Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
One Premier League title would do me
I started thinking about this mail a few days back, but I wasn’t going to send it until the end of the season, and only then if ‘the appropriate time’ came.
Then I saw Mark (Anybody But Liverpool from this point on). MCFC’s post and realised it was better to send it whilst we still have some goodwill left going around, because if things did end up going our way, we might not have any left by then and it might get lost in the noise.
I grew up a young LFC fan in the 80s. Growing up just south of Birmingham (sorry true scousers), being anything other than a Villa or Utd fan seemed almost rebellious at the time, seriously. Besides, I had more stickers of them in my Panini album that year than anyone else, so it was clearly meant to be. I saw us win 4 of our titles, and that should make virtually any supporter happy. But I was so young that I just didn’t appreciate them. You don’t appreciate things at that age, especially if you end up supporting one of the giants of your time, because you just go ‘well, Arsenal pipped us this year, we’ll just win it next year. No big deal.’ You take the exceptional for granted like the little entitled s**t you actually are.
I’m a grown-ass man now, right on the cusp of my 40s. I’m not bothered about ‘getting back on our f*****g perch’ for good, I’m not bothered about if Kloppo becomes the second coming of Bob Paisley (although obviously I wouldn’t say no to either of these). I just want one. One that I can actually appreciate, and take in the accomplishment. Not to rub it in opponent’s faces, not to claw back in the title count against the Mancs, and not to ultimately get the monkey off our backs. Just one that I can personally savour and grasp the emotion of, like I completely failed to do as a kid. The closest I’ve got is obviously the ’05 CL Final (oh hey, a Liverpool fan bringing the conversation back to Istanbul! There’s a novelty!), and that I still do appreciate and savour. But there’s nothing like winning your own league. Nothing at all.
To Mark, I say: yeah, there’s a few of our lot that have started crowing and if results pan out I wouldn’t be surprised if the crowing grows to unbearable levels. I wouldn’t blame any other supporter for feeling a bit put out by it and going full ABL. But just know that the vast, vast majority of us right now are closer to how Jughead talks about us – we’re terrified of believing we can do this, terrified of jinxing this, and we’re too scared to really say much to ourselves other than ‘shut up and keep clenching, boys’. If we do end up, you know, doing it, a lot of us aren’t going to be intolerable, we’re just going to be quietly sobbing away happily, wishing we could slap our younger selves around the head and telling them to drink it all in while we could.
Al (This time next week Spurs could be top after all), LFC, Nottingham
No right time for Pochettino to leave
The ongoing Pochettino debate – stay and become a Spurs legend or leave for a club with a salary and budget commensurate with his talent – overlooks one very important point. Namely that football fans are a bunch of whiny, self-entitled, ungrateful bastards.
Spurs fans only have to cast their eyes across North London to realise that, for a manager, there’s no right time to leave a club. Leave too soon and you’re a Judas. Leave it too late and your thanks is the likes of Stewie Griffin and Arsenal Fan TV.
Conor Malone (overstaying my welcome since 1973) Malone, Donegal
Pot / Kettle
Can some one please explain to me how racism from football fans works? Its ugly head as appeared again during the Inter v Napoli game and it just doesn’t make sense to me.
Racism in general doesn’t make sense, of course, but at least there can be an understandable reason for it (understandable, not excusable). i.e. If you grew up in an environment where everyone around you thought black people were inherently inferior and no one said any different you’d probably become a racist yourself.
However, what we’ve seen recently in Italy and at Stamford Bridge annoys me beyond the usual annoyance of adults being racists, it annoys me so much because of the hypocrisy. I simply can’t understand how someone would berate Sterling for having the audacity of being born black but at the same time will love Drogba for being one of the best strikers the PL has seen. It’s the same at Inter, they’ve had plenty of black players over the years.
Can some one please explain how the cognitive dissonance works in this case? What justification do they use here? I just don’t get it.
Big D, Luxembourg
As someone who likes to read widely around a subject I took to a MCFC fan site on Boxing Day evening. An interesting generational divergence of opinion emerged.
One group were outraged in a toys out of the pram kind of way. Why didn’t Pep double up a Fernandinho Mark 2? Pep foolishly hasn’t spent enough on full-backs. Really? The other group both more mature in age and mind were more sanguine and the key difference here being more humorous. Comments like managing to mess it up is reassuringly City from the old days. This group named the former the JCLs. Those who had not served their time but who screamed out entitlement. Those who had no sense of irony or fun. The kind who would use the device of dictionary definition to validate their opinion in let’s face it a prissy way.
Mark MCFC derided Liverpool fans for hubris in this way. Despite some token caveats he doesn’t really like Liverpool does he? Icarus from myth was most famous for hubris or entitlement. Perhaps Mark is a modern day Icarus who has flown too close to the Sun only for his wings to melt in his own act of hubris?
Like some City fans I don’t get his whining. We have the most exciting prem perhaps ever with several teams including his own playing ‘out of this world’ footy. Several other teams are rolling the dice in terms of influence. Hopefully the glorious mayhem will continue. Yet Mark chooses to behave like… well a Jonny Come Lately.
Friday random thoughts
1. As a Liverpool fan with a very soft spot for both City + Guardiola, I would like to sympathize with Mark, MCFC’s annoyance with a previous Liverpool fan’s nonsense dig (“Chequebook Guardiola”). I mostly wanted to write in to remind that there are many, many reasonable Liverpool supporters out there, many of whom are terrified of any kind of perception of hubris, and are actively trying to be as non-annoying about all this as possible. It is difficult, given how well the team is doing, and how night-and-day the difference is compared to before VVD arrived, but we are trying. I hope that you and other fans can keep this in mind, if/whenever encountering one of our more irritating supporters.
2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the “this/next year is our year!!!” accusations about Liverpool fans is really outdated and based on the attitude of the 90’s and early 2000’s – in the ~15 years I’ve supported the club, I truly have not seen this attitude or belief from LFC fans. Didn’t believe we’d follow our CL victory in 2005 with a league title; didn’t believe we’d win the league ahead of the 08/09 season; didn’t believe we’d follow up finishing 2nd in 2009 with a title the following year; didn’t believe we’d follow up finishing 2nd in 2014 with a title the following year; didn’t expect a title challenge this season despite signings. It’s really amazing how long this outdated stereotype has persisted. Especially as other fan groups have been much more deserving of the moniker. Jughead rightly calls out Tottenham fans on this point. I’d also highlight Arsenal of 2007-2013 – after their annual Q1 collapses each season, we were told that next year it would be different. Manchester United could also be called out for this in the Mourinho years. If Liverpool continues this season strongly but fails to win the title, this would truly be the first time I’ll have heard Liverpool fans say “it’s OK, next year will be our year” – and fair enough, if a team finishes second on 95+ points, right?
3. A lot has been made of Spurs having a larger number of home games remaining (11 out of 19). Some have seen this as a sign of Spurs being able to look forward to better results in the second half of the season, especially if they move into the new WHL. I think it is worth bearing in mind that many clubs, including neighbors Arsenal and West Ham, suffered bad form/results at home during their first seasons at their new grounds – the ‘feel-good factor’ of moving to your new home does not necessarily translate into points earned, I guess due to the unfamiliarity of it all. Someone even suggested that moving mid-season in good form could be advantageous, but equally, a stadium switch could interrupt their season and cause an unnecessary hiccup. I guess my point is – if you’re a Tottenham fan you have good reason to be optimistic about the second half of the season, but equally, those who do not like Tottenham have good reason to be optimistic as well.
4. This whole debate over Pochettino, Tottenham and United would already be tedious enough as it is, but when you consider the extreme likelihood that Pochettino ends up at Real Madrid in the summer, it’s even less interesting.
5. Hazard doesn’t get nearly enough credit on a personal/human level. The way he handles questions about his club future, and about how he feels about being played as a #9, is exemplary. His peers would do well to emulate him. I wish kids nowadays would look up to players like Hazard and Salah etc, rather than players like Griezmann and Neymar.
Oliver (if you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball) Dziggel, Geneva Switzerland
So I see that Mark (Anybody But Liverpool from this point on). MCFC has decided that the fella who used the term “chequebook Guardiola” was a Liverpool supporter with no apparent evidence. He also helpfully ignored the actual LFC supporter in the following mailbox telling people to stop using nicknames like that.
Dude, it’s fine, there are some dicks out there who want to be smug, but as a Liverpool supporter myself I can safely say that all I care about is Liverpool not slipping up and hopefully continue playing the way they are. This isn’t about other teams for most of us, this is about being excited about what our own team is doing. And I’m pretty sure most fans of most clubs feel the same way.
Concerning Mark (Anyone But Liverpool from this point on). MCFC.
Following on from City’s record breaking title win last season, rather than celebrating their team’s best ever side, their fans have spent the past 5 months revelling in Liverpool’s misery in song (Ramos injured Salah/ the Scousers won f*k all).
These are your actual fans at the ground too, not just some comments on Twitter.
What were you saying about unnecessary digs?
All the best for 2019 though.
Tom Jones (back in Liverpool for Crimbo) LFC
I think Mark and his fellow Cityzens need a good look at themselves before pointing fingers at Liverpool and accusing us of Hubris.
Oh the irony. Just take a moment and look at the entitlement on their Blue Moon forums – it is staggering.
Every club has a few off the chart supporters. Including, obviously, City. If finding one Liverpool’s is all Mark needs to go ABL then so be it. Any success we get, whenever, will be all the sweeter. I will be sure to think of him.
We could lose today to Arsenal, lose on Jan 3 to City and we are all toe to toe again. There is a long, long way to go. Injuries, bad luck, bad refereeing – we will all suffer and NO-ONE can predict how this will turn out.
But fans of the Imperious Manchester City, lashing out just because of a slight stumble in a terrific 19 match spell – well, one wonders if you have the stomach for a real battle.
No difference at all
In response to Yaru, Malaysia
2017/2018 Season Arsenal away points total: 16 points
2018/2019 Season Arsenal away points (with half the season to go): 15 points.
That’s not taking into consideration the fact that Emery took over a squad which was not his. A squad which is in the process of adapting to a new manager and who has had to face a make-shift defense over the last 3-4 games of which he has only lost one.
No difference at all.