HISTORY will define Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers as one of gallant accomplishment which just fell short of the stratospheric bar set.
Anfield will also be remembered for being emotive, defiant and ever so slightly melancholic as it gave everything it could to show the appreciation of those who could not be asked to give more.
I would also describe it as bearable.
In fact, I found it was unified in displaying both decorum and grace.
When Liverpool frustratingly drew with Leicester City on a bitterly cold night in January 2019, I found myself immersed in an air of panic and desperation which now feels almost decades previous to when it actually was.
This is important to remember; that we’re all guilty of being human in one of the most alternate realities we can engage in as supporters, and that this is not a sweeping generalisation of people or situations because they are all different.
This is important to remember because we are all as fans collectively grouped and judged based on our collective actions and the behaviour, opinions and actions of individuals we don’t know and have never met.
When I ponder such absurdity, I conclude that I personally know less than one per cent of Liverpool’s fan base. Yet this remains one of the abnormalities within cult football supporter culture in this country.
I don’t know others provenance, intention or their motive. Yet I am attached to one body of judgement based on all of the beings, both genuine and malicious, that comment on Liverpool Football Club under the blanket of “supporter”.
This remains part of a multitude of football-supporting truths which ordinarily make no sense in any routine function of daily life.
It is also why we can feel both judged and judge to millions of people because you see or interact with one or two you deem insufferable.
Yet there are times when even the collective are as disagreeable.
Last Sunday, Anfield spectators were treated to a majority of Wolves away support who engaged in some behaviour they found, frankly, quite odd.
They were antagonistic with the caveat of “banter” applied. They were desperate to be part of the final-day narrative off the pitch as they were eventually brushed aside with procession on it.
Thousands of miles away in London, Everton fans were choosing to spend 90 minutes in a concourse serenading Manchester City while their own team trudged to an eighth-place finish below a newly promoted side on it.
I’m fine with it. I have been invested in games not involving Liverpool because I’ve wanted another team to lose. I’ve laughed at Everton, by god I’ve laughed at Everton. I’m not typing from a glass house with this.
Yet there seems to have been a nationwide swell of genuine hate for The Reds this season that has seen a multitude of demographics jump on the “anyone but Liverpool” bandwagon.
That shouldn’t mean you have to reciprocate the same disdain to every opposing fan or fan base, it would be too exhausting and you would essentially then be part of the same problem.
It is easier to accept that you are once again at the top table and when you’re breaking bread, people are going to watch you eat.
Being at the top brings an inevitable backlash because a lot of people want what you have.
There is also another factor present which is what separates both Liverpool and Manchester City in terms of how they have been viewed this season: pedigree.
Liverpool and Manchester United remain standalone in being the only two club sides in English football with two decades of accumulative success and an unprecedented trophy haul behind them.
Both clubs have had to endure the “hated” tag by those who would seemingly have no reasonable axe to grind.
There is now a generation of supporters on either side who have been born into the role of football monarchy, with no shortage of willing tomato throwers.
Pedigree and relevance are two factors which have never disappeared from the identity of Liverpool throughout my lifetime.
The difference among Liverpool objectors now is a subconscious acknowledgement that they are again living up to their relevance, one distinctly unique to most.
Currently nobody in English football – aside from, I suspect, a percentage of their own support – cares very much about Man United, the 20 times league champions. They will, however, remain top of the list of scalps next season, the biggest possible kill along with Liverpool. They retain pertinence regardless.
As Liverpool fans we know how this feels. It is a middling and futile nothingness, a hugely exhausting enterprise at times.
It feels much more logical to ensure that if they all want more than anything to beat you then make sure you’re as unbeatable as can be. If they want so much to see you fall it’s only because you are no longer low down enough to be kicked.
Of course, virtual antagonism between football fans inevitably spirals into the realms of one upmanship and moral high ground, a hypocritical twilight zone of unsavoury finger pointing.
The sad truth is I cannot write a piece on any of these factors because I honestly can’t propose anything to improve them, other than advising a selection of individuals who support all clubs including mine to act in a more decent manner. I have no right to do that because we all approach this from vastly differing places.
I can only write about why I think these things are presently inimical to Liverpool, whether I witness them on the stands or on a smartphone.
I can only reference, as a match goer, what I have seen and heard with my own eyes and ears over the course of a truly magical season from our own collective.
A home and away support that has made that very word their undivided priority throughout, and has embodied the spirit and sheer honesty and decency of their team and manager.
Rivals have been faced down only when in our line of sight. No energy has been expended on any other being than those in Liverpool red.
In this miniscule corner of the Liverpool-supporting world, the season 2018-19 has not only been bearable, it has been an absolute pleasure.
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Really well written article that echoes my own sentiments on the season we’ve just witnessed. I hope (and believe!) we are back as a consistent force at home and in Europe. Klopp hasn’t just built a team, he’s changed the mentality of all involved with the club. I just think he was made to manage the team and ‘gets it’. The fact that many people are missing when LFC are accused of ‘bottling’ the title is that City HAD to win 14 off the belt to win the title. Just let that sink in- 14 GAMES IN A ROW! Sometimes you just have to take your hat off to the team that wins the league and say well done no matter how hard it is! It’s all ifs and buts- had Kompany’s speculative shot gone over the bar, would we be champions? Had Igheanacho managed to take a chance I would have been ashamed to have missed we may also have got over the line. Onwards and upwards! YNWA
And if a Ref from Manchester had not been picked to officiate our game at the Eithad against Man City, then I’d like to think that Kompany walks and we are playing against 10 men and therefore City don’t win and we do.
For what it is worth as a liverpool supporter of 50 years plus we have always had to endure this mentality where not only the football club but the great city itself has been criticised and dare I say it loathed because of our resilience as citizens in the face of adversity during the late 70 s and 80 s , indeed promoted by a Prime minister who actively spoke about the perceived and encouraged decline of Liverpool as a City.Twas ever thus , But the thing is we are both as a City and a Football club massively bigger than this. I listen to the pathetic chants at Anfield of some away fans alluding to old rhetorical views and laugh. The answer is to do and continue to do what we have always done, rise above it build on our massive history and achievements and keep striving. This current team both on and off the pitch and in the boardroom are the best in the business. No doubt. This City is renowned throughout the world as a wonderful place to live work and visit . On the pitch we will achieve our goals no doubt. So to coin aPhrase: sod them . Jealousy has never been a quality ,! Love you LiverpoolYNWA.
@Ian H You’re right Ian.
Best way to beat this City team and their obnoxious supporters is on the field, starting June 1st.
For those fans coming to Liverpool for the first time,they must think to themselves `where is the bin dipping` ` why is every not signing on `
They must loathe how beautiful our city is,how regenerated the city is,how positive people are , how have I come to this place to sing songs that they have no idea why they are singing them,and lastly` why is this a much better place than where I am from`
Jealous of everything about us
As much as I don’t like Man City I must admit I got some smug pleasure watching Watford get embarrassed on Saturday .
All this “anyone but Liverpool” I can understand as regards Everton and Utd but the fact it seemed to spread to a large part of other clubs fan base is something I found quite bizarre a sort of Turkey’s voting for Christmas attitude .
Hopefully Sterling goes down like he’s been shot next season earning a penalty against Wolves
As a Liverpool supporters for over 40 years l believe our club to be CHAMPIONS on their performance thus far. Sour grapes to those who feels differently.
In which ground EFL not awarded championship to Liverpool, there is lots of Football Experts in the world, plz take appropriate decision…
100 % supporting Liverpool from the age of 12. The former European champs has been on fire. Although they are on the top of the table they remain humble and the most down to earth side in the world for me
I am a Man Utd supporter and have been since 1954.
Liverpool are Premier League Champions. Anyone who says different is only sour grapes
.We have all watched a great season of football from them.
WELL DONE LIVERPOOL FC
Hi I am a Liverpool FC fan since a very young age @ time listening to it via radio as the weren’t any TV in South Africa @ time. Now a pensioner and still a fan re-side in Cape Town southern suburbs. I remember the good times during the 70’s and the 80’s, and after 30 years
I’m a Sheffield United supporter and a frequent visitor to Liverpool, a city I love. I can’t describe the pride I feel at the opening titles of Match of the Day when the Blades are shown along side Liverpool FC. One way or another a season both teams will never forget.
My father became a Liverpool suporter in 1940 he made me one in 1970.I made my son to support Liverpool in 2000.What a resemblance and this is not a coincidence.We are all die hard Liverpool suporters.Well done boys.YNWA