When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high. And don’t be afraid of the dark.
I’m sure we all know those words off by heart. The opening line of one particular song. The song that has become an anthem to this club since it was first played over the PA system back in the 60’s. The song that gets sung at every game, home and away, more than any other. The song that every true Kopite lives, breathes and dies by.
Trouble is, a lot of those Kopites seem to have forgotten. Seem to have forgotten the words. Seem to have forgotten what they mean.
This season has been a storm for us. A rather big storm. For the club. For the fans. For the players. And perhaps most tellingly, especially recently, for Rafa Benitez.
This has not been our best season by any means. Everybody was expecting us to be right up there fighting again for the title after last season’s spectacular efforts. But for one reason or another, we haven’t been. Heavy debt. Budget constraints. Boardroom troubles. Rumours of dressing room unrest. Injuries left, right and centre, to our best players. Just sheer bad fortune.
Ask yourself. With all of the above, and more, don’t you think we’re actually doing rather well to be where we are in the league? Lesser clubs would be fighting relegation. Lesser managers would have us near, if not in, the drop zone. Think Juande Ramos at Spurs.
Rafa has done extremely well to keep us up fighting for that 4th spot. Yes, we’ve had some dark moments. We’ve been knocked out of the Champions League. We’ve been dumped out of the Carling Cup. And at the second attempt, we couldn’t even beat lower league opposition in the FA Cup. Dark times indeed.
And a lot of fans, contary to the song and it’s meaning, do seem to be afraid of the dark. Over the last few weeks, not just here on TIA forums, but other LFC forums too, LFC fans on Facebook, Twitter, in fact anywhere now available for LFC fans to vent, people have been calling for Rafa Benitez’s head. Afraid he’s not the right man for the job any more. Afraid he won’t be able to pull us out of the mire we’ve been in.
But why? We’ve been through bad times before. We went through some bad times in Gerard Houllier’s final seasons, but he never got the amount of vitriol that Benitez seems to be getting. Or is it just there weren’t as many avenues for people to let off steam back then? The amount of fans calling for the managers head is almost unprecedented for our club. Almost. Only to be rivalled in the clubs 118 year history by the level of abuse and stick received by Graeme Souness during his tenure in the managers hot seat. I’m not sure even Don Welsh had as much back in the 1950’s – and he got us relegated!
At the end of the storm, there’s a golden sky, and the sweet silver song of the lark.
Our anthem continues.
And this is what some folk still aren’t seeing. But given the evidence of the last couple of games, more and more fans are getting back on side. Chanting the managers name. Rafa, Rafael. Rafa, Rafael. Rafa, Rafael. Rafael Beintez. The man has a passion for this club that matches that of Shankly and Paisley. He may not always show it the way they did, but its there.
And the golden sky is looming. We might have key players spending more time in the treatment room than on the pitch these days, but we also have able players to come in and do their jobs. For Gerrard, we have Aquilani. For Torres, we have Kuyt. For Johnson, we have Carragher. For Benayoun, we have Riera, Babel, or now Maxi Rodriguez. For Carragher’s centre back slot, we have Kyriagkos. For Kuyt’s right wing slot, well, Philip Degen’s not doing too bad a job of covering!
And lets face it. 10 points from 12. 3 wins and a draw from our last 4 league games. That’s not a bad record for a team apparently deep in trouble, with a ‘clueless’ manager. In fact, as our wonderful friends at Sky Sports pointed out during the Tottenham game – it’s the best record in the league over the last 4 league games!
Walk on, through the wind. Walk on, through the rain. Though your dreams be tossed and blown.
Our anthem goes on.
We’ve had the wind. We’ve had the rain. And our dreams of league glory have certainly been tossed and blown. At least for this season.
Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart.
We get to the chorus. On we go. With continual hope. The season’s not over yet. We’re only one point off 4th spot now, and if we continue our vein of league form we’re in at the moment, who knows what could happen this second half of the season.
But one thing I do know, is that no matter what, we have the right man for the job. In Rafa Benitez we have a manager who is technically and tactically sound. Who eats, sleeps and breathes football. Who has an undeniable passion for this club, and us, its fans. The only man I and many others want at the helm of our great club.
And you’ll never walk alone. You’ll never walk alone.
And so we reach the end of the song. Our anthem. The clubs anthem. And one we would all do well to remember. Walk on Rafa, walk on, with hope in your heart, because………
You’ll never walk alone.