Editor’s Note: Earlier this week, we received a package addressed to “AJ, Hardboiled Detective Writer” sent to the TLO offices. There was no return address, but it did say it was from “Q.” The only other thing of note is that it looked like the box had been re-purposed from another mailing with part of the label still remaining. It read, “-fe Racers Clu-”
Inside the box was a DVD that apparently features a few episodes of a Liverpool-centric reality show called Behind the Boot Room. Besides wondering what conception of physics could even lead one to ponder what might be behind any boot room, we were intrigued by what scenes could be contained there.
What we found was an incredible treasure trove of LFC-related content that we intend to give to you during breaks in LFC play. This is part 1, which takes place shortly after Sadio Mané’s sideline outburst.
INT. Locker Room. Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah are all in front of their respective lockers after a particularly tough training session. Andrew Robertson floats in and out of frame as he tries to convince someone off screen (James Milner or Trent Alexander-Arnold are our guesses) that tomato is in fact a vegetable.
Robertson (voice trailing off as he walks off frame): ...and then there’s the fact that they grow on a vine. I mean, c’mon, that’s got to be a veg.
Disembodied voice: Grapes grow on a vine, Andy.
Shot tightens on the attacking trio, positioned as they are on the pitch with Mane and Salah flanking Firmino.
Bobby: Ok. So, can we all agree that this was all incredibly stupid and just let it go? Please?
Mo and Sadio in unison: No.
Cut to confessional interview shot with Firmino.
Bobby: It’s been a few days. Sadio’s still raw. Mo’s still insistent. They’ve been at each other’s throats constantly. It’s so, exhausting. Honestly, I’m about to lose my mind. Like, being competitive is one thing. (Bobby looks away, then back at the camera with weariness.) But, c’mon, it’s just a game of Monopoly.
Cut to confessional shot with Sadio. Looks to be the training ground kitchen. It’s confirmed when Carol and Caroline buzz behind the the Senegalese forward during the interview.
Sadio: Look, the thing is that it really shouldn’t be this difficult. I mean, we all had an agreement going into this: I would be the thimble. But no, of course -
Someone off frame makes a fart noise.
Sadio, barely containing his frustration: ...but no, of-
Someone off frame makes another fart noise. Camera widens angle in revealing Mo Salah trying incredibly hard not to laugh.
Sadio (turned towards Mo): Ok, do you have something to say? I mean, can you honestly tell everyone that I’m lying?
Mo (turned towards Sadio): No, no, no. Of course. I’m just saying, Sadio, buddy, like it’s just a thimble, right? (Mo turns back to the camera) Look, I just love getting a rise out of him. He’s wound so tight, you know? I just think he’d have a lot more fun if he loosened up a little bit, is all.
Sadio (muttering under his breath): One of us has to stay focused or no one would score a damn goal.
Mo (smile wiped from his face): Say what?
Sadio (trying not to smile): Nothing. I didn’t say anything.
Ext. Melwood training grounds. The attacking trio are running passing triangle drills with each other. Jurgen Klopp can be heard off frame yelling instructions.
Klopp (off camera): ...and then the following week, the other one can be the thimble, ok? I mean, there’s always the motorcycle and you guys all love motorcy-. Ah damn it. ANDY!! IT’S A F*CKING FRUIT...
Sadio: Motorcycle? Who do we look like, Ian Ayre?
Everyone cracks up. As the laughs begin to subside, Firmino nudges Salah and looks at him knowingly.
Mo (looks at Sadio): Hey, look, you know it’s all love, right? I mean, I just mess with you cause I think it’s a bit funny, but you know I respect you. You’re super wound up but, you know, that’s what makes you, you. That focus, that drive. It’s not a bad thing. Sometimes, I even envy it.
Sadio: You do?
Mo: Yeah! The way you are always so intensely locked in on the task of hand? That drives me. And I mean, honestly, someone needs to keep me honest. Who else is gonna do that, Dejan?
Everyone shares another laugh.
Sadio: Ok, man. Thanks. And you’re right, I guess I could stand to loosen up a b-
Someone makes a fart noise.
Mo, looking petrified: It wasn’t me!
Bobby, looking coy, throws his hands in the air.
Clown music plays as the scene vignettes out.
And the rest is history. As we know, Sadio and Mo pulled it together and helped keep Liverpool’s perfect season alive. Stay tuned for more updates from Behind the Boot Room. And maybe we’ll even finally learn exactly where “behind” the boot room is supposed to be located.