I don’t think anyone can seriously be surprised we lost at Anfield on Saturday night. Liverpool is a supremely talented team, impressively negotiating their way through the Champions League and currently in a rich vein of form. They are a great team to watch and there isn’t many in the PL at the moment you can say that about beyond Man City and Spurs. We didn’t take a hiding at Anfield – Rafa’s teams seldom lose heavily but somewhat predictably we conceded a goal late in the first half and then the game was going to be very difficult. We caught some breaks on Saturday as well – Lascelles could and should have been sent off so we’ll put that down to good fortune and accept the relief.
Sadly, we lost in the stands on Saturday as well. For years an element of our support imagine they are at the cutting edge of comedy by trotting out the most tedious entries in the songbook about signing on, car stereos and all of that rubbish. On Saturday they were back out with this garbage to the amusement, indifference and contempt of Liverpool’s Scouse support. For those that defend it, it is apparently “banter” (now competing to be the worst word in the English language). I’ve little time for people who think this is okay and to be honest I’m not bothered if they have little time for me in return as I’ve no doubt the social media yahoos won’t. I’ll live and so will many more who call it out for the offensive tripe it is.
There are plenty of us who understand the social and economic history of Liverpool as being more or less indistinguishable from Newcastle, Tyneside and the wider North East. Plenty of you reading this came through the really bad times of the 1980s, mass unemployment, low pay and poverty. I don’t write that as if its completely behind us either. We don’t regard poverty as a subject for amusement and look at the idiotic chanting as something to cringe in embarrassment about. Its bad enough coming from Chelsea and other London clubs but from us, Geordies, it defies comprehension.
When Liverpool came to SJP earlier in the season, a good number of their fans visited the NUFC Fans Foodbank and made substantial donations. It was an act of recognition and solidarity. Frankly, it was fantastic and special recognition goes to the Spirit of Shankly fans group, who I think we could learn a lot from. They are good people. The same happened when we played Everton at home too. On Saturday night when the away end went through a repertoire of anti-Ashley songs, there was a ripple of applause around Anfield. There was a recognition from the Liverpool support that a proud old club from a former industrial area with a solidly working class support was being done over by its spiv owner. I appreciate stuff like that and I’m not alone. Its called respect.
The response of some in that away end was to run through some of the dullest, lamentable, unamusing songs about signing on and all of that palaver. Is that us? Is that we are now? A support that cannot respect a club whose fans have shown some considerable support and empathy for us? Really? Honestly?
Lots of Mags felt nauseated by it and have not held back from saying so. If it upsets the banty-bantertastic-banter-boys, I’ll repeat that it made me sick. Lots of us have nothing in common with that moronic behaviour and the people I’ve spoken to about it are as far from the snowflake jibe as its possible to be.
Many of us are on the ropes with Ashley at United and wonder how much more we can take of him sucking the life out of our club. It may not be him with the straw that breaks the camel’s back but rather more of the moronic behaviour we witnessed from some (and by no means all) of that away end on Saturday could finish the job.
Interesting to hear Jermaine Jenas talking about how his fantastic career and how it didn’t thrive at United. Jenas played regularly for a top five club and in the Champions League as well. He played for a top manager and he played with some excellent players. He was okay. He was never a great player. United provided him with the platform to get into the England team in the first instance. When Jenas left us his career didn’t exactly catch fire in the eight years with Spurs. I’m glad to hear Alan Shearer put him right.
Saturday is huge. We know what the team has to do but we also have to be all in it together. I thought the atmosphere v Man Utd was exceptional. We are at our best with our backs against the wall. We are close to securing our PL status but everyone of us has to be behind Rafa and the team on Saturday. SJP isn’t always like it was v Man U but the big picture counts like never before and this manager and these lads deserve our backing.
Keep On, Keepin’ On…
Michael Martin – Follow Michael on @tfMichael1892
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