Liverpool fans find their voice – for the first time since junior school
OPINION: Pure fans of club that doesn't buy success discover attraction of money
31 August, 2017 — By Richard Osley
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in his new Liverpool shirt [Pic: Liverpool/Twitter]
YOU will have your own theory as to why Liverpool have not won the league in 27 years, a near-three decade drought which even eclipses Arsenal’s calamities and would certainly have once been a scarcely believable storyline for anybody who drew breath in the 1980s. Mine follows below.
Shortly after their last triumph, 1990!, the long overdue back pass rule was introduced and the repetitive old commentary you used to hear at the end of matches which Liverpool were winning was consigned to history: Grobbelaar to Hansen to Lawrenson to Grobbelaar to Hansen to Grobbelaar…
As much as they lectured us in years to come about defending, we never really got to see Hansen and Lawrenson play without the safety net of a prod back to Brucie. And how stupid does it sound now that a goalkeeper could roll it out to a centre back who can then tap it back to the keeper on repeat?
As such, all of Liverpool’s league titles are essentially invalidated given they were all won before this obvious, necessary, rule was introduced.
Oh, you just believe football began when Sky TV told you it did, is the normal response to a Liverpool fan, weighed down as they are by collectable badges detailing their own team’s enormously fantastic history. This after all is a club which, we were led to believe, was stubbornly proud not to have bought up its success in the way Chelsea and Manchester City are reasonably accused of doing. Until now.
But after years of being told by many of their supporters that football has lost its soul in the Premier League era because of money/their team wasn’t winning (delete as you think fit), the Liverpool fans are suddenly back in hearty voice – for the first time since junior school – delighted their club is smashing transfer fee records day after day.
Suddenly, money isn’t the vulgar, unstoppable, force that has poisoned the pitch.
Suddenly money is a salve, because, who’d have thought it, it can bring a host of multi-million pound players to your club. You can officially be described as splashing the cash when you find a loose £40million lying around to spend on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who as it happens is the player Arsenal fans are least worried about losing.
Welcome back Liverpool fans, we missed ya.
Granted, the last 389 words will sound quite sour, assembled in the wake of a wholly embarrassing defeat at Anfield, but how bad Liverpool have been in the back pass era should be clearly spelt out to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal. This was a club too big to fail, but one fortuitous European Cup aside, fail they have… for a quarter of a century.
As their own crisis develops, Arsenal must quickly take action not to become Liverpool, not to follow them there.