Kylie Mitchell comments on the fans who all of a sudden think they are football experts and know what’s best for Liverpool FC.
Whenever Liverpool are involved in a game, the internet soon becomes filled with a wide range of opinions from fans worldwide, before, during and after the game. This is completely natural, fans share their opinions and whether it be on a fan site or a social networking site, it doesn’t really matter because that’s how fans bond and learn to understand different viewpoints etc.
Sometimes we agree with the opinions we are exposed to, sometimes we don’t.
The fact that everyone won’t always agree is what keeps the world interesting. Quite often, when we find that we do not agree with an opinion, we can still understand the opinion to an extent or understand where it may have come from.
Sometimes though, some people express opinions and you just think, ‘wow, where did that come from? I don’t understand that opinion at all.’ It doesn’t happen too often but it happens enough amongst some Liverpool F.C. fans.
Following our narrow Europa League 1st leg victory over FC Gomel, I came across a few of these outrageous opinions. ‘Rodgers out’ and ‘Fabio Borini isn’t good enough for Liverpool’ being two of the most outrageous of these opinions.
If anybody is reading this and thinking, ‘well that isn’t ridiculous, it’s true’ then I’d have to question their calibre as Liverpool ‘fans.’ I’m sure I wouldn’t be alone in doing so either.
As most of us will know, being a ‘fan’ isn’t all about success. It’s about loyalty and support. Real fans support their team whether they win, draw or lose and not just the first one. Real fans try to remain positive in the darkest of days. Real fans are realistic and do not expect instant success. Real fans realise that the manager and players are only human and therefore make mistakes, like we do. I could go on all day, but most of us need no explanation.
Sadly though, as with every big club, you find that there are a few ‘fans’ who are somewhat out of touch with the real world. These so called fans support their team when they win and complain when they lose or draw. They are quick to celebrate victories but twice as quick to criticize when the team drops points. They think it’s acceptable to slate their own players, boo them off the pitch and create a negative atmosphere and then complain that their negativity hasn’t helped the team become positive. These so called ‘fans’ also expect instant success in everything and do not understand the meaning of the word ‘patience.’
I firmly believe that the people who believe that ‘Borini isn’t good enough’ after one game and want ‘Rodgers out’ must belong to the smaller group of so called ‘fans.’
What high calibre fan would judge Fabio Borini’s Liverpool career after just 90 minutes on a football pitch? None, surely? Borini signed for us a mere three weeks ago. That doesn’t leave much time for him to learn about the ins and outs of our whole squad and how they work. New players need time to familiarise themselves with their new club and gel with their team mates, this stuff doesn’t happen overnight. If somebody started a new job in the real world, would they be expected to know absolutely everything about their workplace and colleagues after three weeks? Not at all, so the same has to apply to footballers, they are only human after all.
Borini needs time. He hasn’t even had a chance to work with all of his team mates yet. Luis Suarez who presumably will be playing alongside him for the majority of next season, has been on international duty at the Olympics. So how is he meant to know everything and be hugely successful after one game, when several members of our first team were missing? For all we know, Borini could strike up a lethal partnership with Suarez when he returns and set the Premiership alight and where will the doubters be then? In the Liverpool shop, getting ‘Borini 29’ printed on their shirts, probably. The lad is only 21 and he has plenty of time to improve so everybody should give him a chance and judge him after a couple of seasons because judging him after 90 minutes of Europa League qualifying football is just ridiculous and very unfair. If these doubters continue to create negativity, this could have a very negative impact on Borini’s confidence and none of us want that.
I can understand that we are used to Liverpool Football Club being hugely successful, challenging for titles, playing Champions League football and attracting the very best players in the world and the fact that none of this has happened in the last few seasons is very difficult to deal with. In fact, it hurts us. It feels wrong and even embarrassing at times. So every time we sign a new player there is a new sense of hope and optimism amongst fans. We want this player to be the one that brings the glory days back to our great club. We want this new player to help us regain our perch and win the league titles we crave so badly. This is where the distinction between real fans and so called fans comes into effect.
If anybody truly expected Borini to score a hat trick on his debut and expects him to score 40 goals this season and bring the title back to Anfield then I’m guessing they have spent too much time playing FIFA 12 on their Playstation or Xbox. These things happen in video games, not in the real world. In the real world, we have to be patient. Our club has been damaged over the last few years and we have to appreciate that we are in the middle of a rebuilding process. Success will not return overnight. Of course, we would love Borini to strike 40 goals and bring the title home to Anfield but that is the difference between true fans and so called ones; real ones harbour hopes and are prepared to wait whilst offering their full support in the meantime. So called ones expect and expect it now and to hell with anyone who doesn’t make it happen instantly.
The same goes for Brendan Rodgers. How on Earth anybody could want him sacked already is beyond my understanding. He needs time to work with his current squad. He needs time to figure out who has a future at LFC and who doesn’t. Yet some people are more concerned about his lack of signings. He still has a couple of weeks for this and before he looks elsewhere he has to get his own house in order and sort out any potential dead wood first. Rodgers isn’t stupid, he will know who he would ideally like to sign and he knows when the transfer deadline is, fans just have to be patient and trust that he knows what he is doing because negativity achieves nothing. The last thing we need at our club is another Hodgson-like saga, everybody has to pull in the same direction and for us fans that means standing behind Rodgers and his decisions. He is willing to dedicate his life to making us successful again and that should be enough to earn fans’ respect and patience.
As for last night’s game itself, true, it may have been a scrappy affair. Our performance wasn’t exactly convincing but who really cares, we won. We played so well numerous times last season and somehow managed to lose the game. This time we possibly deserved to lose based on our performance. But what feels better, losing when you should have won, or winning when you should have lost? Performances don’t mean much compared to results and pretty or not, our boys got the result in Belarus so that is all that matters. If we miraculously came to the end of the season and we had scraped 38 1-0 wins despite performing badly and we managed to win the league, would people complain? I very much doubt it.
There are a few positives we can take from the game in Belarus. Obviously, there’s the fact that we managed to grind out the win despite being under a lot of pressure from FC Gomel. We played away in their intimidating atmosphere without several first team players and managed to bring back a lead to Anfield. We also kept a clean sheet which is very encouraging from a defensive point of view. Stewart Downing scored a very nice goal, which will provide a much needed boost to his confidence in time for the new Premier League season. Lucas made a 64th minute appearance and gained some crucial game time in his bid to regain full fitness for the new season. Raheem Sterling got a decent run out too, playing 66 minutes due to Joe Cole’s unfortunate injury in the first half and as always, Sterling looked highly impressive. Last but not least, Kop legend Jamie Carragher captained us as he made his landmark 700th appearance for the club. He made a few crucial challenges and saved our blushes on numerous occasions, proving that he still has a lot to offer Liverpool Football Club.