Liverpool aren't quite what we expected right now. Yes, it's early in the season and there are so many matches to go, but it's a marathon or cross country challenge, not a 100m or 200m sprint. These are boring and oft-trotted phrases, yes they are indeed. Yet, they are true. The season doesn't end in October. Sure, it started in August, and any of the twenty Premier League managers looking to meet his own particular goals wouldn't merely shrug off a poor start. Starting is important, but it isn't everything. Losing seven games in a row to start the season? Not acceptable for any team, be they relegation strugglers, midtable aspirants, outfits desirous of reaching the land of milk and honey.
Brendan Rodgers shouldn't have to preach patience about Lazar Marković or any young player, especially one expensively acquired. This is where football fans look irrational and excessively short-sighted. This may be strong criticism, some kind soul should be pleading for leniency for the very fans themselves who do not have the capability to wait for a few months, a season even, before spiralling into untold dissatisfaction and rage at the braying incompetence of 20-year-olds. Spare them oh learned one! One must be a zen master to engage with fans who live in constant fear of: the understandable boogie man of defeat; the occasional mistake by a human being, who also happens to be a professional footballer or manager, once in a while; everything every other team is doing all of the time causing some to wonder whether they don't continue such an obsession by supporting those clubs that preoccupy every thought on football every day; anything or anyone unfamiliar, as if their lack of knowledge about something or someone dictates uselessness for one's beloved club; a different opinion; other people who may be different somehow in some kind of unidentifiable yet supposedly pernicious way.
Fear. One of the great cornerstones of impatience. That and a peculiar lack of realistic expectations. This season will be the season to end all seasons; and any failure to do this thing that I find more important above all things, will ensure the club will cease to exist. Unfortunately, it is with unrelenting regret that to point out that this is simply not true. Clubs rise and clubs fall. A club cannot win all of the things all of the time. Chelsea are on top now and at this moment, it seems that eternity will pass before this side will be bested. Liverpool had a great season in 2013/14 and probably won't have a similar season in 2014/15 for some reasons that may take time to change. Some failure is terminal for certain ambitions for some time but there'll be another season with objectives you'll be looking forward to. Guess what? There'll be one after that. Sometimes such fear is well-intentioned and there is no perfect fan, some of the sage and wise who may peruse this piece may be guilty of some fear-based actions. It happens.
Yet should fans be on a perpetual quest to unnecessarily aggravate any pre-existing health conditions? The uncertainty in football matches does enough to harm mind, body, and soul. Why seek more needlessly and without thought? Watch scores of fans rave about that "useless" 20-year-old who thwarted Liverpool's completely legitimate chance of buying Marco Reus. He was never going to go to Liverpool in the summer transfer window. Deal with it. Actually, Liverpool wouldn't be close to competing with the kind of sides that would be in for him, so what this club needs to do is try to find a player who can get to his level a few years earlier but such talent may be rate or costly. Maybe both. Certain clubs traditionally sell high and some of the other coveted players were less available than one would have thought after reading their names 1,520,017 times over the summer. What? But that one writer who wrote that one article wrote about that one player with absolute conviction and that one ITK tweeted that one tweet about that obsession of mine? Well, sorry.
But...what about Xherdan Shaqiri? Liverpool didn't show enough to get the player but should have bought him anyway. There aren't any legitimate explanations for why the club didn't...
Liverpool made a bid for me before the World Cup but Bayern put their foot down and told me, ‘We're not going to sell you'. - The real, actual Xherdan Shaqiri.
Again, sorry. Read all about it.
Then there are players who are turned into saviours of a club when they're out of favour. Usually young and with some talent, their worth is grossly overstated ad infinitum. Defensive woes will be solved by their arrival. Struggling to defend wing attacks? What about that young striker that's not getting games. Have a gaping hole in defensive midfield? That talented number ten, unfairly sitting on the bench, would bring so much more than that other player who is probably only a couple of years older and way ahead in developmental terms. Stop deifying players who are young and might just be good enough for a sustained stint in the side, at some unknown time in the future, in the particular position that has another three or four players who aren't remotely close to the knacker's yard.
No, this isn't about crushing everything you like about a young or talented player, but such obsession can blind one to notable faults. Take this fool writing this putrid piece right now, which will be the past by the time your eyes roll at each word spewing forth from this belligerent brain. Hatem Ben Arfa. He was the truth and was waiting to step up for Liverpool. Each day, his name would be brought up. Liverpool would regret it as his next move would be to a big club and who was Daniel Sturridge's number one cheerleader? Me. ME! He's going to rip up the Premier League in the coming seasons and forget about his injuries, because he can give us 25 fantastic games in a season. That's what matters. Whatever dolt, Hull City Tigers or Tiggers, whatever. Case closed. Next.
Wait a while and see what happens. Why the haste? Why make all these plans that the Joker detested so much in The Dark Knight. That's not to say that one cannot look ahead at fixtures but again, this fool punching these keys constantly makes the mistake of looking way ahead of the next game compiling expected results as if reality will always meet such desires. The Football Gods exist to destroy any plan a football fan has, mostly related to deeply sought happiness. Too bad. That's how it is. Motivation for such folly may derive from endless optimism and understand that these words are coming from one of the most optimistic Liverpool fans around. One who was mocked at his unyielding belief in a better world for Liverpool FC. Beware! Witness the punishment meted by fate's cruel claws. To be the custodian of ETW's timeless soul is a heavy burden to bear accursed and hoodwinked reader, it is a heavy burden to bear. Be careful of thinking ahead, for a wise one has warned of such an act.
Schemers trying to control their worlds. I'm not a schemer. I try to show the schemers how, pathetic, their attempts to control things really are. So, when I say, ah, come here, when I say that you and your girlfriend was nothing personal, you know that I'm telling the truth. It's the schemers that put you where you are. You were a schemer, you had plans, and uh, look where that got you. I just did what I do best. I took your plan and I turned it on itself.
Think of those plans as the three points against Everton that was so close or the three-goal lead against Crystal Palace. Who "took your plan" and "turned it on itself"? It could be Chelsea at Anfield or Aston Villa whenever Paul Lambert brings his team to Merseyside. Imagine the smugness of Big Sam with a bottle of expensive red wine that you probably can't afford. Watch his post-match interview with bitterness and accept it. To be a football fan with some level of perspective and sense requires many things but patience above all. Think of yourself as a Carlo Ancelotti eyebrow. You've seen disappointment before and might not know what's coming, but you know things happen. No matter, for whenever the worst occurs, you rise nonetheless. Ever so slightly mind you. It's all in the arch.
This season may not be what you're looking for. Those expecting a title challenge might not get it. Those who derive fulfilment from predicting multiple failures in the transfer window may not find that peculiar catharsis. Others who silently wish for the return of Kenny Dalglish or Rafa Benitez may be stuck with Brendan Rodgers for another season, perhaps even longer. Oh, cruellest fate! There may be a few souls who simply wish Liverpool would be as financially powerful as Chelsea and Manchester City. Whatever it is you're looking for, you might just have to be patient, understanding, and perceptive. Things that can actually help in real life. Also, why the short memories on seasons and matches past? Eminently unsatisfactory, very much so. There should be a short memories naughty corner for repeat offenders.
Sometimes you've got to eat what's on the plate, and that's the life of being a football supporter. Being tied to one club and learning about waiting is good for you. So go on, finish your greens.