A Day At The Beach(y Head)
March 27, 2012 in Premier League
Ah, the first tresses of sunlight through the window as you wake, the long unopened drawer with the shorts in it, wiping the dust off your shades and perching them on top of your head. Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the streets.
It’s still March, but tell that to the Liverpool team that showed up for the appearance money on Saturday. Lads, I know you’re contractually obliged to fulfil your fixtures and it’s a bit of an imposition when the weather’s so nice, but at least you can still get a decent tan on the Anfield lawn. Ignore those chaps in blue sweating their backsides off. Some people think the beach is for exercise, not for lounging around when they’re off work.
It’s hard to know just what’s wrong with Liverpool. It’s often easy to point to Charlie Adam’s lack of tackling or Jordan Henderson’s anything, but Saturday saw the entire team resting on their Carling Cup laurels. Steven Gerrard did his best but he can’t do it on his own. There has to be some element of motivation, of pace, and of just wanting to beat a team who were begging to be put away.
Yesterday morning, The Guardian told the world that the forumites and armchair fans were talking of replacing the single greatest Liverpool player (and third greatest manager) in our history and, unusual as it may be for their selection of comedians/journalists to wind up fans rather than report on the facts, they have a point. It’s the manager’s job to motivate the team and provide the tactics and clearly that’s not working, but what is the answer? Sack Kenny Dalglish? Move him upstairs? Just weeks after winning a trophy, reaching the semi final of another and…well, just being Kenny Dalglish? Talk sense.
The club is going through a bad time but it has been through worse. Some of us old lags had to endure 1993, 1994 AND 1995 before things picked up. The 1993 side make the current side look like Barca. What made Istanbul in 2005 so glorious was the fact that we were bloody awful in the League that season. Weeks before dispatching Juventus in the Champions League, we’d lost to Southampton with a midfield bossed by David Prutton. Well, quite. If the internet fans who demand instant gratification want year after year of success then go and support the Harlem Globetrotters. You have to live through these times to make the good times even better.
No one likes watching their team of millionaires donate three points to the nearest bottom-three team (‘roll up, roll up’) but we have to suffer the slings and arrows when we have a midfield who even I could comfortably out-sprint. We’re in this, or we should be in this, for the long haul and days at Beachy Head are part of the recipe for being a fan. The good times when they arrive will be paid for by the bad times now*.
*(For bad times, read two Wembley appearances a year after we nearly went into administration)