Football Is Fun Again
To listen to the first LFCNJ /LFCNY @DTurnersports Podcast – Click Here!
By Dave Turner – @DTurnerSports
Yes, it’s just one match. In the great scheme of things nothing profound was accomplished by way of the 3-1 road win over a Chelsea club in utter free-fall, but what it did, was reinvigorate the club and supporters alike, with a glimpse of what could be under “the normal one.”
There’s an excitement around this club that hasn’t been seen for quite some time. Maybe it was close when Luis Suarez was firing balls into the back of the net at will just a few seasons ago, but this feels different.
While covering a county soccer championship in New Jersey this past weekend, I was wearing an LFC hoodie. Out of nowhere, an assistant coach on a recruiting trip to my game came over to me, introduced herself to me as a Scouser and proceeded to give me a big hug and we started joyfully talking about the win over Chelsea from a few hours ago. The result awakened a feeling that hasn’t been there in a while, where it’s been much more doom and gloom. To see another fan so excited about the result and the effect of the new manager on this team was sensational.
The excitement level seen from supporters is infectious. Considering what the mood was around the team 3 weeks ago after the club was plodding along with no direction, the energy and passion infused by Jurgen Klopp is a welcomed respite from what was a trying campaign. Whether it’s looking online to various LFC groups, to talking to fans and even opposing fans alike, the difference is palpable.
This isn’t all going to be easy. Advancement in the Europa League is still in question and there is much work to do to get back within the top four in the EPL.
But, from Melwood, to the pitch at Anfield, to the millions of supporters world-wide, there seems to be a sense that the enigmatic man from Stuttgart Germany has what it takes to make this club a world-class side once again.
“For sure, we’ve only just one life and we should make the best of it and that’s what I try to do, to do the best is not just to enjoy each day like it’s the last, celebrating or drinking because tomorrow could be the end, no it’s to make it a better place. That’s what I try to do with the football team; we try to work hard of course, but we need to know that what we are doing is a game, it started as a game, but sometimes it only looks like it’s work and that’s not allowed.”
-Jurgen Klopp in an interview with BT Sport’s Des Kelly.
Around the world, in any sport, it’s hard to find that sort of sentiment, a man who seems to understand his place both in the world and as a football manager. Though it’s not all going to be peaches and cream as seen with the issues that Klopp and fullback Nathaniel Clyne had during the Chelsea match, it is that sort of presence that may help get the most out of this roster and then moving forward once Klopp is able to secure some players during the next transfer window.
Though there is still so much work to do for this club to get back to where it belongs, there’s an air of confidence that seems to be emanating out from Anfield. Whether it’s witnessing Philippe Coutinho’s two goals against Chelsea, or seeing the ever-animated Mamadou Sahko’s brilliant passing record of late, there’s reason for optimism. Sahko’s 91.3% pass success rate is good for fourth best in the Premiere League. Even Christian Benteke looked supportive and dangerous after coming on late in Stamford Bridge.
The newfound culture is one that is very different that we’re all used to with this club. Even through the winning years and the great sides that led to so much hardware, there was never THIS. A manager that flies into the air after a goal and can be good for a few off-the-cuff, brutally honest quotes every match? That’s different. A man who seems to be preaching that football is not just a job but that it’s fun? Well, that’s certainly not a bad thing.
Football is fun again, let’s just sit back and enjoy the ride.