THE least arsed I ever am about Liverpool is when they are shite.
I honestly don’t care, I can detach myself from it, it just doesn’t hurt. I still pay my money, I still go, I still enjoy the wins but the horrible slog of watching a team on a downward spiral with very little to go on, it just doesn’t hurt me, I’m desensitised to it.
Beaten by Blackpool? Fuck it, shrug of shoulders, get the ale in.
Concede a late goal to the reigning champions after being so close to recording a statement result? Murderous rage.
This Liverpool side has it within itself to wipe the floor with any side in Europe, to instil panic into any back four. When they are on it The Reds must be an absolute nightmare for opposition coaches.
But it is a Liverpool side that harbours a nagging doubt, a sense of the fear of the inevitable, what can go wrong invariably will.
And it is this fear, and confirmation of it being played out time and time again which fuels the anger, because this Liverpool side at times is its own worst enemy to the extent where it often feels like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Of course, Liverpool have been unlucky at times, but they put themselves in a position to be unlucky with an almost masochistic desire.
The crowd know it too, there is a sense that The Reds are one statement result away from casting off the self doubt and that is why when they have that result in their hands only to see it slip away it provokes the strongest reaction from supporters.
This Liverpool side is so close to catching fire but constantly finds its parade pissed on, it’s potential so great, but it needs to be realised.
The amount of times you wish this side would prove you wrong, for it to fuck you off and make a mockery of your nerves, only for them to follow the script.
Liverpool are so close to being fucking boss, to being one of the top teams on the continent, it only makes the frustration when they let themselves down more acute.
And it is that reaction that can be often misinterpreted.
You also have the unique Liverpool cult of manager syndrome to contend with.
Such is the desire to deify Jürgen Klopp, as we did Rafa Benitez and Gerard Houllier before him, any perceived slight, intended or not, is rigorously and hysterically attacked by some as heresy.
The Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe wrote earlier in the week: “Klopp was 30 seconds in Seville and four minutes here [against Chelsea] from one of his most satisfying weeks in charge,” and he couldn’t be more right, but rather than use this as a reason to not criticise or get upset about Liverpool, it’s the exact opposite.
Ironically, if this anger and frustration can be channelled in the right way it can be a massive positive, we just need to be a little more streetwise on and off the pitch, throw it at the opposition, the referee, anything, energy whether positive or negative needs an outlet so why not use it?
What’s also true is that we’re — especially supporters of a certain age and demographic — haunted by the past. We’ve been here before, our hopes raised to such a height only for the wheels to come off.
This is neither the fault of Klopp or Brendan Rodgers before him, and both have referenced the weight of expectation that representing Liverpool puts on both players and managers, but, fair or not, that is the reality that comes with the title of being Liverpool manager.
The Liverpool match-going crowd is made up of several groups. One of those is the over 40s who’ve seen it all. Another is the 30-40s who were old enough to remember the last league win but never had a chance to enjoy properly.
I am among this group, I was nine years old the last time Liverpool did the thing that we all want them to do and since then I’ve seen Liverpool come close time and time again only for them to fail and it all turn to dust.
I want to be a believer, I want to have that blind faith that everything will be sound, but I’ve seen this before and I also know through bitter experience how it ends.
Now that obviously isn’t the truth, we can and hopefully will finally banish that particular giant monkey off our backs.
And once we have done it, we’ll repeat the trick over and again, but we’ve been carrying that weight for far too long a time and the scars from seeing the glory only to have it snatched away time and time again run deep.
So if you think the reaction to recent results from people has been over the top or out of proportion, maybe take in the context of what’s gone before.
We want it more than you could possibly imagine, we’ve been so close we’ve allowed ourselves to have a dream that has so often become a nightmare.
We can see what this Liverpool can become, but we’ve been here before.
If we hadn’t seen such riches, we could live with being poor.
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Spot on. Absolutely. Nailed it.
Agree with your reasoning over why there is growing frustration caused by our could have beens, the latest stats on us being the worst of the top six on scoring/conceding in the last 20 minutes plus the amount of times we have been first ahead and then drawing or losing confirms there is a problem and it is I believe related to in game management.
I am a huge fan of Jurgen and how he leads our club on and off the pitch but if as he always says,’ the players can improve’ well so must he, it appears to me we have always a well prepared tactical plan at the start of the game but our in game management responses to opposition changes and our late substitutions and players involved are often just rotation..
As I walked the dog today still hurting over saturday and the substitutions fiasco with Lallana, I got to thinking of Mourinio and his dubious tactics for closing games out but then even worse I thought of Fergie and his looking at his watch tactics! However we have to admit he was a winner. I just don’t want Salah, Mane and Cortinio saying they are off because they want to win things!
Absolutely agree ! But I was so angry when we conceded against Chelsea. But you are right is not just that result that hurts , it acumulates .Its rolled on from the decades before that as well. I get really pissed off when people say why aren’t you louder etc but they haven’t seen the glory years we have and exactly how humiliating it is to lose a three nil lead to a team other than the Dutch 74 World Cup team. We get close to success and know, just know it will inevitably slip away . I know it will not be the same again but the hope is the killer. Also why I think we are less forgiving of players like Moreno. Who has half a good season and thinks we should all forget about what he has cost us . I am grey haired for a reason!
The reason is that the squad has 5 good players and 6 nearly good players. The six nearly good players: Hendo, migs etc… will nearly achieve but not quite… and will let you down. Until they’re shipped out or benched Liverpool will nearly achieve something
I concur, as should anyone with an ability to fairly appraise and critique performances without wearing rose tinted spectacles. Mignolet, Henderson, Lovren, Klavan and Moreno have no improvement in them. They are what they are. Inconsistently competent at best and woefully inadequate at worst. Only a change in personnel will take Liverpool to the next level but that means loosening the purse strings and not recycling cash. Klopp has little room for manoeuvre, hence the questionable decision making of late. But it’s the hope that ultimately kills ya! Up the reds.
Great piece. Well done!
This article describes beautifully the symptom, of the biggest problem LFC is facing with actually.
On the other hand, I think, the symptom is also the cause for the problem.
Just imagine, how you will feel, if LFC will make it. Finally. They win the league. What will be the feelings?
The worst case scenario, I can imagine, would be: Relief.
Because it would destroy the joy, and it is not a good aim to work for. Especially, if you achieve an aim and you feel relief, you will fall deeply afterwards.
Better is to recover the joy of the game, recover the self-confidence of being a great and solid team.
If you choose to use the aggressiveness it will hold only for 2 or 3 games, I can promise.
Winning a cup would help.
Equally, too much negativity transcends the club and performances on the pitch. Your last article about Klopp’s magic trick struck me a as massively negative for a team that is on the brink of the next round of the CL for the first time in about 7 or 8 seasons.
You can of course say what you want Andy, call Moreno shite for the full 90 mins of a match if you want to but if all 50000 of us do that, Anfield is not going to be much of a fortress.