Whenever the name Liverpool FC is heard in any echelon of football, the first thoughts are a great club with an even greater history. The word ‘history’ has been italicised because it forms the crux of this article.
The first and the toughest job Brendan Rodgers will face as a Liverpool Manager would not be to win over the supporters or instil his playing ethos in the club, it would be to remove that term from the Red dictionary. History has been Liverpool’s greatest asset, as well as its greatest liability. It’s that cushion which gives you comfort, irrespective of your performance on the day. It’s the knight in the shining armor when supporters from other clubs try to taunt the Scousers about their not-so-glorious past 2 decades. It’s that baggage which makes the shirt a wee bit heavier than it already is, as well observed by the new gaffer.
“But when you come to a club like this the shirt weighs much heavier than any other. The expectation — and the weight of expectation — is phenomenal.
My job next year is to try to lift some of that weight off the shirt. I’ll take the pressure.”
Brendan will need to make sure that Liverpool’s history is used as an appraisal and not as an excuse, not as the last resort. Whenever a Mancunian tries to give me a hard time, it’s always the same answer- “Come back when you have won 5”. But it’s a fresh stab to an already wounded heart-not his, but mine. As the fact remains, if it had not been for Guardiola’s heavenly Barcelona, they might have had already equaled our record. We might have been touted as “England’s most successful club” since ages but that title looks more of a false ceiling than an iron bastion with each passing season. Barring a few notable occasions, it has been a pain to watch Shanks’ club, that pioneered ‘Pass-and-move’ philosophy, not being able to string a few simple passes together. The league performances have been in a free fall with each passing season and the fans have had nothing to shout since that tryst with destiny in Istanbul in 2005. History. Liverpool have lived in the shadow of history ever since that fateful day when King Kenny stepped down in 1991 as the Manager.
What will be heartening for Brendan to hear would be the fact that he has the best supporters in the world to accomplish his task. I say this without a shred of doubt, that Liverpool fans are the best in the world because no set of fans would have stuck by their team in so much turmoil, so much chaos, through so much false promises. Even with the players having not delivered a trophy in ages, the Kop hasn’t dropped a single decibel, which English Champions Manchester City realised in the second leg of the Carling Cup this year. The sheer noise of the Kop makes visiting teams shiver as testified by many greats of the game over the years. Brendan was quick to acknowledge the role of Liverpool’s hallowed ‘twelfth man’ in his interview-
Well, he might have struck the right chord with the fans with his first interview as Liverpool manager, what happens on the pitch next season holds the key to the club’s future. While jumping on the bandwagon might not be realistic for a couple of seasons at least, but progress is needed. Liverpool’s glorified history may lose its magnetic pull if it’s not supported by a glorious present. So it’s time for a new dawn, time to leave our history, in all its glory, behind; a time to live in the present. It’s time for the promised golden sky after the storm, it’s time for the sweet silver song of a lark, it’s time for a clean slate!
Don’t disappoint us, Brendan. YNWA!