Liverpool FC have an attitude, an approach to football that has defined the club. They are welcoming to any that want to follow them, and fiercely opposed to those that do not. It’s an oddly polarised set up that has seen the club become beloved by its fans and loathed by many
From Asian businessmen to Merseyside escorts, the red side of the city has always included a vast diversity of fans. The club’s popularity is in no small way enforced by the family feeling that it creates amongst its follower. Take two completely different people, with nothing in common except their support of Liverpool and they’ll get along like old friends. Football in general often has this unifying effect, but it’s particularly noticeable when talking to LFC fans. Their anthemic chants of you’ll never walk alone ring out loud around the stadium, reminding everyone there of the close ties that they share with their fellow fans and of the great spirit that the club embodies.
When troubled striker Daniel Sturridge joined from Chelsea, he knew it was his last big chance. He had wanted to play as a centre forward ever since his days at Manchester City, but both of his previous clubs had stuck him out on the wing. It looked like he may get his big chance after performing well under Andre Villas Boas’ reign but after the Portuguese left he fell down the pecking order, with the ultimate insult perhaps being Roberto Di Matteo’s decision not to play him in the Champions’ League final, instead preferring the young and inexperienced left back Ryan Bertrand. After he left, it looked like he may suffer from the same problem at all, especially given Luis Suarez’s effectiveness down the middle. But Liverpool have given him the warmest of welcomes, changing their team composition in order to help him settle in. He’s since become the first Liverpool signing in over 30 years to score in his first 3 games, and that once moody look of defiance has been transformed by the support of the fans into a bright smile.
But, even though the local Merseyside escorts are always welcoming to visitors from out of town, the football club is not. They don’t use low tactics or anything like that, but they do make their opponent’s acutely aware that this is the home of a historic and strong willed team. The famous “This is Anfield” message has long since set doubts flowing amongst the visiting teams, and many have talked about the incredible atmosphere in the stadium, and how terrifying it can be to be an away fan playing in such a passionate atmosphere. Those outside the game often scoff at the idea of this psychological pressure, often citing the vast amounts of money that they get paid, as if they somehow mitigates having 50 thousand people screaming abuse or chanting your name and idolising you. The underlying emotions of football play a massive part in any season, and it’s one of the main reasons that LFC will always stay near the top of the scene, buoyed on by their fantastic support
Spirit of the Mersey