The inevitable dilution of the Liverpool Way.

Posted by Hinesy on October 22, 2010, 09:46:50 PM

I suppose I should post this in the Liverpool Way thread, but I don't want to dilute that thread about what we think it is these days.
Suffice to say as an old red I've been through many eras of 'The Liverpool Way' living through 10 managers (Bill, Bob, Joe, Kenny, Ronnie, Graeme, Roy, Ged, Rafa n Roy) (12 if you include Phil n Sammy's short stand ins) and have seen managers, players and recently owners royally try their best to fuck things up for what we think is that strange intangible etheral quality that is Liverpool, our club.
I've also seen fans do their best, bizarrely though as whole, less effectively than say Hicks, or Souness chatting to that rag, or MacManaman and to an extent Owen leavings.

But recently I have to say I think that the understanding of what is the Liverpool Way has been lost, or diluted, or not as well fundamentally, instinctively understood by the masses that turn up, sit down, switch on, press an ear to a wireless, stream a shitty picture, or read the text updates like some morse code operator, to our games.

The thought struck me when I read Barney Rubbles' post about Ronnie Moran's apprenticeship in the Boot Room ( ). I suddenly realised that one of the main problems about being understanding the responsibility of being a Liverpool fan (I know, it probably sounds fucking wank to some but fuck off) is that these days few of us have served that apprenticeship.

There are many stories on here and elsewhere about how fans used to serve their time in the Boys Pen, then graduate to the years of bunking in, before making it as a time served member of the Kop, or Annie Rd End (Kopites are gobshites) ending up eventually as a flask bringing red nosed grumpy c*nt of the Lower Cemetary.

Me? I didn’t go through this way, but I know many who did. However having a family from the Wirral meant that OOT’er as I come, I still had an upbringing steeped in Liverpool and Birkenhead ways, (yes there’s a difference I know but you know what I mean).
But more than that, the biggest thing was that I didn’t grow up with the internet and world wide media 24hr interest.

And this is my point. I think that the main reason that we, as fans, have lost sight of that Liverpool Way is because no longer do we sit in pubs and serve our apprenticeship listening to those we know, arguing our points and honing our thoughts in the privacy of a common interest, we now have 30,000 members on here alone shouting to be heard in the global bar of RAWK.

This isn’t at all anything about where we’re from, but the simple fact that none of us have to prove our worth in front of our peers in an area where we’re properly judged. Any of us on here can watch/ listen/follow a game and then spout forth our views without being called a right proper dick face to face for not understanding the club. All that happens is that another loud mouth tries to outdo you, or show off using location, history, or match going experience as emotionally currency and then the insecure poster shouts back and louder in an ever increasing circle of noise.

I really do think that the ability no matter where we are in the world, to instantly  become a match pundit, as if writing something in black and white makes it more authoritative, without forging our wisdom in front of a proper red fan jury, gives rise to the individual voice, divorced from the understanding of being part of a red family.
Look at the recent threads on, well anything. There’s almost a competitive element to see who can take the biggest piss out of our manager. In the days before mass media, we’d a grumbled about him and sure, taken the piss. But privately and everyone would know in the pub, at work, in the cafe, the limits and levels to which we could take our frustration.

Make no mistake, I was a fan of the appointment of Hodgson, but now I realise I was wrong. That doesn’t mean I’m going to bare my arse cheeks to the whole fucking world who can access the internet and embarrass and sully the good name of Liverpool fans by trying to outdo everyone with vitriol and sarcasm about his shortcomings.
Its funny that the Flagpole Corner used to be called The Boozer. A pub with 30,000+ customers, with the unique ability to hear and speak to everyone at the same time. No wonder the quiet and wise are lost in the hubbub and competition of the insecure and hollow half wit wanting to make an internet name for themselves.

I’m no luddite railing against the future. Its here already. But when we wonder why the Liverpool Way is being diluted, lost and misunderstood by everyone from L4 to Darfur, I have to say, these days its never going to go back to what some misty eyed sentimentalist might hope it once was. That way that we understand will continue to be diluted and there’s nothing we can do except this.

Those who do get it, those who can see that silvery thread that connects and binds and interweaves the club and fan and player and manager, well I’d say this.
You have to just keep that faith and preach it louder and stronger than ever. For without it we’re just fans of another shitty football club in debt. Already others would like to see us that way. Well they can fuck off. I’m a red and hope I know what it is to be that.
So with due respect to the rest of yers, please feel free to continue your club and derive what pleasure you can from it. I have mine and by god I’ll shout loud and long to preserve how it should be.

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