Posts Tagged ‘Fans’

‘Do you know what I don’t understand?’ I said to the other half, in a serious monotone. ‘Quantum physics!’ she laughed; probably more out of pity than anything else. My jokes have never been the best.

It makes sense that I don’t understand quantum physics – hence why my joke was so funny. But what doesn’t make sense (and what I also can’t comprehend) is this feeling of optimism I get at every ‘new season’s eve’.

I even had it last year. Well! It was a little different last year. Maybe more along the lines of ‘it won’t be that bad’. Even the signing of Joe Cole made me wonder if we could push our way into the top four. Maybe he’d just gone stale at Chelsea and he’d be rejuvinated in red. Oh, how wrong was I? Poor misguided fool.

It’s not wrong though, is it? It’s perfectly normal to get questions running through your mind:

What if all the signings turn out to be first class, can we push for top four or maybe even better?

Will it make a big difference with us not playing in Europe, while others around us are?

Have Arsenal blown their chances of top four, with two of their best players on the way out of the door? (obviously not the best of poets either!)

Can Kenny Dalglish carry the team to silverware, given the form he got out of a weaker team at the end of last season?

Despite my current optimism my brow has become increasingly furrowed with each signing we’ve made. I’m not sure I understand the logic of paying such a premium for English players. The signing of Andy Carroll still makes my head spin. Not that he’s a bad player and not that he can’t become a great one. Just because the level of improvement we’ll need to see to warrant such an expensive investment is vast.

There is clearly a strategy in play. A plan has been formalised and is being followed with great rigour. Inexorably leading us to fielding the highest number of british players a Liverpool side has seen in a long time. After harping on so many times last season about the need for Fenway Sports Group to plan fully and think differently. I would be a hypocrite to start complaining now.

You can’t help but feel that we’re at a tipping point though. The last chance saloon? If the plan doesn’t work, worse – if it backfires completly, the top four could be a long lost forgotten dream. Our owners don’t appear to have the same financial clout as the clubs we’re competing against, they’ve even admitted as much. So if this doesn’t work – is there money for a plan B? Doubtful.

And yet, I feel optimistic. That optimism is bourne out of trust. Trust in Fenway Sports Group, Damien Commolli and in particular Kenny Dalglish. Three parties all pointing in the same direction, singing from the same hymn sheet with the same goal in mind. What would we have given for that at the start of last season?

No European football will undoutbtedly have a telling impact on how the season unfolds. How many times did we see strong European performances followed by lacklustre domestic showings a few days later. European games put an additional pressure on squads, which in the past has been quite telling. Let’s face it none of those teams in European action are going to want to face us a few days after a trip away.

As for the signings. Well I have to trust those who make such decisions. I’ve been puzzled by them, but I believe those, who know far more than me, believe in why they have made them. Even at a premium. None of them are bad signings, just expensive ones. But if we get greater team cohesion from the outset (and into the future) who’s to say what might actually happen next season.

Cards on the table time. The bit I’ll probably cringe at come the end of the season. But I am going to be brave and set it in cyberspace stone. I think we’ll finish top four, probably with a cup. That will be a platform to build from for the future.

With a dose of good luck, or maybe even just avoiding the dose of bad luck we’ve been known for, I think we could possibly achieve even more. There’s a plan – it’s different and seems to be getting followed meticulously. Put that together with our great club’s key figures all pointing in the same direction and the worlds greatest fans behind them – who knows. Maybe we’ll just skip straight past the platform step.

The Echoes of Silence

Posted: March 30, 2011 by mcdonaldtaf in Liverpool FC
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Quiet around here, isn’t it? Pretty quiet everywhere in fact. No games and no drama coupled together with a closed transfer window leaves us all in the same position. Like being a newly elected president kicking his heels till the inauguration, patiently waiting for the new dawn.

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That fine purveyor of wind up Patrick Barclay was ‘at it’ again after the Wolves game. His tweet of “‘Hodgson for England’ is the new Kop wit. They might equally have tried a twist on the Brighton replay classic…” was followed by “”Stevie Gerrard, Stevie Gerrard, what a difference you have made, what a difference…”” There’s no doubting who Paddy thinks should shoulder the blame. Although it is fair to point out that he did acknowledge things hadn’t progressed as he expected under Hodgson and that Rafa was a good manager – SHOCK! There were little glimmers of sense until “But naturally I hope Roy survives. Good man, good manager. Gather he’s said sorry to fans. Tis the season for apologies, apparently.”

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When is enough, enough?

Posted: December 2, 2010 by mcdonaldtaf in Business, Finance, Liverpool FC
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I’m sure there are plenty of posts like the following scattered throughout the Internet. However, with news relatively quiet on the Liverpool front I thought I’d turn my attention to a broader issue. Once I’ve settled in fully at Bristol I will take the time to run some proper calculations on the following post, but in the meantime I think there is enough ‘meat on the bone’ for you to get the gist.

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Let’s get realistic about things shall we?

  • The Premier League or FA aren’t going to save our club
  • Christian Purslow isn’t going to save our club
  • Martin Broughton certainly isn’t going to save our club (although he may take some ‘keepsakes’ with him when he returns to Chelsea)

I’ve been reading David Conn’s excellent ‘Searching for the Soul of Football’ and one thing becomes abundantly clear. Those in the ivory towers are very rarely a club’s saviour. Nine times out of ten it comes down to us, the fans. It truly is shocking when you read the book how many clubs have been ‘shafted’ by those who rode in to save the day. I strongly recommend that, if you haven’t, you get hold of a copy. It’s an education.

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When I was younger the walk home from school always included a dash past a house with a ‘mad dog’. Even then I was tall and my mum used to laugh at the sight of this runt of a dog chasing her 6 foot son home every day. I despised that dog with a passion and used to plot my revenge from my bedroom, however before anyone calls the RSPCA I can confirm it eventually died of old age. The realisation didn’t set in for a long time that I had other options (other than walking the long way round). I could have quite easily stood up to that little runt of a mutt or just befriended it.

The ‘mad dog’ came into mind this morning and was the last straw, as they say, towards my decision to join Spirit of Shankly. On reflection I have been as guilty with my fear or misunderstanding of Spirit of Shankly as I was with that dog. Although I’m only an hour away from Anfield, and many from North Wales count Liverpool as its city centre, I feel a million miles away from the ‘hardcore’ of reds. I am one who’s counted as an ‘out of towner’ or OOT and there is no getting away from the fact that we are looked down upon in certain quarters.

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New billboards aimed at the upper echelons of Anfield can now be seen within the Liverpool area. The billboards which pronounce “Tom & George: Debt Lies Cowboys Not Welcome Here” are simplistic, presumably by design, and have the desired impact. Indeed as someone who has been hesitant about Spirit of Shankly and the negative affects of our American owners I actually find them to be effective in the cause.

There appears to have been a significant drive from Spirit of Shankly to increase membership numbers and tweeting evidence would suggest they are. That’s not to say they’ve won over all comers. Fans I speak to still refer to the infamous Munich chants. A reprehensible act which I think will leave them tarnished for some time to come. However, there is little the union can do to repair acts of the past. What they can do, as they are, is stay true to the cause and keep their noses clean from here on in.

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There are some people out there this morning who, even at this stage, owe our manager an apology. There is little denying that you don’t know who you are – but for clarification…

You are the naysayers who told us (quite categorically) that the manager had lost the dressing room, despite eleven men playing their hearts out for every one of at least the last 900 minutes of football – finishing this recent run with 10 men playing with more passion, determination and heart than all the naysayers put together. The ones who called for Martin O’Neill to take charge immediately,  before we claimed 17 out of last 21 possible points; for those not in the know – representing title-winning credentials. You are the people who referred to OUR OWN manager as a ‘spanish waiter’ or a ‘retard’ or any one of many other derogatory comments I’ve seen.

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I Was There

Posted: January 22, 2010 by mcdonaldtaf in Post Game
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In the film Bad Boys 2 after Will Smith’s partner, who has shot to injure (and not kill) throughout the film, shoots several people dead he yells at him “that’s how you shoot, from now on you shoot like that”. As I reflected on the mid-week game this morning that scene kept popping back into my head; and my thoughts weren’t aimed at Degen for not pulling the trigger when he should have either. The thoughts being reflected in my mind were aimed at the fans.

In October of last year, when the dramas of this season had only just begun to unfold, I wrote “During the next 12 months we [should] come together in unity behind our great football club. God knows after yesterday’s result we need it!”. Then in December, when things had significantly worsened,  I suggested “As we all know, times at Anfield are challenging and difficult at this moment. It is a time for strength of support to well up around the club. It is in these times of adversity that the ‘kop faithful’ has delivered time and time again.”

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