Policing How People Support The Club Is Really Depressing

Evertonians, who spent the previous weeks mocking Liverpool fans for being upset about the perfectly good goal against Tottenham not being counted despite the Video Assistant Referee officials confirming it was a goal, lost their collective heads in the wake of the Merseyside derby. They complained about Ashley Young being sent off, in spite of the fact that they were two of the most yellow card fouls you could hope to commit. They were annoyed at conceding a penalty that many thought were soft when they’d have been marching to Stockley Park with pitchforks out if that had been Virgil van Dijk instead of Michael Keane and the penalty not given. And, of course, they were incensed at Ibrahima Konaté not being shown a second yellow card. In real time, I thought it was an accidental coming together of the two players and couldn’t believe that the referee had given it, but when I watched the replay I knew we’d dodged a bullet and that the Frenchman was lucky to still be on the pitch.

Of course, the entire point of football is that you see things through your own bias. Evertonians, losing their minds at the injustice of it all, perhaps because that’s better than having to thinking about the appalling tactics employed by Sean Dyche, are ignoring some other mistakes the referee made. Young should’ve been shown a second yellow card for kicking the ball away to stop us from taking a quick free-kick shortly after his first booking, for example. James Tarkowski committed two yellow card offences but was only shown one card. These are they sort of refereeing errors that happen all the time in every match, but you only focus on the ones that have an impact on your team. Having done a TikTok about the refereeing recently, plenty of the responses told me I was viewing it through ‘Kopite-coloured spectacles’, or words to that effect. Of course I was, just as those posting the comments had their own biases at play. That, in truth, is how football will always work.

Vloggers Aren’t Killing The Atmopshere

There was a post put on Twitter over the weekend attacking an American woman for filming her and her fella at the derby on Saturday. It suggested that people who were supposed to have tickets in the Upper Anfield Road but who got them cancelled when the company building the new tier went into administration should be annoyed at her and her husband for being at the match instead of them. Obviously the usual crowd jumped on board, saying how appalling it was that people filmed themselves at the match and suggesting that it was the likes of these two people that the atmosphere was so poor. It is such a nonsense, if for no other reason than the bloke is apparently a season ticket holder and got offered a ticket, so he took his wife. How many of us would do something similar in the same circumstances? I went to a game with my wife a few years ago because I wanted her to experience the thing I love the most; to gain an insight into what I’m passionate about.

There are so many reasons why the atmosphere was poor on Saturday. Top of the list is the fact that it was a 12.30pm kick-off, which sucks all of the life out of the match. Next up would be Sean Dyche’s tactics, with the Everton manager having no intention whatsoever of allowing a game of football to break out, even before the sending off. When I had a season ticket on the Kop, most of the people around me were Scouse season ticket holders. They would rarely sing, often only making a noise in order to slag off the players or criticise the manager’s tactics, regularly leaving with 10 minutes or so to go. The fact that they are Scouse does not absolve them from being part of the problem around atmospheres, just as the lady in the video being American doesn’t automatically mean it’s her fault. We are all to blame if we don’t sing, make a noise, join in with others that are doing so. Vloggers are an easy target, but they aren’t a fair one and it’s time to look a little closer to home.

Policing What People Wear Is Dreadful

For a lot of locals, it is ‘wool’ to wear a Liverpool top or to own stuff from the club shop. Even doing something like having a scarf is seen as a problem by some. If you dare to wear an official shirt then you’re going to be judged, whilst having something meaningful put on the back of one is a reason for derision. It must be so exhausting to constantly want to police what other people wear, say and do. It feels as though singing and trying to create an atmosphere is another thing that has joined the ‘wool’ list, judging by the behaviour of many when I’m at the match. When I was younger, I would definitely have worn a club shirt to go to the game. As I’ve grown older, I’ve become a bit more self-conscious about doing so, knowing how I’d be judged by others. It is a bit naff that I feel that way, so it isn’t a surprise that others might be made to feel conspicuous about their behaviour by the self-appointed gatekeepers of what is and what isn’t ok around the match, adjusting what they do accordingly.

“Did you see how many half-and-half scarves there were at the derby?” That’s one question I’ve been asked a few times in response to my video and my tweets on the matter. No, I didn’t. I wouldn’t buy that type of scarf personally, but plenty of people choose to do so, perhaps to commemorate the match that they got to go and see. Whilst it has become a symbol of everything that is wrong with modern football, half-and-half scarves are much less of a problem than the people moaning about them. You wouldn’t buy one or wear one, which is totally fair. Why are you attacking someone that would? As one of the most famous clubs in the world with one of the best-known atmospheres, it isn’t a shock that people might want to attend a match at Anfield once in their lives so it shouldn’t be surprising that they might also want to have something to remember it by. They might have sung and shouted and created an atmosphere, but are being judged because of their choice of scarf. It’s time to get down off our high horses.

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