Liverpool and Indian Hockey do have a thing in common, called the ‘Past’.
While, Liverpool are the ‘most successful’ club in England, with 18 League titles (You’ll probably win prizes for guessing when was the last time they won the league!) and 5 European Cups, Indian Hockey has a similar illustrious history, being former World Champions, with 8 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze medals. Liverpool had Bill Shankly, whereas our hockey team had Major Dhyanchand – both legends in their own rights.
Shankly transformed Liverpool from a lower division team to a force in club football, while Dhyanchand was the ‘stick wielding wizard’, who could scare the daylights out of any opposition (Remember his heroics in front of the applauding German dictator, Adolf Hitler!).
But, sadly enough, all of it has just been relegated to the ‘history bin’, as Liverpool are presently a struggling mediocre side (even the Europa league seems to be a distant prospect!), whereas the less the said about Indian Hockey, the better.
The rise (and still rising!) of Manchester United, in the early 1990′s, courtesy Sir Alex Ferguson, is the factor which has ‘knocked Liverpool off their perch’, whereas in the case of Indian Hockey, failing to move on with the times (Astroturf!), and utter lack of apathy and mismanagement on part of the officials, has lead to the current dismal state.
If we compare the two, there would be many similar parallels, including the countless sacking of coaches, as well as the usual ‘every new season being our season’ bravado (Steven Gerrard can say that even at 70 probably but still hats off for his loyalty to LFC!).
Also, the ‘Heroes’ for both would probably be ‘Stevie G’ (best remembered for that awesome 2005 Champions League tournament), and Dhanraj Pillai (A true legend!) for our hockey team.
But, both sets of fans have rested on ‘past laurels’ for a long long time, and it remains to be seen whether Indian Hockey (another debacle expected at the Olympics!) and Liverpool ( ‘Will the coming season be theirs, once and for all?’) manage to get a saviour in disguise to finally change things around.
Or Else, it will just be the same old story repeated once again, with both being consigned to the history books forever in a few years time!