Transfer madness: The LFC edition
I always dreamed of a peaceful sports summer. I very much expected Liverpool fans to have their first stress-free summer since our Premier League title drought has well and truly ended.
Sadly, that is not the case. There is something about transfer news (or lack thereof) that makes perfectly sane people turn into raving lunatics. This is no exaggeration, but I always worry if the people worrying about our squad-related business might commit violence upon themselves or others. Images of scousers with the same maniacal smile as Jack Nicholson in The Shining (1980) come to mind.
Panic! At the Discussion
Social media has been a great addition to society, in general. The reason I can put my thoughts down and share them with people, happens to be one of them. It has connected people, given them a voice, and educated them.
However, the “given them a voice” part of it has brought with it some unwanted side effects. By side effects, I mean, for purposes of this piece, LFC Twitter. Which are basically thousands of Liverpool supporters wanting to burn the whole thing to the ground and start over.
In a way, I admire these passionate folks for the football acumen I assume they have. I must confess that though I support Liverpool FC and watch nearly every game, I am not smart enough to decide which player would be the best addition for us. This is because, the talent pool for club football is unfathomable. If you asked me today if I wanted Thiago Alcantara, I would say “Let’s get him”. But I would do that because he is a really good player who will be smart enough to integrate into our team. That is my assumption. But I will not admit to him being a better player for us than Georginio Wijnaldum, because I have seen Gini play for us, and win games for us, and would not assume that Thiago can do the same if he made the switch from Munich to Liverpool. I cannot even picture in my mind’s eye as to what he would look like playing for us.
But for some reason, every other fan on twitter seems to think that the sky will fall if we do not sign him and they seem to be convinced that he is the player we need to help us retain our title, and win the Champions League again. They are ready to kill, maim, commit arson AND sacrifice their first-born child to defend this belief of theirs. And we go through this form of self-flagellation EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Irrespective of how good the previous season went. You would think that our first league title would mean we are no longer THAT tortured fanbase, but no, we intend to continue exhibiting our inner demons on social media for all to see.
Hope and Change
My biggest concern for fellow Liverpool supporters has always been that they do not slip into pessimism and doomsaying over the last 30 seasons. There were enough good players, trophies and top 4 finishes during that time to keep us hopeful for better days.
I thought we would be decimated as a fanbase when Hicks and Gillette nearly bankrupted the club. But we managed to survive that and hang on long enough to see the present glorious days under Jurgen Klopp.
Well, it has so happened that the dark days have turned many of us into fatalists, who expect the worst possible outcome in any game. Also, when was the last time you read about shade being thrown at owners who had made the club strong enough to win titles again?
I hope that we will no longer be fatalists, and start aiming for the reputation of “Happiest football fans in the world”. We should emulate the sunny disposition of our best players. Mo Salah’s relentless optimism, Bobby Firmino’s pearly whites, Henderson’s self-belief and Mane’s genuine kindness.
Treat Champions like Champions
Slagging off our first champion players in 3 decades is not the way to move forward. Implying that we need a striker because our first team front 3 have taken their place in the squad for granted, is disrespectful and, sorry to say, ungrateful to their efforts. Will we go after Fabinho next, because his contributions to winning are not as flashy as Salah or Mane’s?
We must not and cannot forget Gini’s role in winning so many games in the last 2 years. He is not a flashy midfielder, which is why his skills remain largely invisible to the casual fan until he scores a goal. The man brings so many intangibles to our team. If he wants to move on to another club, so be it. It is not a slight to Liverpool. He was a solid Red while he was here, and nothing can take away his contributions to the club. Maybe he just wants a change in scenery to revitalize his mind.
The owners and the manager are human
If you had to listen to our more toxic fans, here are the 2 reasons for us not getting Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Iron Man, Snoop Dogg and Steph Curry signed with Liverpool FC:
- Fenway Sports Group and John Henry are cheap and only care about their baseball team. The “baseball” is interchangeable with “soccer” if you are a Boston Red Sox fan.
- Jurgen Klopp is stubborn and does not have a Plan B if he does not get the player he wants. And this is after he brought in All-world talents like Virgil Van Dijk, Alisson Becker, Sadio Mane and Mo Salah. The nerve of him! How dare he be wise with the club’s money!!
So, there you have it. The 2 reasons for our inability to get stronger are – our owners and our manager. Read that again. And then ask yourself about the opioid addiction gripping the world today.
I can only hope that the reasonable and patient fans are the silent majority. Because this is a deplorable way to treat the people who have made us the toast of England and Europe again.
The biggest damage that is done through these irrational reactions to the transfer window is to the reputation of the fan base. From having visited Liverpool and congregated with our fans in various parts of the United States, I can guarantee that for our size, we are one of the most reasonable and patient supporters in the world.
Yes, we get passionate and we get frustrated, based on the fortunes of the team. But I do not know anybody personally who wants Klopp or FSG to be replaced. And I do not think anyone wants Gini sold either unless it is his desire to leave.
I thought this would be a peaceful transfer window. We are defending the title and its up to our rivals to strengthen themselves and take it from us. Talented players from every country and league in the world want to play for Jurgen Klopp and our fans.
To further allay any fears of a drop off in results, think of how Klopp has helped younger players like Trent Alexander-Arnold take the next step and turned journeymen like Andy Robertson into world beaters. Andy stole Lionel Messi’s lunch money in that European night at Anfield. These are the kind of lion-hearted players that Liverpool already have. Why not just enjoy them and be pleasantly surprised if we bring in a big name to consolidate? Why not be satisfied for the moment and enjoy the success without the pressure. Why not be – CHAMPIONS.