you about your previous experience.

Tales of the time your Sunday League manager slept in so you made yourself joint player captain manager and plotted a course for a hard-fought 2-2 draw away at Dead Dog Rovers would whet their appetite a bit. By the time you have finished explaining in detail your patented tactical masterplan, downloaded from a Champ Manager blog that won you the World Cup with MK Dons, they will have been asking you about potential start dates, salary expectations and talking about transfer market plans.

“Well, Mr Henry, I have to give four weeks’ notice to Carphone Warehouse so I will probably miss the pre-season tour of Asia, but if anything comes up you will be able to get me on my dinner hour.”

The idea that some management jobs in football are so easy that anyone could do them is, frankly, ridiculous. Have any of the people who suggest it is ever tried to put on a coaching session, even for kids? This thing is a profession. The time, money, energy and work required to be able to even get a job managing at semi-pro level is incredible, never mind going higher than that. You could manage Celtic, could you? Go on then. What are you doing on your first day when you walk into their training ground to convince the 20-odd professional footballers standing in front of you that they should even bother listening to you never mind respecting you?

Celtic manager Brendon Rodgers

Say what you want about Brendan Rodgers but he took over at Liverpool after the club sacked its greatest ever player and he managed to convince a squad of players, including Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Luis Suarez, that he was the right man for the job. He was able to garner their respect. How? I’m guessing that great communication skills and innovative, enjoyable training sessions went a long way in helping.

Fraud though, eh? Anyone can chat shit and lash a few cones out, right?

The title challenge in 2013-2014 was nothing to do with Rodgers either, was it? In fact, his tactics cost us the league that year, didn’t they?

Well, any team with Suarez, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Gerrard in that form should win the league, shouldn’t they?

Never mind that at full back for large chunks of the season we had Aly Cissokho, who last time I checked couldn’t get a game for Aston Villa, and Flanno, who while brilliant that year hasn’t played since.

Our only attacking option from the bench was Victor Moses, who was on loan and shite, and Iago Aspas — let’s leave that one there, eh?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 1, 2013: Liverpool's Iago Aspas in action against Manchester United during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Rodgers, clearly, created a team able to get the best out of its best players. He took us closer to the league title than any other manager since we last won it. To give him no credit for that is crazy. To say his tactics cost us the league title is, well, pretty fucking demented to be honest.

Did he have flaws as a manager while at Liverpool? Absolutely. Did he deserve to get sacked when he did? Absolutely.

He planned his whole transfer strategy and style of play around a centre forward seemingly not suited to the players around him, trained the team to play a very specific way in pre-season to play to the forward’s strengths, and as soon as we were in a bit of trouble against West Ham abandoned the strategy for more of the same from the year before.

As soon as he second guessed himself I thought he should go. That and the small matter of Klopp being available meant for me the decision was absolutely right. Do the mistakes he made at Liverpool make him a bad manager for ever more? Do they fuck.

You call him a fraud — history probably calls you a bellend.

Has Jürgen Klopp made mistakes at Liverpool? Ask him yourself and he will probably tell you that he has. Does that make him a bad manager? Does it fuck.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 5, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp reacts during the FA Premier League match against AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The wider issue here though is that people think this thing is easy. Sit in the upper Main Stand at Anfield and get on to the number of people moaning when a pass that can be spotted from 200ft above the pitch isn’t made by the fella on it. He probably didn’t pass it because he probably didn’t see it because he isn’t fucking Robocop, and if he did see it he probably chose not to for any number of reasons ranging from he was off balance, had a man on, the team was exposed to a counter attack if he lost it, he’s not Xabi Alonso and so on.

This game isn’t FIFA. You can’t have your back to play, receive the ball and switch it 40 yards by pressing the X button. It’s not that easy. If you think it is, do yourself a favour and sit on the front row and watch how easy the players make everything look when they are playing at 100 miles an hour. Playing football at that standard is light years away from anything most ordinary fans could ever dream of doing.

“I could have scored that.”

Could you, mate? Sound.

You must have some hidden skills then, given that it looks like it would be a challenge to scratch the bottom of your own foot never mind get changed into the kit. If by some quirk of fate you managed to get on to the pitch there would be a re-interpretation of Operation Anfield Exercise whereby you exercised for the first time since PE and had to have a life-saving operation on the pitch, you big fat pudding.

Who’s more fraudulent? Brendan Rodgers for working in football all his life or you for making unrealistic, nonsensical claims about your own football ability? Do everyone a favour, gang — grow up. Get outside, breath some fresh air, change your t-shirt, eat some fruit and vegetables and show some fucking respect.

Let’s batter these Elton John pricks tonight. They are shite! I could fucking beat these on my own…

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