I live near The Kop.
That is near the original Spioenkop where it lies peacefully in Ladysmith, South Africa.
Support for the game of football has grown here since South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup and we have gone from a few Liverpool fans in each city to vibrant and active supporters clubs around the country.
Last year I did my pilgrimage to Anfield Road and sat cheering the Reds on from the Kop where it was clear to see that those around me at times looked somewhat bemused at some of the comments our group made from time to time and I realised that we do no yet understand all about the game we are learning to love.
If I had any doubt about that, the transfer window this season so far, has convinced me.
Part ownership of players, agents bartering the ambitions of their “assets” and players picking teams based on the night life of the city it is based in?
Can somebody explain to me why Konoplyanka’s agent claims that he would rather live in London than Liverpool and so he decides to rather remain behind in a country about to embark on full scale civil war?
And why is every single player unhappy at warming his club’s substitute bench, marketing himself as the new Messi? We hear that Chelsea stole “the Egyptian Messi” from us just before Bayern decided to keep “The Alpine Messi” though it seems we might land the “Serbian Messi”.
Do players’ agent need to resort to slapstick marketing to further players’ careers.
There has to be a way around being part of this circus every year and I believe Brendan Rodgers and Fenway have found it.
Buy young promising players before their 21st birthday if you must buy and develop your own youth pool to the point that you won’t have to beg the “big” clubs to sell us their reserves at inflated prices. Shaqiri and Morata don’t get enough playing time for their teams. Liverpool surely do not beg for other teams’ surplus?
I sincerely hope that funds from the very likely Suarez sale goes toward developing the amazing youth prospects we have in the academy and on the fringes of the team. I hope we ignore the lure of short term success at the price of paying inflated premiums for the mercenaries of the game who go where they believe trophies are within arms reach.
I hope we value more the identity of our team than the accolades of a single tournament or season.
I hope we become the kind of club again that would not give a player like Willian, Salah or Eriksen the chance to turn down a proud dynasty they do not understand and that we build our team at the academy and not in the boardroom.
That would make sense. Even to us here on the farthest outskirts of the Empire of the Kop.