You Might Not Believe, But The Players Seem To

In the wake of the Reds’ 3-0 win over Aston Villa on Sunday, there was a picture posted online of a couple wearing Liverpool shops adorned with ‘Queen 1’ and ‘King 1’. The tweet was sneering in nature, being incredibly judgemental about the couple for wearing such a top. It asked, “who the f*ck reckons that’s sound to print seriously.” The implication seems to be that someone in the club shop should’ve told them they weren’t allowed what they wanted printed on the back of the tops that they were paying a decent amount of money to but. Plenty of people leapt to the couple’s defence, but there were also a large number of tweets agreeing with the sentiment that it was ‘cringe’ or not ok. I am so very bored of people acting like the gatekeepers to what is ok and what isn’t when it comes to supporting Liverpool. One guy replying to my tweet on the matter equated what they were wearing to someone who had Manchester United slippers on at Anfield recently. That’s right, wearing Liverpool shirts is akin to Man United merchandise.

What is their story? We have no idea. Maybe she’s a massive Liverpool fan and has persuaded him to get into the football, so he’s bought the shirts as a way of showing her that he cares about something she’s into. Maybe she didn’t really want to wear it but realised how much time, effort and money he’d spent doing it so chose to. Maybe they call each other ‘King’ and ‘Queen’, given ‘Queen’ is quite a Scouse phrase anyway. The assumption that they’re not locals is snobbish and offensive. I wouldn’t wear that top. I was bought a Liverpool shirt with ‘Smith 40’ on the back for my 40th birthday by my friends, not knowing I don’t tend to wear the official shirts. It was a lovely, thoughtful present that I got signed by Jordan Henderson, little realise he’d later do what he did and make me hate that I got it signed by him. There are far too many people who want to act as gatekeepers to what is an ‘acceptable’ way to support the club in their eyes and it has no place in a modern Liverpool supporter base.

The Players Mean Business

There is a long season in front of us. We have only played four teams out of the 19 that we’ll need to take on, playing those four just once instead of twice. One of the teams was a Bournemouth side that will likely be in the relegation fight come the end of the campaign, whilst the other was an Aston Villa team that hasn’t done all that well away from home. It is important not to get carried away with just a few results. Yet it is the performances rather than the results themselves that have got me excited. Last season, Liverpool struggled when things didn’t go their way. There is no way we’d have emerged from the Bournemouth and Saudi Arabia FC games with six points, given the sendings off that we suffered. Instead of allowing heads to drop, though, this team treated it as a personal affront. We worked hard at St. James’ Park, digging deep to find the win needed to keep ourselves in the conversation. Having watched Arsenal and Man United yesterday, I don’t think either team will be worrying Jürgen Klopp.

The performance against Villa was one of our most accomplished since the 7-0 demolition of Manchester United. The players turned up, covering for each other well and not allowing heads to drop. Obviously the early goal helped, but even without it we were dominant for the opening periods. Joe Gomez and Joel Matip were concerns heading into the fixture, but the two of them played brilliantly and Matip in particular was aided by a formation change from the manager. For his part, Gomez made one mistake but one of his teammates covered for him and the player himself just got on with things. It was a performance that suggests that Liverpool know that they can be part of a conversation this season; whether that be for the title or the top four remains to be seen. There is obviously a long way to go and once the Europa League starts the games will come thick and fast, but ten points from a possible 12, considering both the opposition and the circumstance, will very much do.

It Was A Good Transfer Window

The problem with transfer windows is that you always forget what happened early on and you consistently focus on what went wrong, not what went right. We didn’t sign Moises Caicedo, which will always be seen as a missed opportunity for some, irrespective of how he’s started life at Chelsea. That we also missed out on Romeo Lavia and Wataru Endō has yet to make an impression will also lodge itself in the consciousness of many. Add into that the lack of defensive recruitments and you can soon see a world in which Liverpool’s transfer activity can be seen as bad if you want to look at things in a negative light. I’m often a glass half full kind of person, which is especially the case when you consider the fact that we’ve managed to completely overhaul our midfield with players that are younger and hungrier than those that were there before. Thus far, they also appear to be more physically reliable, although I’m more physically reliable than Naby Keïta and I’ve got multiple sclerosis.

The fact that some of the signings happened at the start of the window means that some people basically pretend they didn’t happen. Dominic Szoboszlai is a case in point. The Hungarian has been the player of the season so far, looking like he’s been playing for the team for years. Similarly, Alexis Mac Allister’s performances have impressed on account of how well he’s slotted into the team. Add into that the arrival of Ryan Gravenberch, who was spoken of in the same breath as Jude Bellingham and Aurélien Tchouaméni before his move to Bayern Munich, and you can see that this has the potential to be seen as an excellent window if you want to look at things more positively. I would definitely have brought in at least one defensive improvement, but I imagine Jürgen Klopp would rather promote a youth player who understands how he’s supposed to play, with Jarell Quansah doing so brilliantly thus far. It’s been a great window, which is playing out on the pitch.

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