In football, passion becomes second nature. Passion, however, can lead to actions that are unacceptable behavior. The old adage of “I – *insert toxic trait here* – because I care,” was often seen as an excuse for detrimental behavior. All parties involved in football have the ability to make disastrous actions. This season alone we saw Jose Mourinho get dismissed to the stands following dissent, Cristiano Ronaldo kick young Curtis Jones, and Barcelona fans mob their club legend and now former head coach Ronald Koeman’s vehicle following their El Clasico display. All moments were during adversity for the respective teams.
We all enjoyed watching Ronaldo mope and cry during what was one of the greatest performances in our long-standing rivalry to date. But there is still no room for potentially injuring an opponent. There is still no room in the game for risking a coach’s safety as we saw with Koeman. There is no room for derogative and racist statements, violent attacks, and criminal behavior that we in the football world continue to witness.
We as Liverpool fans are known for our passion. It bleeds for all to see through our songs, history, and city. Passion has pushed this team to great moments with fans feeling just as involved as the players. It is exemplified by Jurgen Klopp and passed down to each of his players. They are, of course, the ones that need it most. But never alone, fans encapsulate the players with forceful reminders that the passion is shared. The aura is created in all stadiums visited, with no more dynamic of grounds than Anfield itself.
As an American website, I feel as though it is required to reference The Office; the American one of course. Andy Bernard once said, “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them.” We are living through the ‘good old days at the moment. Don’t let it slip away without enjoying it. This current crop of players is experiencing a bright moment that few who wore the famous red could have imagined.
Inevitably, there will be a blip. Maybe a small one, maybe a big one, but it is impossible to play perfectly every game. And regardless of how many fans believe it, no team can win every game. So when the blip happens, it is important not to overreact.
I am writing this two weeks following the elation of the 0-5 demolition at Old Trafford. Fans were ecstatic, and rightly so. It was one of the most embarrassing annihilations of a so-called world-class team that I can remember. The scoreline was one aspect, but the way it was achieved was ruthless.
The reaction following the game was incredible. Liverpool is going to win the league for years and years to come. We are going to break every record standing, every trophy captured, and Mo Salah will win two Ballon D’or in this year alone! Now I may be overreacting on how I read into some tweets. Maybe that’s the point. To overstep our expectations on what is realistically attainable is detrimental to the overall passion of the team. This team can win a lot of games, I don’t doubt that. But we as fans need to remind ourselves sometimes that our players are human. Their performances are not linear.
I first edited this following the 2-2 draw at home to Brighton. What a difference one week can make. Now we have serious structural issues that need a new shift in dynamics to the team. I’ve also seen that we won’t win any trophies this year. And don’t get started with the social media see-saw opinion on Naby Keita’s abilities. Or Sadio Mane. Or any of our players.
From West Ham to the Good Old Days
We fast forward another week to our final edit and Liverpool has fallen to West Ham 3-2 at the London Stadium. Not only are we now in trouble, but we are also behind West Ham in the table and the sky is truly falling! Watching another lackluster performance was tough, but one that ended the unbeaten streak is even more frustrating.
The truth is that every fan has the responsibility to fight the urge of natural reactions. Knee-jerk reactions that come from recency bias lock fans into an end-all opinion. The urge to provide greater importance to games and moments that are most recent causes a fan to refute any facts that may counter the latest argument.
It is important for fans to understand the totality of the circumstance. The ability to look at the overall nature of play following 3, 4, 5, and so on games cannot be overstepped. There is a natural dissonance that comes from overreacting. And it comes because we care. We care a lot! So next time we win or lose, and win or lose again, and again, let’s take a step back before we turn into Klopp’s analysis team. Because these are the good old days. We must react accordingly and enjoy them to the fullest.