Belief - The sole component that an institution can thrive on.
Faith - The embodiment of trust.
But doesn’t faith come with more than just simple belief? You can never just believe in certain things. You cannot just show faith to anyone.
Does that mean you cannot display faith in an institution? No matter how ridiculed you maybe, for standing up for what you believe in? Yes, and no, because faith, trust and belief go hand-in-hand. Loyalty will never survive without the three values. Loyalty is blind. Even when there is no hope, true loyalty will endure.
But there is a glimmer of hope in this particular case – the case of the downtrodden Liverpool fan.
Forgive me for being so-overly philosophical (due to the rumblings/voices in my brain), but as you must have found out by now, being a Liverpool fan is exasperating as of now. Liverpool FC just suffered a 3-0 opening day defeat to West Bromwich Albion. Yes you read that right, West Brom. The same team who have spent the last five years or so jumping between divisions, a team that was cannon fodder for a club like Liverpool at the peak of its supremacy.
The same West Brom team whom Liverpool beat 2-0 last season at the very same stadium, the Hawthorns, with even Andy Carroll grabbing a goal!
The script was supposed to be different. How on earth could this have happened? After all, Liverpool signed one of the most promising young managers in the game, Brendan Rodgers, to lead them into their new era of success. Rodgers almost immediately earned the trust, faith and belief of the Anfield faithful, based on his fairytale-like run with Swansea City last season. For Christ’s sake, they managed to out-pass Arsenal, beating the legendary Arsene Wenger at his own game!
That would bring to my next question – what went wrong? Surely Liverpool weren’t that bad? The truth is, they weren’t. The Merseysiders actually dominated the first-half with West Brom’s organised defence (Roy Hodgson’s work) keeping them at bay, before lightning struck in the form of Zoltan Gera’s exemplary half-volley scorching past a befuddled Pepe Reina.
Luis Suarez and co. were up to their same old tricks, missing gilt edged chances, and the ever anonymous Stewart Downing must have had the great Bill Shankly banging his head in his grave.
No matter, the second half was still there. Liverpool started brightly enough, until Shane Long won a penalty off Daniel Agger. The penalty looked very soft, but in truth Long was the last man, and the rules of the game clearly state that you cannot bring down the last man, but really Phil Dowd? A direct red card? That isn’t a tad too harsh, that is extremely harsh. Dowd proceeded to incense the Reds even more, with an even softer penalty being awarded after Martin Skrtel ‘tripped’ Long. Long came in front of him, and Skrtel had no clue that he was there!
A really pathetic display from Dowd. Howard Webb was a better ref in Chelsea‘s 3-3 draw with United at the Bridge last season. To put the icing on top of the cake, he showed a yellow card to Andy Carroll (he did deserve it), but so did Jonas Olsson.
Then comes the lone bright spark in the Liverpool side, Joe Allen. Remember that belief and trust I was talking about? It’s all due to the diminutive 22-year old Welshman. It led me to the conclusion that Xabi Alonso had returned, such was the accuracy of his passing. Allen was tidy in possession for the most part, and was at the center of Liverpool’s first half domination. You wouldn’t think that a Britisher was capable of producing such sublime passes.
The boy has potential, potential that can thrive under Rodgers. Mark my words, Allen will become a legend. Bold words, I know. Paul Scholes will be proud of his passing skills. Once he has adjusted the finer details of his game, Joe Allen will become a phenomenon, barring any other unfortunate circumstances.
Allen could form a partnership for the ages with Lucas. The presence of Gerrard will only help the youngster. If England had him, they would’ve had a partnership that could’ve bettered the duo of Gerrard and Lampard and finally brought the world to their feet, Allen and Jack Wilshere.
And no I am not a bitter Liverpool fan picking out the lone bright spark, and hyping it up to the moon. Watch Swansea’s performances last season. You’ll be in for a treat.
In conclusion, Liverpool were unlucky, but West Brom played well and deserved their victory, but the scoreline flatters them heavily (just like Sunderland’s 3-0 win at Chelsea in 2010). Luis Suarez really needs to learn to shoot if the Reds are to get anywhere this season, and Borini will have better days. Downing though needs to be relegated to the bench. The possible signings of Sahin, Tello, and Dempsey are of utmost importance. Liverpool need at least two of those players.
Faith has a cause and faith will endure. Belief must be sustained and trust can placed on the capable shoulders of Rodgers and Allen. But loyalty should never waver, for if loyalty dies, the institution withers away and dies a meaningless death. But at Liverpool, that should never be the case, and will never be the case, for we have some of the best fans in the world.
I’m not going to scream ‘YNWA’ at the end of very argument with rival fans, and bark on about our history. I’m not going to do that, as it serves no purpose in our current state.
I am not going to tell tales of what Liverpool were, what Liverpool should be and what should’ve happened. The past is the past. Do not dwell upon it. Let the memory of this game fade away, because it will.
And who knows, I probably am being very optimistic. But that’s because I’m a fan. We will remain that way.
We do not have to fear anybody, but fear itself.
Bring on Manchester City!