I try to avoid social media after bad results, because it sucks the life out of me and draws me into slanging matches with teenagers – but when Liverpool win – it’s nice to revel in the positivity that follows…
So after our 3-0 win over Crystal Palace, which was hard-fought and at times, nervy, I had a little Twitter scroll to lap up some jaw-dropping stats on James Milner’s right-back performance and check out the jokes on Naby Keita’s hilariously cool goal celebration.
The first thing I saw though was a run-of-the-mill, congratulations post from Linda Pizzuti Henry, the wife of Liverpool owner John W. Nothing wrong with that, right? Nice collage of the players from the game, with a sweet message invoking the Red spirit…
Yet the response was nothing short of horrible. I’m not going to share it – you can look it up yourself, if you want – but it was miserable, pessimistic and often nasty.
Yes, I know there is a bizarre section of (basically online only) Liverpool fans who care more about transfers than actual football – but I didn’t know they’d still feel literally no joy immediately after a 3-0 win!
It got me thinking – what is wrong with these clowns? Do they not know what football is in the first place? Why people give up Saturdays, wages and brain-space on their teams? Because it’s meant to be fun. It’s a release. And if you can’t smile or get any enjoyment out of a 3-0 home win that sends your side top of the table, then you’re a sorrowful person and you should find a different hobby.
Stuff like this, for example, does my head in:
We don’t have the capacity for this pic.twitter.com/gpaETcj8DB
— Zak (@ZakLFC7) September 19, 2021
‘Oh, we might be winning at the moment – but don’t worry – we’ll lose soon when it gets harder! So curb your enthusiasm!’
Nice one. Cheers, mate. That’s like sitting inside on a hot summers day and shouting out the window at all the people having fun: ‘You do know it’ll get cold by October, don’t you?!’
Why does this lad think Jurgen Klopp is rotating so much right now? (And still winning, by the way…) So he can pick his best players when the going gets tough!
This season has been very, very enjoyable so far – and not just for Liverpool fans – but for football fans in general.
Despite a few mistakes at the weekend – namely from Martin Atkinson – the standard of refereeing has been good. And this deserves to be said, considering how we happily demonise them when they mess up.
Fans being back is beautiful. Try as I might, I haven’t got a ticket to a game yet, (would be easier supporting Manchester City, wouldn’t it?) but seeing the smiles and hearing the noise on the tele is great. Anfield sang for Divock Origi at the weekend. That’s real supporters. Getting behind a lad who’s had a tough spell.
Last season was honestly horrible – and not just from a Liverpool perspective. Do you remember the fake fan noise played by BT and Sky, and how they always messed up the timing of the celebratory cheer when a goal went in?
Do you remember the farcical nature of VAR and the endless, numbing debate over blurry lines, drawn by blokes who were trying to work out the latest interpretation of the rules, that continually ruled out legitimate goals?
Now, it almost feels like a bad dream. Remember how Mo Salah was embarrassed to even celebrate with no supporters and just trudged back to the halfway line after be bagged? It was soulless. Do you remember when we won 7-0 at Selhurst Park and without the fans it was utterly forgettable and dare I say it, boring? And this was the good stuff! What a shite season! Ruben Dias won Player of the Year. How bland is that?!
I know Jurgen Klopp won’t agree, but the lenient refereeing is at least making for some mighty exciting, free-flowing games – although of course – there is a happy medium in this respect that we’re still working towards…
The Premier League has often claimed to be the best in the world, but right now, there’s no argument. Chelsea are exceptional. Manchester City, too. United have spent millions and with Cristiano Ronaldo up top, they’re going to win a lot of games. We could have a four-team title race for the first team ever. Can you imagine?!
It’s quite possible that we won’t win the title. Probable, even. 95% of teams in the top flight don’t every year. We didn’t win it once in Steven Gerrard’s 16-year tenure. Did that make his domestic seasons pointless? Boring? A failure? Of course not. We still lived and breathed it. We still dreamt. That’s what football is. It’s the hope, the hurt and the joy. And when stadiums are packed and players are thriving from their energy, it’s real again.
So in conclusion. Win or lose, I’m loving it – especially after the misery of 2020/21. There was a point last season when I could barely sit through a game – it was so beige. Now, it’s giving me the feels again – and whatever happens – that’s ok.