By Neil Poole
The respective responses to the new kits have been stark. The home kit by common consensus is very good and has been met with polite, restrained but largely satisfied nods of approval. For the away kit those same heads have been blown off, the gaping necks violently spouting lava bombs of vitriol high into the air for all to see miles around.
It appears that the new away kit is so bad that pitches around the country will be criss-crossed with scorched earth in the coming season, echoing the paths trodden by players burdened with this apocalyptic fireball come Christmas cardigan.
Let’s forget about the shorts. If you’re worried about the shorts you really need to have a word with yourself. If they were upturned gimp masks with cut out leg-holes there would a reason for rage but for now they’re essentially just shorts.
However, the respective new home and away kits arguably holds up two mirrors; one to the mind-set of the fans; the other to the actions of the club at all levels, which have informed those very same minds.
Firstly, to us. The scars of the last 4 years have clearly left some wary of going beyond cautiously and quietly pondering the positives of the current state of affairs. Others loudly decry the negatives. Some can swing from one to the other in the space of minutes. All responses are understandable.
You may be wearing your away shirt today unable take your eyes off the spray of shrapnel seemingly shat out by a diarhetic robot, which only serve to remind you of the garish kits of our 90s downfall. Similarly, you may look down into your half empty glass at the lethargic slopping of unappetising dregs which are the crippling mediocrity of a 7th place finish, no cups, no European football, absentee owners, the season long impact of the summer transfer window of 2012, the envelopes, the bite, the possible departure of Suarez, Sturridge’s injury, a manager out of his depth who talks too much. That’s not even beginning to scrape the bottom of the barrel if you don’t want it to. Tweet it, post it on a forum, moan about it with Evertonians or Mancs that you work with. Just make sure everyone knows.
Conversely, you may be wearing your home shirt today pleased with the cheeky wink at the v necked collar and pin stripes of 1984 treble winning season. Similarly, you may look down on a warm summer’s day into your half full glass of sprightly refreshing golden ale, crisp bubbles of hope rising to the surface, carrying spherical images of Coutinho, Sturridge when he’s in the mood, 71 league goals, a 9 point improvement, a second half of the season putting us 3rd in the form table, the blooding of promising youngsters like Sterling, Ibe and Suso, the evolving pragmatism of the manager, the Suarez swallow dive in front of Moyes. Discuss it, work through it, temper it with your brother, your dad, your son, your mates. Keep it in-house.
But why the spectrum of repsonses?
The spot on home-kit followed by the spotty away-kit pretty much sums up Liverpool FC’s continuing inability to achieve the basic premise for success: to get most things right most of the time.
How as fans can we confidently commit to positivity when the improvement in our attacking threat is coupled with a defensive regression? Or when we show some mental strength for once to come from behind to beats Spurs only to then leave our spines on the sidelines a week later in the defeat to Southampton?
On the other hand, how can we commit to negativity when the signing of injury ravaged Borini is followed by the signing of smile-inducing Coutinho? Or when the poor record against those above us is coupled with valuable point hoarding promise to be able flat track bully sides below us.
We just don’t know what’s going to happen next anymore. And after 4 years of relative misery it’s far less risky to air concerns about clear flaws and worry that we’re going nowhere than to preach the gospel of subtle signs of improvement.
But hey, the sun is shining, it’s summer and if you can’t find hope between seasons then it’s time to knock it on the head. So, like my team I’m going to abandon the shackles of predictability and consistency. Based on absolutely no knowledge at all I’ve decided that all new signings will be amazing, that Borini and Allen will come good and that next season will be awesome. I’m donning my new home shirt and I’m going into town. And if it all goes to pot I’ll just go back home, draw the curtains and put my away shirt on.