The Sword of Damocles

Posted by WOOLTONIAN on February 9, 2004, 03:00:04 PM

Watching the pendulum-like "Swingometer" of public opinion, the rising and falling in pressure of our Red "Barometer", has seen this season fluctuate like no other I've witnessed. One week the needle is transfixed hard left to the Sunshine, the next week it's hard right pointing at Dull and Gloomy.

We all sit and hope that it will eventually find the central point of No Change (Consistency) as of previous years. But I cant help feel the Swingometer is fast changing into "The Sword of Damacles". We are all mezmerised looking up, waiting for it to drop. The problem this season is, opinion is changing not every game, but every few minutes within a game.

One minute were really down, the next minute we're jublilant. Bolton on Saturday really epitomises this in my mind. The sadness of going a goal down doesn't actually swing us hard right any more, we're becoming used to going a goal down. But as always a goal swings us Hard Left. For the first time in years, I've noticed some fans are taking solice in an individual performance. Anything to settle the needle or send us more left than right.

Whether it's the team or the fans that start the pendulum swinging is debatable. Is it the fans reacting to the team performance or are the team reacting to the fans quietness? In my opinion the team are starting the motion. Every game, the fans turn up and start off in great humour and great voice. They only go quiet when the doubts set in - currently about 1 minute after kick off.

How can we set out every game with the needle transfixed at six o'clock pointing at "Consistent" and hope that it remains still? The honest answer is don't set too high a target before kick off. Bolton were no "cannon fodder" on Saturday, but still we went into the game "Expecting a win".

We had no right to expect them to "roll over", they had, as good a form as we did, going into the game. They were lifted by the euphoria of reaching Cardiff. We were happy with the performance from the derby, but it was a draw at Anfield none the less.

I've come to find that my swingometer starts every game, nailed hard to the left, pointing directly at "Sunshine". Why? because it always has done. I go into every game expecting a win, no matter what the form of the opposition. We are LIVERPOOL after all.

The problem begins there. The only place the needle can go is right, unless Liverpool start by going a goal up in the first 20 seconds. It's time for the fans to start showing the same respect to the opposition, that obviously the team and staff do.

It's a fact not only in score, but also in calibre, we start each game EQUAL.

We are currently a mediocre team playing in a mediocre league apart from the top 3. We have no right to expect a goal start every game, as was hinted we did in the past. We start equal or all square.

Man City will be no pushover as they have been in the past, on Wednesday. They will come with a newly found passion, after winning at White Hart Lane and getting through to meet the Red Mancs. Players coming back to their old clubs always seem to find an extra gear. If Fowler gets anymore enthused than he has shown lately, he could prove to be a right handful.

His determination and fight, shown by covering near every blade of grass at Spurs only highlights he is a man we have to watch very carefully. Some fans still have great admiration for the little rag arse from Toxteth. I'm one of them.

I also expect improved performances from Le Sulk (if fit) and McNumb-me-brain. Man City are well capable of taking away a draw from Anfield and so, I have decided that's where I'm starting the game midweek. Not a goal up because we're at home, but all square.

Perhaps we should scrap the scoreboard and replace it with either a swingometer or clapometer, so we can judge how well the game or the fans support is going. Certainly might be more useful than knowing what the time is or what the score is.

The only problem I see with a swingometer at Anfield, is the fact that it could well turn into "The Sword of Damocles" where the Kop will all sit looking up, waiting for it's impending or inevitable falling.

If the team wants to start each game with the needle transfixed at six o'clock, I would strongly suggest it returns to the method of keeping possession. "They cannot score while we have the ball" said Mr Consistency.

Lets see a return to rolling the ball out to the back four, instead of the goalkeeper hoofing it up the park and turning possession into a 50-50 ball. Let's see a return of passing the ball to midfield, instead of hoofing it over the top of them. If the team start showing consistancy on the park, perhaps the fans opinion will also be consistent. Instead of swinging from right to left and back again, we can relax and sit and enjoy the game, just like we used to.

Believe it or not, there was a time when the ball was in the keepers hands, when we could close our eyes and commentate on the first few passes.

Clemence to Neal
Neal to Lawro
Lawro to Jocky
Jocky to Lee
Lee to Souness

as Souness was likely to stop and look for an available player, it could quite frankly go to anyone, so open yer eyes quick. It wasn't a dream, Souness had SIX players stood in space, that had been created by slow build up. The Sword of Damocles was so rusted and stuck in one place them days, people stopped looking up.

It would be nice if we could too.

My neck is so sore looking upward, half my mates think I'm looking for divine intervention from a God who was once Pure Red. Pity him, if you have time, from where he's sitting it must be like watching tennis.

© Wooltonian 2004

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