DEFENDING things like this always come with a caveat so here it is.
Throwing bottles in the street is not a good thing. I’m dead against it. Presumably apart from the lads who were doing it, we all are. I’m less concerned about the safety of the Manchester City coach though as I’m fairly sure it can withstand a Carlsberg bottle at short range.
No, it’s the people on the other side of the vehicle who are the issue – the bystanders who were caught in the crossfire. You should be able to go to the game and not end up on the business end of broken glass. That’s not good. Stop that. Needs saying.
It’s at that point though that I disengage my arm from that of the “moral majority” and head off down my own path.
I was on board with everything else that happened outside the ground. Well, everything that didn’t involve bottles anyway. The noise, the smoke, the “welcome”.
Bottles aside, it made a statement. You haven’t even got in the ground yet and we’re just as noisy out here as we’re going to be in there. Welcome to Liverpool. You’re not going to enjoy it.
This morning while looking for radio coverage about the game, as you do when you need just a little longer in the afterglow of a night like that, I came across a phone in/witch hunt which claimed to cover both the game and the events before kick off. It did nothing of the sort, of course. They didn’t mention the game at all. Where would be the coin there when there’s so much free outrage to mine?
A little later I checked in on Twitter. Aside from seeing my least favourite football expression – “these so-called fans” – repeated extensively, it contained the written version – almost a transcription – of the awful hand wringing I’d encountered earlier.
The Reds ✊️ pic.twitter.com/WMI8F2fjeU
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) 5 April 2018
The stock phrases came out in a litany of auto-completed hot air. “The English disease”, “haven’t they learned from Heysel?”, “hurting the real fans” and “games behind closed doors”. The host even said that he was “bored” with the idea of welcoming the coach and its atmosphere of “supposed intimidation”, adding that no City player was the least bit concerned.
I estimate that this man hasn’t worn jeans to a game and stood on a terrace for at least four decades.
The most maddening claim about all this is that it somehow “tarnishes the result”.
You know, when the final whistle went in the game, I turned to my mate with a look of dejection, and sighed “3-0 against one of Europe’s top sides is all well and good, but I can’t help but feel that those goals and clean sheet cannot make up for what happened outside. I won’t bother with the pub, thanks. I just want to go home, to be honest.”
Tarnish the result? The game ended 18 hours ago and I can still feel my heart doing tours of my ribcage. Three-nil? Second time we’ve beaten a genuinely brilliant side in three months? The possibility of a semi final in the European Cup? Tarnished?
Look, what happened wasn’t good. It’s hard to deny that, but it’s a footnote to Liverpool storming into City in the first half and then showing they have the gumption to defend it in the second. The latter was just as glorious as the first.
It’s nights like these which make you suddenly clench your fists and hiss “yes!” for seemingly no reason in mixed company days later. For some it will be the memory of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal, for others it will be Trent Alexander-Arnold virtually locking Leroy Sane in a room away from his mates. One of those nights.
And that won’t be undone by a thrown bottle or stern shock jocks talking gleefully about possible sanctions.
One more thing. There’s been a call to stop the fans greeting the bus from now on. The lad on the radio thought that this was the first time we’ve done this (See above; jeans, terrace, 1972) and that it ought to be stopped. Furthermore, they want us to be respectful and play it in the Corinthian spirit (which, bottles aside, we generally do).
These are the same hollow voices who talk of continental passion and the noise and intrigue of the Bernabeu and Camp Nou and who speak of the yellow wall at Borussia Dortmund with hushed tones. Well, Liverpool are a European side and we like how they do things over there. To the best of my knowledge we’re the only club on this island that do that. That should be applauded – not frowned upon.
And why do so many overseas fans look forward to visiting Anfield? Because on occasion (though it should be more of a regular thing) we are capable of making stands move with our noise and support. Fans love that.
How many times have we applauded European sides who have had their arses handed to them, but refused to shut up for the entire game? I can certainly recall The Kop going quiet after the 4-0 win against Toulouse and then singing their name out of sheer respect for coming over and doing just that. We like atmosphere. We like noise. This time it went over the top, but that doesn’t ruin a thing.
No one wants anyone to be hurt, but no one wants an anodyne atmosphere with sporadic polite applause either, save for the banter merchants of talk radio.
Tarnished the result? Not here. Hand wring all you want. I’m sleeping fine.
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The problem is we can’t keep getting four UEFA charges, otherwise we will eventually pay the price. By all means be intimidating inside and outside the ground but for God’s sake show a bit of self-discipline as well. If we don’t we just hand other supporters and the media the stick with which to beat us. We can’t then complain if they’re nasty about us on the radio, it was our fans involved in the throwing of objects and lighting of flares in the ground, if some of our own chose to transgress the rules we have to face the consequences. Instead of crying about what everyone else is saying about us it’d be better to have a word with those fans who are getting us charged by UEFA so that we don’t end up playing behind closed doors.
Exactly. Liverpool don’t have the clout of a Real Madrid within UEFA to avoid a potential stadium ban, either. At the end of the day, it didn’t even shake City up if you go by the opening 10-15 minutes. What did for them was conceding twice and the resulting bedlam.
This is a relatable, honest article, I agree with all of it.
There should be flares, there should be hostility, this is what is done and it bloody works. I’m proud of the many who showed up to do that, if I wasn’t living in London and a a bit skint id have been there myself.
The vast majority of pundits writ us off, the opposing banter in work, all the “Ooo you got city!” And the “bet you wanted Roma didn’t you?”
Actually I wanted Barca, I wanted to remove the decision of doing the right thing from Coutinhos head, I still haven’t forgiven him for leaving and im still annoyed at Klopp and the owners for letting him leave, he’d be forced to stay down to his last day if I had my way, make him work in the Liverpool shop for a few weeks, that’ll learn him, I’d have fought til my last breathe and it’ll stop players from doing it in the future, not to mention the national tapping up, Don Balon!!
Going back to the fans, we played our part and we played it well, I honestly believe after our welcome the players were cacking themselves at the prospect of having to get out the ground let alone the city, they didn’t do what city can do, they didn’t even score, when does that happen? Not this season.
My only worry now is that theyll emulate what we did, but something stupid will happen, our show of force has to continue even in Manchester and I’m confident that we can do it, not only that but I believe the rest of Europe just got a bit shook, probably a bit worried, who is going to want to play is next after that.
Coutinhos gone mate move on. No doubt he should have seen the season out but if the only reason you are keen to play and beat Barca in the champions league is to prove Phil wrong then i feel sorry for you. Tbh I fancy us against barca to. Not because of Phil though. Because, like City, they play awesome football and I think we can give them a great game and if we play our own game we can have em.
correct well said
I had to read this article twice to conclude it was actually serious. Criminal behaviour like this is totally unacceptable. A barrage of missiles cannot be lightly dismissed as “ a Carlsberg bottle” and no amount of “good atmosphere” guff can deflect from the truth that this was a near riot.
At no stage did he condone a barrage of bottles or criminal damage.
Go and have a long hard talk to yourself.
As an aside.. I understand sanctioning a club for what happens in the ground, but how is Liverpool FC responsible for what happens OUTSIDE of the grounds? Yes.. the bottle throwers were fans of Liverpool and organized by LFC ultras groups. But there is NOTHING the club can do to stop them short of building a team that fails to inspire. So punishing the club serves only to make the self-righteous feel as if THEY did something.
Rightly or wrongly the club is held responsible and they and the tens of thousands of decent fans will be punished for the behaviour of these thugs
Karl- You seem to be mixing up rooting for your team with civil behavior, ie, “Look, what happened wasn’t good. It’s hard to deny that, but…” Not sure what’s hard to deny!? But I would suggest you rethink your position.
I’m a Liverpool fan from afar and seen crazy fans in other sports but they should be called out each and every time they go over the limit. If Liverpool is penalized then maybe a few of the idiots will take that as warning before doing something stupid again and again and again.
St. Louis, MO
Kinda disagree, I wouldn’t use the term ‘tarnished’ but I do feel some of the glory the lads and fans should be receiving today from all quarters has been taken away from them because of the over reaction to the coach incident. It’s typical of how the English media and people in general react to shit like this. Hanging is too good for them, blah blah blah, all sense of context is lost.
The media outcry is over the top but serves as a warning for people who throw missiles that could hurt bystanders in the future, their actions won’t go unnoticed.
There is always the possibility someone will go to far, hence the expression there is always one. Our fan base is not alone in this regard, every demographic large and small as the potential to have his reputation damaged by a minority. For example, our visitors yesterday who are acting holier than thou caused headlines after being knocked out against Wigan in this seasons FA Cup:
Whilst this story didn’t create such big news to the extent many of even their own fans might not have been aware of it, it showcases similar behaviour that other fans may have used to call for sanctions to be brought upon their football club.
Parts of our fan base may be tempted to call the different media exposure of these incidents biased but it comes with the territory of being a big club, playing at a grand stage and having the full media spotlight focused on a large preorganised gathering of fans that is designed to be inspiring for us and intimidating for others.
I personally will take the positive view that the media exposure of our incident will help to notify fans for future coach welcomes to see where the line is so we can carry on enjoying a great tradition of recent years.
As for the potential UEFA sanctions, they have differing levels of fines for varying degrees of issues and rarely go further even for far more serious incidents. To go further would be hypocritical and inconsistent. Whilst the media outcry may differ from country to country, UEFA is an conventional body that must be consistent across its jurisdiction.
Bring on the rest of the season, with hopefully another mass welcome to come for one of the giants of the game and whoever our opposition may be. We will be under a microscope and in the spotlight again but I trust our fan base to learn from this and come back again louder than ever before.
All I will say on this matter they aren’t fans they are thugs looking for trouble genuine fans don’t behave in this manner, the only people it affects is the genuine LFC fans, club, players and the other club and fans.
In the end if these kind of thugs behave in this manner it won’t be long before drastic action is taken and English clubs will be banned once again from Europe at the hands off thugs.
Where was plod? They are responsible for safety on our streets not Liverpool F.C…..or UEFA…….What happened at West Ham the other week was miles worse……Fans on the pitch with the corner flag.!!!!!
My issue is the sort of precedent this sets. What happens if an opposing team’s fans decided to throw bottles at their own bus just to instigate trouble for LFC and then disappear into the crowd? Not saying that happened here, but it isn’t unforeseeable that it could happen. The club would be powerless to stop that and could possibly suffer severe consequences.
Violent acts must be condemned and should not be allowed. They played no part in our win and if they are repeated could lead again to the kind of violence which tarnished our club and city’s reputation in the past. We now have a team on the verge of achieving great things led by an outstanding manager. Please be proud and don’t ruin things by acting tough and mindless behaviour.
what happened last night was an open ended invitation to the minority of scum that follow @lfc .All clubs have their scum followers. Pissed as farts whenever they have the opportunity and brains addled by weed. LFC and the Police have a duty to protect the decent people that want to go and follow their club. So why the fuck would Merseyside police ADVERTISE the route of the City team coach given the online advance warnings of an organised “welcome”. Why did the Police tolerate people openly having flares and smoke.?If I went into Liverpool city centre tmw brandishing a smoke flare I`m pretty sure I`d be nicked by the local constabulary!!
All this is getting completely blown out of proportion for me, yes there was a bus window cracked or smashed which was out of order, it was not organised by any group’s of ultras or anything like that, it was just some guy who’s just had to much drink taken and unfortunately lost his composure and hit out at the bus unfortunately, but some of the other stuff was completely acceptable regarding All the flares chanting was all part of come to LIVERPOOL hostile atmosphere which was very throughly spot on from LFC let’s not get carried away with this shite
I’m with you Karl, all good if we could stop the lobbing of bottles etc – I thought the welcome for our bus was great and shame about the window being smashed on the city bus. I think welcomes without lobbing are the business – I’d personally like to see more – adds to the spice and energy and should be encouraged – just need to keep a lid on how far it goes.
With all the back and forth shite about the coach welcome all over Social Media since the draw, I’m not surprised some knobheads saw it as an opportunity to really drive the point home. I’m actually quite thankful those knobheads didn’t chuck worse – as it is you’d think we’d nailed live puppies to the coach the way they’ve been going on about it today …
I say call the match a draw and teach the fans and the clubs a lesson. Many players come from country’s filled with violence and acting as such could in fact be traumatizing the players. The prem is an international league and needs to behave as such. Shame on anyone to condone violent and intimidating behaviour.
We won. But that incident is not worth it. We are a better club. We are world wide watched, as far as Malaysia. Its an embrassment. I believe we have history of fatality in games before. Lets not have another and bring shame to the club. The few must be taken to task. Liverpool FC is a great club with very big pride.
Not even arsed. Come on you reds!!
You cannot defend what happened outside the ground. It has tarnished the result because everyone is talking about the bottle throwing, the two injured coppers, the damaged coach when they should have been talking about your brilliant performance.
Instead morons have damaged Reds reputation again.
This is not aimed at TAW – but its about – being men and taking responsibility
I would like to know who gave the organiser[s] of this – the right to pre arrange without any sense of responsibility to:
– The Club
– The City
– The safety of others whether LFC or MCFC
Ask yourselves what Shanks; Rafa or Klopp would have advised you to do?
Ask yourselves what damage have you done to our clubs name throughout the world?
Ask yourselves what would you have done if a child had been scarred or blinded by one of these idiots ‘missing’ their targets and hitting an innocent child with a bottle or ‘pyro’?
Ask yourselves it was the LFC coach going to a game – how would you have reacted then?
This was not a spontaneous welcome to our team but a planned threat to the opposition – this is not what we do.
We as supporters do our damage in the ground.
I would suggest the organiser[s] should write and apologise to LFC; City and the people of Liverpool – and then step down from your roles – you are not fit to lead our clubs fans.
Opinions will vary on this but personally I find it embarrassing that a team led by Pep Guardiola had to endure their coach coming under attack. One bottle is one to many and it seems there was more than one. It’s totally unacceptable. To be fair to Pep, De Bruyne and City they have not made a big deal of it. Would we welcome Barca in the semi’s in the same way. Embarrassing to LFC.
I also wonder what Margaret Aspinell and those who have fought with such dignity for the 96 think of this behvoiour and what it does for their ongoing fight to fully get to the end of the Hillsborough legal proceedings. The two should not be linked but like it or not this plays into the hands of our enemies. 100%.
Not sure what the answer is but there needs to be no doubt or grey areas from the club and supporters that this was totally unacceptable and will not happen again.
Bottles, nothing more, the rest was fine, it’s a coach, it’s European cup tie, are scousers known for holding back ? No lad were not, try bus should have been pelted with something, perhaps not bottles but definitely pelted, as for the 96 they think the same as us because they are us lad.
A show of force and our 12th man doing our bit is LFC, don’t think for a minute otherwise. We did ourselves proud and only a few people threw bottles which should not tarnish us not the result.
You say “the two should not be linked” yet you’re the one linking the two. One of the things we learned from Hillsborough is that thousands can be tarnished by the tone of discussion in the mainstream media and we as Liverpool fans need to make sure it doesn’t happen with this. There is no link to Hillsborough.
Apologies – ‘Margaret Aspinall’
Snowflakes all over the place here. A bit of antisocial behaviour is regrettable and not what you want to see happen; equally keep a sense of perspective and realise its not the end of the world either.
50 knife murders in the past 95 days on the streets of the capital, and its Liverpool fans throwing a few bottles who are the media’s poster boys this week for bad behaviour? Yeah, alright.
It’s life mate. Nobody cares about some poor people being stabbed in some shitty part of a city, everyone cares about the rich and famous.
However, the snowflake term is pathetic. Its not about that. Fucking brain dead idiots who think Its ok to throw stuff at a coach containing the rich and famous. What the fuck did they think they were doing? A bit of positive PR for the club? They must have been easily influenced/ exited kids or mentally challenged. Either way people in the crowd stood amongst them should have stepped in to stop people throwing stuff. They’re the snowflakes, if you like the term so much. People too afraid to step in and help stop the retards.
The worse thing about the whole incident is that it creates divison at a time when the club should be celebrating progression. Such as this stupid fucking argument.
Karl’s article was about how we view this. My point was that we are better than chucking bottles at an away team’s coach, but some others on here seem more relaxed about it. I’m not in that camp. Is it ok every match? Are we happy for our coach to get bottled next Tuesday? I think the club are right to take a strong line because it’s a slippery slope in my view – where does it end up- and we should not let our name be tarnished by it. That involves standing up to anti Liverpool media agendas – couldn’t agree more on that, we’ve had to do that for years – but it also involves not letting this sort of thing be seen as ok.
Just seems like a waste of good beer to me. The rest of it i’m absolutely fine with, but don’t want to see the club and our supporters tarnished with those pictures, and it has been. Assuming we get through, i’m sure plod will be out in large numbers next time and it’ll be all over the press again.
The Manchester United first team coach was attacked bottled and bricked in similar scenes. before the final ever game at Upton Park. And look at the fortunes of West Ham ever since.
A lesson for us to keep in mind, perhaps.
“No one wants anyone to be hurt, but no one wants an anodyne atmosphere with sporadic polite applause either, save for the banter merchants of talk radio”
Surely we can have a banging hostile partisan atmosphere without the risk of lads hurling bottles at the oppo bus? I don’t believe it’s an inevitable consequence.
It’s a bit dangerous and it’s right that it’s been called out, although I admit the media reaction is maddeningly disproportionate. The main takeaway is that if we want to retain the right to keep giving these welcomes, we need to stop lobbing stuff. End of story.
I want to see the same scenes again minus the bottle throwing when our next opponents come to town.
Ramp the atmosphere and hostility right up and make it so they are beaten before a balls been kicked.
Karl, Take note of Jurgen Klopps comments!
No more welcoming parties!
The Idiots have ruined it for everyone!
You cannot make light of the missile throwing!
Some on here need to get a grip. Seriously. – I don’t condone the bottle throwing, that just stupidity and a small minority who took things too far. The rest of it is a proper welcoming of noise and colour and the only ones injured as a result, were injured by fragments of glass and naff all else.
As for Ultras, what the fuck are some you on about. I am Scouse, I go the game. I was born in Kenny and now live in Toxteh, but also lived in Anfield. We aren’t Ultras, ya beauts, we are just Liverpool Fans and we’ve always been colourful, loud and do things differently. Suddenly its not okay to have all of this, yet we’ve always intimidated the opposition with our ability to turn up and bring masses of supporters, flags, scarves, colour and more recently pyros that add to the occasion outside the ground. That recent bit started when Rodgers was at the helm and no one said anything then… Now because one window got broken on a coach and all of a sudden its all the crap I am seeing on here.
Yeah, not acceptable to throw missles, but the rest of it is no different to ticker tape stuff that everyone goes on about that they saw way back when Argentina hosted the World Cup. Constantly footage is shown of spectacles created all over the World and we look on envious. Well not us, we create spectacles, its why FSG sell this as part of their whole media and marketing campaign.
So those denouncing all of this and running around like big tarts, seriously calm the fuck down. The bottle throwing and throwing of other things is unacceptable. And as for those who supposedly organised this event… trust me, these things tend to organise themselves in Liverpool without people telling us to do it. So for those calling for heads, then basically you are telling a whole host of free spirited, free thinking people to step down. Honestly get over yourselves.
Karl I am with you on all this. Worse has been seen elsewhere this season at games with less said. – We won. we were terrific. the media and City said they would not be phased and this was all just a myth. Well as others have found out before, the myth actually exists. We once again beat what is arguably the best team in the World and while its been 11 vs 11 on the pitch the scoreline to date reads 7 vs 4 in out favour against City.
So apologies have been acceted by City and their team. UEFA are beauts, so don’t expect anything but then to be idiots. They did nothing to Roma in 1984 when we were subjected to a day and night of attacks and that was from the Police and Stewards as much as the fans… also no UEFA officials stood a charge for their part they played in 1985, but they should have been in the dock. However we will learn from this and move on.
For the rest of you who are making stupidly loud noises, then build a shrine for the window that got it and mourn it loss.
Bottom line is no missiles – bottles, cans, flares or anything else – should be thrown. Turn up to ‘welcome’ the away coach. Sing, scream, shout. Do what you can to get in their heads. But just don’t be a twat.
bottles aside that was a decent read. bottles aside though.
No shrines needed thankfully, cos the twats throwing the bottles didn’t kill or maim anyone. Everything else was Anfield at its best.