This guest post has been kindly provided by Jonathan Hartley
It’s the end of July and the transfer window has been officially open for one month. So far, Liverpool have signed 3 players. Dominic Solanke, Andrew Robertson and Mohammed Salah. Both Solanke and Salah have looked very promising in the pre-season matches, with the former scoring twice and the Egyptian bagging three. Robertson has only featured fleetingly, but it is nice to finally have signed a left-back.
There have also been some positive results in pre-season and for the first time in a while, Liverpool actually look like they have some depth to their squad when everyone is fully fit. Having Daniel Sturridge fit is a really nice bonus too, however every Liverpool fan has more sense than to rely on this being the case for the whole season. While he is fit, his goal-scoring ability cannot be denied. Overall, ahead of the new season, everything is looking really promising.
So why does it then seem like the world is ending? Why (on Twitter) if you’re a Liverpool fan, do you come away from a quick scroll through thinking that the club is in mass crisis? Why is there an FSG out campaign, of sorts?
Well, a short answer is that social media has the ability to massively blow issues out of proportion. Just as social media can be used as a great tool to help change the world for good, help to campaign for issues that really need addressing, it can also be a place where people express extreme views and negatively impact on a person’s thought process.
Two names this transfer window have caused some Liverpool fans to be driven crazy during the last month. Nabby Keita and Virgil Van Dijk. In all honesty, I am tired of hearing about them. I do not actually want to see or hear those names again until they are doing the “Melwood lean,” having signed.
In case you have been in a cave, Liverpool have been linked with both players since before the transfer window opened. To cut a long story short, Liverpool were accused of “tapping up” Van Dijk by Southampton, and pulled out of negotiations. With Keita, depending on which Journalist you believe, Liverpool had two bids rejected by RB Leipzig, and have now ended their efforts in signing him.
Naturally, these two failed negotiations have led to an absolute meltdown by some fans on Twitter. Now I fully understand that it is most likely the minority that have reacted irrationally to these issues, but it seems to be the case that nowadays some irrational thinking is expressed to be “fashionable.” Let me explain my point. People nowadays tweet or post views, because they know that they will get retweets and likes, not necessarily because they actually believe what they are saying. Before you know it, 1000 people have retweeted this view, exposing a mass amount of people to it, and that view then becomes fashionable. If someone then disagrees with that view, or thinks differently, they are then ridiculed. Social media needs to allow people the ability to express whatever views or beliefs they have, whether you agree with them or not. And if you disagree, then why waste your time responding to them with abuse? Just leave them to it. If what they have tweeted is extreme/offensive, then simply report their account.
This leads onto the FSG out campaign. Personally, I disagree with this viewpoint. However, this does not mean that I am going to ridicule and abuse the people who express this view. They are fully entitled to it. Looking at the club from where it was when FSG took over, to where it is now, it seems to be in a much healthier state. I believe we have a world class manager, some potentially world class players, Liverpool are back in the Champions league and the foundations are in place to be competing seriously with the other big clubs in the Premier League.
On the flip side, we have not won a trophy for 5 years. We’ve only finished in the top 4 twice in the seven years that FSG have been our owners. We have failed to sign our two top targets (so far) in this transfer window. There have been a fair few questionable signings over the last few years as well. So you can see that there is a case to be made that FSG are not the right owners for Liverpool. The people stating that case are more than welcome to do so. I simply disagree. That might have something to do with the memory I still have of the condition the club was in under the American owners we had previously, granted. I do believe though that the club is the closest it has been though to achieving something special for the last 7 years.
Whatever side of the argument you fall on, do not be scared to express your view, as long as you do not do it in a way to offend the other side of the argument. Do not let yourself be made to feel like you’re stupid by someone who shares a different viewpoint. The world is made up of different people, views, cultures, races, religions, genders and so much more. Acceptance has improved immensely over the last 10 years and that is amazing to see. It just needs to continue. Once some people can accept that someone may think differently to them, then the world will continue to improve even more.
Oh, and hopefully Liverpool win the league this season.