The missing element in Liverpool’s title charge

The Kop - helping the reds to titles till 1990.

The Kop - helping the reds to titles till 1990.

It’s been a decent season so far in the Premiership.  We’ve got more points on the board at this stage than for a long while, and the fact none of the other big four have been enormously impressive has helped keep us well placed as we enter the final months of the season.

But it’s been nagging at me for a while that we’re missing a key ingredient of previous title winning seasons.

It’s not the players – compared to some of the red teams that have won the title we have an excellent first XI.   I have no doubt that Liverpool have the playing staff capable of winning the Premier League.

It’s not the manager – he’s won titles before, and he’s built a Liverpool team capable of coming back from the dead, capable of winning away from home, able to comprehensively outplay not only the best sides in England but also Europe too.

And you know, it’s not even the Chairmen or Chief Executive – completely useless as they are in my personal opinion.

It’s something a little bit closer to home and it lies with some of the people who get their paws on a ticket to watch Liverpool play at Anfield.

In football the slenderest of advantages here and there can convert defeats in to draws, and more importantly for us draws in to wins.  Many players and managers over the club in years gone by have compared the Anfield atmosphere to as good as a ‘goal head-start’.  The dismal performance of supporters within Anfield this season may have handed that goal start to the opposition.

Would the remarkable Olympiakos fight back have happened if Anfield hadn’t been revved up after the reds equaliser?

Would Liverpool have held on to their 1-0 lead in the European Cup semi-final had Anfield not been electric that night in the spring of 2005?

Liverpool fans sing, well some do, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ before each game.  At times, vast swathes of the crowd at Anfield have been guilty of letting the players do just that.  Opposing players are no longer intimidated by the Anfield crowd, and the psychological boost that can be given to our players is distinctly lacking.

You can point fingers at Liverpool’s torturous and ridiculous ticketing policy, where fans prepared to pay over the odds to be ‘entertained’ with a pre-match meal are favoured over the lifelong supporter who lives around the corner.  These matters however are for another day – and hopefully the Spirit of Shankly supporters group will help ensure that the club do more to engage with their lifelong supporters, and not those who fancy a day out.

Allowing passionate fans to congregate in an area at the back of the Kop was a huge mistake.   It has created a ‘singing section’ and left other fans stuck in other areas of the ground feeling isolated.

Liverpool’s home draws may come back to haunt us come May, and if it does I’ll know where one of the biggest fingers will point.  It won’t be at Lucas Leiva who Liverpool fans fail to support for a mere 90 minutes whilst he wears the red shirt, it won’t be at Robbie Keane; low in confidence and needing a boost, it won’t even be at Andrea Dossena who would be more apt running a fast-food franchise – it will be at those in the Anfield crowd who sit back offering no support and taking their photographs – expecting to be entertained when the responsibility of a supporter is to support.

Liverpool FC 1959-1990’s title winning sides had that extra 10% given to them by the world famous Anfield crowd.  The class of 2008/09 are in a fight for the title ‘walking alone’.

8 comments on
The missing element in Liverpool’s title charge

  1. I have been a Kop supporter since 1970. The days when Anfield used to scare the living daylights out of Teams are long gone. We had formidable players like Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush and John Barnes who were almost God-like during those days. I crave for the atmosphere to be back like those days in Anfield. We have to accept that your comments may be right, but let’s execute things to change things at Anfield. I am an expatriate and exiled as well in Asia Pacific now but as every Liverpool supporter knows our heart and minds are as one all around the world. Let’s not be complacent anymore, let us as Kop supporters make our stories felt, make our voices heard in Anfield. Roar as much as you can. We need to. We need to bring back those good old days.

  2. well the biggest thing is the lack of consistency, why drop robbie keane for the next game after he has just scored a cracker against arsenal. Surely Rafa knows by now that he is a confidence player. If someone is in form keep playing them. I also think Rafa is a very good tactition but I feel he has no man management or proper motivational skills . I beleive we have just as good players if not beter than the UTD scum (as they have a lot more average players, John O’se, park etc etc) but one of the main differences is their winning mentality that is drilled into them and the belief that, that group of players have. Lfc needs to believe again.

  3. Hi
    I agree with your comments, however you need to look at the bigger picture. Way before the yanks arrived the past owners and board sat back at the onset of the premier league and postured that as we are Liverpool we don’t need to do anything, the same could not be said of that mob down the road (MUFC). We should have a sixty/seventy thousand seater stadium, more revenue for transfer market, more capacity for true red fans along with the “Prawn Sandwich” brigade. True red fans cannot get any tickets, If the club checked season ticket holders there would probaly find 30% were being used by those other than the season ticket holder. I am along with my wife PTS members, we still cannot go to matches together due to previous purchases or lack of. To end yes you are quite right, however the club needs to help its self to enable true supporters to attend home or away games.

  4. The problem we have is that Rafa has played to cautiously when we needed to win he went for a draw. We have R20,000, 000.00 pound striker on the bench and he plays Kuyt as lone striker. Rafa has messed up.
    Goodbye Rafa.

  5. I don’ t think you can point the finger at the crowd.IMO. Too many draws,against teams we should have beaten look like they might come back to haunt us. Arsenal won premiership titles playing at, what was known has..”The Highbury Library”. So to use the crowd as an excuse I think is pretty petty.

  6. Couldn’t agree more.
    The Anfield atmosphere has been pretty dismal especialy this season, the fans are far more vocal away from home, and its a pleasure to follow the REDS away for the singing alone. Such a shame when we have made our best start to a premiership campaign.
    I really don’t don’t know what the answer is, but I for one will continue to sing my heart out even if I am ‘walking alone’

  7. As an exiled scouser I have to agree. Whilst we do need to change with the times and generate more income from matchdays, we also have to remember what has got us to this stage in the first place. Our foundation has been built on our support. Not just for Monday night against the blue noses but for the rest of the season we all need to get behind the red men. We are the famous the famous Kopites.

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