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Reflections on Semi-finals and Fans


Dorset

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I guess we are all feeling a little bit better after United?s exit, stage fright (right?) last night. Now they really did look to be affected by a marvellous home crowd atmosphere - or was it just a case of being totally outclassed by a team that was superior in every department of the game? The latter, I think, and the Media were forced to admit the difference in class, as they had nowhere else to go, except down the ?freezing on the night due to intimidating crowd? route, but this would have been disrespectful to the legendary Anfield choir, a sacrosanct phenomenon in football and, as such, incomparable.

It?s common knowledge, in more ways than one, that Scousers get very touchy when it comes to support and how others perceive their supporters. Witness Rob on here recently and his knee jerk response to news of the Reina burglary and to the, albeit scant, consolation it gave us when opening old wounds in this respect. Why jump to the conclusion it?s a Scouser what done it? - was his instant retort. He would have had a point if the incident had occurred in any other community, because elsewhere ?community? generally infers a spirit within which folk thrive on helping each other out rather than nicking each others stuff. I?m sorry to say that innocent until proved guilty arguments, like a lot of unattended cars in the Liverpool community, do not stand up - unless, of course, bricks are involved.

Little wonder, then, that we go on about Liverpool fans ?history?, or ?previous? if you prefer, in this respect. In fact, that last word says it all for most outside observers - Liverpool fans command little or no respect in game other than through an inflated, jingoistic Media coverage. Thompson, Aldridge, St John, Smith (T) and super-sub Fairclough all get wheeled out to tell us how special the atmosphere is and how special the fans are and how special it was to play in front of them and how it?s worth a goal at least. If all this were true, it wouldn?t need to be repeated so often, by so many, for the moral support of so few. Even Rafa gets a giggle out of it and scores some brownie points by referring to them being the real ?special ones? - he isn?t stupid enough to actually believe this, but he knows that, if you?ve got a myth, there?s no harm in perpetuating it.

The same can be said of his ?Rafa Revolution?, which somewhat ironically, has a truer historical connotation than he probably realises. Two hundred odd years ago, when Liverpool FC had no history to speak endlessly of, another revolution was going on, backed by passionate followers hell bent on bringing down the aristocrats of the day. Tuesday?s game had a similar impassioned crowd feel to it and even the female followers looked threatening. I couldn?t believe the high number of them in the crowd, as evidenced by several pictures in the newspapers, and their presence resembled Madame Defarges of yesteryear, witnessing the dropping of aristo heads into the basket at guillotine (or penalty shootout) time. A strange assortment, then, of knitters, shifty-gitters, nutters and head butters, all special in a sort of Sky packaged way.

Off to Athens now, with Uncle Tom Hicks and George, and good luck to them, they deserved it, just as Milan did last night. The Italians didn?t ?arf play good football whereas, and I hope Rob won?t take inferential offence here, we was mugged. That said, it?s Rafa?s revolutionaries who are on the march and I wouldn?t bet against them witnessing another cold hearted, much vaunted, sudden death guillotining. Another performance courtesy of Chief Executioner Pepe Reina might be the postscript of a dull final, but even more galling would be the thought that the low life who torched his car will probably be watching from the terraces.

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In Rob's defence, although he can probably do it himself, he objected to the accusation that it was Liverfool fan/fans that burgled Reina's house. I think even on this forum we are capable of accepting innocent until proved guilty. And perhaps also accept there is a difference between Liverfool fans and scousers.

And let's be honset on the hate stakes fools ain't nowhere near leeds, manure, spuds and gooners.

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And perhaps also accept there is a difference between Liverfool fans and scousers.

And let's be honest on the hate stakes fools ain't nowhere near leeds, manure, spuds and gooners.

Not for me Tim.

They are number one for me these days , i hate those bar stewards. Self righteous hypocritical tossers.

And i wouldve said the same 48 hours ago.

Anyway , good stuff Dorset.

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I guess we are all feeling a little bit better after United?s exit, stage fright (right?) last night. Now they really did look to be affected by a marvellous home crowd atmosphere - or was it just a case of being totally outclassed by a team that was superior in every department of the game? The latter, I think, and the Media were forced to admit the difference in class, as they had nowhere else to go, except down the ?freezing on the night due to intimidating crowd? route, but this would have been disrespectful to the legendary Anfield choir, a sacrosanct phenomenon in football and, as such, incomparable.

It?s common knowledge, in more ways than one, that Scousers get very touchy when it comes to support and how others perceive their supporters. Witness Rob on here recently and his knee jerk response to news of the Reina burglary and to the, albeit scant, consolation it gave us when opening old wounds in this respect. Why jump to the conclusion it?s a Scouser what done it? - was his instant retort. He would have had a point if the incident had occurred in any other community, because elsewhere ?community? generally infers a spirit within which folk thrive on helping each other out rather than nicking each others stuff. I?m sorry to say that innocent until proved guilty arguments, like a lot of unattended cars in the Liverpool community, do not stand up - unless, of course, bricks are involved.

Little wonder, then, that we go on about Liverpool fans ?history?, or ?previous? if you prefer, in this respect. In fact, that last word says it all for most outside observers - Liverpool fans command little or no respect in game other than through an inflated, jingoistic Media coverage. Thompson, Aldridge, St John, Smith (T) and super-sub Fairclough all get wheeled out to tell us how special the atmosphere is and how special the fans are and how special it was to play in front of them and how it?s worth a goal at least. If all this were true, it wouldn?t need to be repeated so often, by so many, for the moral support of so few. Even Rafa gets a giggle out of it and scores some brownie points by referring to them being the real ?special ones? - he isn?t stupid enough to actually believe this, but he knows that, if you?ve got a myth, there?s no harm in perpetuating it.

The same can be said of his ?Rafa Revolution?, which somewhat ironically, has a truer historical connotation than he probably realises. Two hundred odd years ago, when Liverpool FC had no history to speak endlessly of, another revolution was going on, backed by passionate followers hell bent on bringing down the aristocrats of the day. Tuesday?s game had a similar impassioned crowd feel to it and even the female followers looked threatening. I couldn?t believe the high number of them in the crowd, as evidenced by several pictures in the newspapers, and their presence resembled Madame Defarges of yesteryear, witnessing the dropping of aristo heads into the basket at guillotine (or penalty shootout) time. A strange assortment, then, of knitters, shifty-gitters, nutters and head butters, all special in a sort of Sky packaged way.

Off to Athens now, with Uncle Tom Hicks and George, and good luck to them, they deserved it, just as Milan did last night. The Italians didn?t ?arf play good football whereas, and I hope Rob won?t take inferential offence here, we was mugged. That said, it?s Rafa?s revolutionaries who are on the march and I wouldn?t bet against them witnessing another cold hearted, much vaunted, sudden death guillotining. Another performance courtesy of Chief Executioner Pepe Reina might be the postscript of a dull final, but even more galling would be the thought that the low life who torched his car will probably be watching from the terraces.

i am touched to be referenced in such an elloquent text, and it is an interesting read.

I want to put to bed a couple of myths which you choose to perpetuate however, the first of which is based around my apparent claims that Pepe Reina's burglary was not commited by a scouser. Unfortunately i have no doubt that it was commited by a scouser, my query was that it was somehow fact that it was a liverpool fan. There might be a majority of scousers that support my club, but there are also plenty who dont. My argument was that i personally doubt it was a match going liverpool fan, aspecially as we were involved in a champions league semi final at the time, one that almost every match going, or true, liverpool fan would have been glued to, that was my only point.

With regard to the Anfield atmosphere, it is trotted out commonly, but I know first hand how incredible it can be, as i am sure plenty of you lot will too. I am aware that on many occasions the atmosphere is comparable to a morgue, but for special european nights, there is nothing i know that compares, and many great sides have fallen victim of it, yourselves included in 2005, in my opinion. If former players are asked, they will always answer positively, it goes without saying, but we cannot help who asks these questions and how regularly.

I also know that the reason i am proud to be part of what i firmly beleive to be a special group of supporters is not merely due to the noise generated at anfield on a quater of the games played there in a season. There is something about being part of that Kop, that support, that community that you are wanting, that fills me with pride. I do not know many fans that would sing with such gusto such during half time in a game that is all but lost (istanbul), i do not know another side that applauds every visiting goalkeeper, to show their respect, as they approach the Kop goalmouth no matter what club they play for or no matter what opinions we may have of the player himself. I do not know another club that get their name chanted by countless european clubs at the end of an anfield tie which has seen those supporters removed from the competition, (were Barca fans chanting Chelsea, Chelsea at stamford bridge in either of the last few seasons, or singing along with one of your anthems?)

I do not know another club whose fans would applaud a goal that killed off the chance to defend their title as champions of europe (benfica at anfield last season) and then pick up the volume to a new level to show their pride, no matter how disappointing the immediate circumstances may be, at the team and their acheivements.

All of this is what makes me beleive i am part of a special group of fans, set apart from an other in this country, and allows me such pride to call myself a liverpool fan, even if i cannot call myself a liverpudlian.

I know in advance the response this thread will bring, and i expect nothing else, but your opinions are never going to change the way i feel about my club and my fellow fans (dickheads, of which every clubs support has their share, excluded).

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I know in advance the response this thread will bring, and i expect nothing else, but your opinions are never going to change the way i feel about my club and my fellow fans (dickheads, of which every clubs support has their share, excluded).

I don't know so much. There's nothing wrong with being proud to support your club, and you've set out some of your reasons for doing so extremely eloquently. There is a difference, even a paradox, which I think you'll understand, between the common "they hate us, we hate them" feelings, and the understanding that ALL fans (not JCL's not people who love the game), but supporters who are fanatical - which is where the word fan comes from of course - about their particular club, and who keep that fanaticism wherever they go, whatever situation their club might happen to be in at any particular time, will have an understanding of, and will have a deep-down respect for other fans who feel the same way about their own clubs, even though they may never admit anything of the sort. I've noticed a few posters on here who seem to know a lot about the game itself, but know very little about supporting the club. Fine, that's their thing, so who am I to criticise. However, to my way of thinking, there's far, far more to supporting a club. Know what I mean?

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I know in advance the response this thread will bring, and i expect nothing else, but your opinions are never going to change the way i feel about my club and my fellow fans (dickheads, of which every clubs support has their share, excluded).

I don't know so much. There's nothing wrong with being proud to support your club, and you've set out some of your reasons for doing so extremely eloquently. There is a difference, even a paradox, which I think you'll understand, between the common "they hate us, we hate them" feelings, and the understanding that ALL fans (not JCL's not people who love the game, but supporters who are fanatical - which is where the word fan comes from of course - about their particular club, and who keep that fanaticism wherever they go, whatever situation their club might happen to be in at any particular time. I've noticed a few posters on here who seem to know a lot about the game itself, but know very little about supporting the club. Fine, that's their thing, so who am I to criticise. However, to my way of thinking, there's far, far more to supporting a club. Know what I mean?

i know precisely what you mean lofty. I enjoy watching football whenever i can, but it isnt anything like the same experience as watching my own team, or even watching a game that affects my team.

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I also know that the reason i am proud to be part of what i firmly beleive to be a special group of supporters is not merely due to the noise generated at anfield on a quater of the games played there in a season. There is something about being part of that Kop, that support, that community that you are wanting, that fills me with pride. I do not know many fans that would sing with such gusto such during half time in a game that is all but lost (istanbul), i do not know another side that applauds every visiting goalkeeper, to show their respect, as they approach the Kop goalmouth no matter what club they play for or no matter what opinions we may have of the player himself. I do not know another club that get their name chanted by countless european clubs at the end of an anfield tie which has seen those supporters removed from the competition, (were Barca fans chanting Chelsea, Chelsea at stamford bridge in either of the last few seasons, or singing along with one of your anthems?)

I do not know another club whose fans would applaud a goal that killed off the chance to defend their title as champions of europe (benfica at anfield last season) and then pick up the volume to a new level to show their pride, no matter how disappointing the immediate circumstances may be, at the team and their acheivements.

Hi Red,

This maybe isn't the reaction you were necessarily expecting but here goes....

1. I effing hate your club more than any other at the moment (OK maybe you were expecting that!) predominantly for its belief that it owns 'history'. It's pointless getting into the debate in detail as it's all been said before but the downright ARROGANCE of the stance leaves me breathless, reducing the witterings of JM to very little by comparison.

But...

2. I love your paragraph above. Really love it and I hope it's all true. Because from where I sit (now only at home after 15 years of being a ST holder at the Bridge), CFC have got a long way to go before we can match that level of in-stadium support. If we're all honest (only actual match-goers need comment here) any long-term sustained passion at the Bridge was priced out of the ground a long time ago.

But....

3. Your view is undeniably selective (doh! It's a view afterall). My view of Liverpool fans includes endless songs about Munich, bricking away team buses (within the last two years) and, least we forget, storming the SB entry gates last week in the sort of numbers that suggest Hillsborough never happened. Yes we've got pricks too - it's just yours never seem to get noticed by the media whatsoever.

As a massive Beatles fan it really pains me to say this but Liverpool - the team, the city, the people - are absolutely at the top of my loathing list. A sick part of me wants your fans to disgrace themeselves in Athens to the point where the media have to - absolutely have to - acknowldege that you are not the salt of the earth after all. Can't see it happening since the Mancs aren't going which is probably a good thing, I guess....

But....

4. You seem like a nice bloke and your posts are always worth a read. Keep em coming

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Brilliant post Mike.

most of all i agree with what you say about proper fans being priced out of SB these days, and i admit that is one area where Liverpools board to need to be commended, they have identified the soul of the club and have never let it go.

Compare that to what Captain Birdseye did to our soul, sadly its something i think we have lost forever and will never reclaim.

Just imagine the class of 84 on a Champions League Semi final night.

icon_eek.gif

You can shove you special Kop atmosphere where the sun dont shine. Now that wouldve been something else.

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Rob has pointed out some aspects that we all fully understand about loving your club whatever the circumstances etc, and I totally agree with him on that, and having read his posts on here for while now I have come to the opinion that he is a decent sort of bloke with a fair and generally well balanced point of view, in the past he has complimented as well as lambasted us for various reasons, and he is also quick to recognise (on occasions) his lots own shortcomings and the fact that they have dickheads amongst them as we all do.

However what Mike O points out is also spot on, it's the sheer bloody arrogance of some and I emphasize SOME!, of their fans, and the sanctimonious "cheeky but lovable scouser" mythical image that the media give them, actually makes them believe they can get away with all sorts of crap and then hold their hands up pleading "sorry Whack! it couldn't be us 'cos we're the most sporting fans in the world like!" this is the kind of stuff that really sticks in my throat and they continue to get away with it, HOW??

Apart from some of the incidents Mike has pointed out I will throw in a couple of my own that the media have failed to pick up on in the past couple of years, Throwing plastic cups full of excrement down onto rival fans, throwing mobile phones at players, completely trashing the toilets at O/T at last seasons FACSF, daubing Munich slogans all over the place, doing a similar job at the Millennium stadium at this years CS these are just a few, I have had personal experience with some of these pond life creatures in the pub on a couple of occasions, we run a decent family type pub with a great bunch of regulars who support all clubs and included are a fair few locals who support the scouse, and we never have a problem with any of them, they are all mates who love the banter that goes on etc and everyone gets on, but on a couple of occasions like the other night, we get the odd stray that will wander in and start gobbing off and chucking his weight about and generally acting like a twat.

In the past 3 years we have only had to eject about 5 people for this kind of behaviour as we simply don't tolerate it, and 3 of those have been scousers who upon being sprung have come out with the old "Ah it weren't me mate, honest!" only for us to find the damning evidence on the CCTV, we are already dreading the night of the final but all we can do is be vigilant.

The bottom line is we all know that there are rotten eggs in every batch, and we accept that Chelsea sadly have our share of them as well, but it's this bloody attitude thing that really does my head in, nasty thuggish intimidatory and sometimes downright savage aggression is all swept under the carpet and turned a blind eye to, "the most sporting fans in the world"?? yeah right!! tell that to every Chelsea player who, from the first whistle to the last the other night, was greeted with a deafening cauldron of boos with every single touch of the ball, I believe one commentator referred to it as "tremendous support for the home side" as R. Tomlinson might say, "tremendous support my arse"!

PS: forgot to mention the ambulance taking Alan Smith to hospital, incident.

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Actually, I think that Hillsborough has a lot to do with the Media's modern-day leniency to the Scousers.

It's not so much out of sympathy at the horror of that dreadful day, more the fact that the UK's biggest-selling newspaper (The Sun) laid the blame firmly at the feet of the Liverpool fans. As a result, that paper's circulation is still tiny on Merseyside compared to other UK cities and I think that the media as a whole have been over-compensating for that mis-placed accusation ever since.

How it can totally blot out Heysel is beyond me, though. Mind you, 'that could have happened to any club at the time...'

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I, as always, feel the need to defend my club over some of these incidents, not all of them, but some of them. Anything relating to munich is indefensible and I cannot be blind to the fact that it goes on, although I can confirm it is a small minority, whether or not it has always been this way I don?t know. The ambulance thing with Alan Smith I look at the same way as the burglary of Pepe Reina. We were playing Man Utd in the FA Cup. All proper reds were either in the ground or watching the game, so this is just sh*tty scallies, not Liverpool fans, or what I count as Liverpool fans anyhow. The sh*t throwing at United fans, I have never actually seen any proof of this and personally choose not to believe it. I was at the game, sat near the away fans and didn?t see anything of the sort, no charges were pressed against the club and United fans have a nasty habbit of crying about us whenever we beat them (like the two deaf fans who tried to made up that they lip-read steve finnan racially abusing Patrice Evra, which was proven to be complete bullsh*t) They always paint us in a bad light while they are victims, yet claim that we are the ?self pity city?. This is much as you are saying about us so I suppose we all see it our own way. Also there is no mention of the ?96 wasn?t enough? banner hung across the M62 for our travel to the semi at OT last year, but some of our own sick graffiti is castigated, so its not as clear cut as you see it.

all that to one side though, a chorus of boos whenever you touched the ball on tuesday is perfectly acceptable in my eyes, its what you get all over the continent and it is there to intimidate the opposition. As fans in a game like that your job is twofold, let your players know you are behind them and lift them, and to make the opposition as uncomfortable as possible and try to put them out of their stride. Nothing wrong at all in my view.

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A few words about Hillsborough. I wasn't there, obviously, but I can imagine. I didn't know about the Sun story, don't give a damn about what the Sun wrote about it or about anything else much, come to that. But I can imagine .. I've been to smaller grounds where we've been stuffed in like animals. Orient for instance, a tiny little ground. One time the crash barriers at the front gave way and a few hundred Chlelsea fans spilled on to the pitch. Or the Vetch Field. Now closed and no surprise. What a tip that was. We were so squashed in at one end of that poxy littlel sh*thole the tthe Old Bill had to unlock the gates to the fences to let people on to the pitch. At first they saw people pressing up against the barriers and you could tell they thought it was "bloody 'ooligans come down from London". Then they saw that we were trying to make breathing space for the comparitively few women and children amongst us. I was at the fence with my arms and legs tensed, trying to make a bit of breathing space, Then when they finally unlocked the gates, we were escorted onto an almost empty terrace on one side of the ground.

The point of all this? If the same kind of thing had happened at a bigger ground, the consequences could well have been as horrendous as at Hillsborough. So listen ok, Scousers aren't angels, they've got more than their fair share of scumbag supporters, but so has just about any big team you care to mention, but just lay off with this "you killed your own fans" garbage. But for the grace of God or whoever, it could have been us.

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A few words about Hillsborough. I wasn't there, obviously, but I can imagine. I didn't know about the Sun story, don't give a damn about what the Sun wrote about it or about anything else much, come to that. But I can imagine .. I've been to smaller grounds where we've been stuffed in like animals. Orient for instance, a tiny little ground. One time the crash barriers at the front gave way and a few hundred Chlelsea fans spilled on to the pitch. Or the Vetch Field. Now closed and no surprise. What a tip that was. We were so squashed in at one end of that poxy littlel sh*thole the tthe Old Bill had to unlock the gates to the fences to let people on to the pitch. At first they saw people pressing up against the barriers and you could tell they thought it was "bloody 'ooligans come down from London". Then they saw that we were trying to make breathing space for the comparitively few women and children amongst us. I was at the fence with my arms and legs tensed, trying to make a bit of breathing space, Then when they finally unlocked the gates, we were escorted onto an almost empty terrace on one side of the ground.

The point of all this? If the same kind of thing had happened at a bigger ground, the consequences could well have been as horrendous as at Hillsborough. So listen ok, Scousers aren't angels, they've got more than their fair share of scumbag supporters, but so has just about any big team you care to mention, but just lay off with this "you killed your own fans" garbage. But for the grace of God or whoever, it could have been us.

a lot of sense spoken there. Arguments about hillsborough are always going to be emotive and i hate arguing about it. I've posted this link once before, but anyone who doesnt know about it and would like to know more may find it interesting. http://www.contrast.org/hillsborough

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yeah right!! tell that to every Chelsea player who, from the first whistle to the last the other night, was greeted with a deafening cauldron of boos with every single touch of the ball, I believe one commentator referred to it as "tremendous support for the home side" as R. Tomlinson might say, "tremendous support my arse"!

That's the part that i cant understand. Maybe Rob could shed some light on it?

In that home game against Barca (when they were good), when we lost 1-2, if you remember alot of the crowd as a result of the Messi dive and Del Horno 'tackle' were booing the Barca players, and Messi in particular for his theatrics. Much in the same way that Pool fans probably boo Drogba.

We were castigated by the footballing media for being bad losers, and disrespectful to Barcelona?

Yet when Liverpool to it, it's classed as 'Breath taking support' and all part of creating that amazing atmosphere that 'only Anfield can'...

It's the downright f**king hypocrisy that no-one can stand.

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yeah right!! tell that to every Chelsea player who, from the first whistle to the last the other night, was greeted with a deafening cauldron of boos with every single touch of the ball, I believe one commentator referred to it as "tremendous support for the home side" as R. Tomlinson might say, "tremendous support my arse"!

That's the part that i cant understand. Maybe Rob could shed some light on it?

In that home game against Barca (when they were good), when we lost 1-2, if you remember alot of the crowd as a result of the Messi dive and Del Horno 'tackle' were booing the Barca players, and Messi in particular for his theatrics. Much in the same way that Pool fans probably boo Drogba.

We were castigated by the footballing media for being bad losers, and disrespectful to Barcelona?

Yet when Liverpool to it, it's classed as 'Breath taking support' and all part of creating that amazing atmosphere that 'only Anfield can'...

It's the downright f*****g hypocrisy that no-one can stand.

i wasnt there on tuesday, but i expected the booing. its not booing of the players specifically, although some of them may have recieved harsher treatment than others, but its booing you lot having the ball. I think its fair game. If we get it away from home i dont mind, its part of european football.

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So you have just agreed that it's okay for Liverpool to do this, but according to the press, not Chelsea.

That's great.

Cheers, Rob.

i dont care what the press say about liverpool, why in gods name would i care what they say about you lot? The only time i dont agree with booing is when its your own team. Something i personally will never do.

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You might not care Rob, but we do.

We're not saying 'Love me, love me, give us sympathy' but asking for some realism.

Having constant coverage surrounding Liverpool always with the spin of 'The light shine's out their arse's' is what grates.

If you must know.

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