Wednesday, February 6, 2019

An open letter to a Liverpool fan

Dear Liverpool Fan,

Subject : From Doubters to Believers

I started supporting Liverpool in the beginning of 2000. It all started with a Michael Owen goal I caught in telly. And my curiosity pulled me more and more towards Owen and the club he played for. Since there was no way for me to follow Liverpool games back then in the small town I come from, my only source of information was delayed highlights and newspaper articles. Slowly games started appearing in StarSports India and I would watch almost all Liverpool games. For my personal misery my friends supporting Arsenal and Manchester United were having a great time. Maybe I was so naive that I would rather have Liverpool beat these 2 clubs and that would suffice my league ambitions.

Gradually the more and more I understood the game and how we play the pressure started mounting. Pressure of our performances were directly proportional to my receding hairline and misaligned finger nails. When we won the champions league in 2005 and presence of an established coach in Rafa made me believe that the subsequent years is ours to come. Sadly every year turned out to be disappointing. Frequent jabs, punches and some notable knockouts but eventually like a fatigued fighter losing out on the belt. And thats when doubts started creeping in me that maybe we aren't destined to win this stupid league. And still United and Arsenal were going from strength to strengths and we were dilly dallying with losing world class talents.

The self doubts inflicted to the fans reached new heights under Hogdson and those were the dark times to be a Liverpool fan. Suarez and Rodgers worked through a fine season and like many other Liverpool fans I started dreaming. I would wonder sometime how on earth could Rodgers achieve this where Dalglish struggled. Dreaming of landing the title under my favorite player\captain Steven Gerrard was making me smile in sleep as well. We won 13 out of 15 games in the last half of the league and we still came short that year. Yea yea Gerrard slipped but we still had enough fire power to win that game. But wait my self doubt on our club has been solidified like rock. For some fans like me we were always going to be a title contender but never a title winner.

I still remember the day Klopp joined and twitterati exploded. Jealous Arsenal, United and Chelsea fans were singing his praise till yesterday started complaining his teeth, his hair and his last season in Dortmund. I am one of those fans who tracked his aeroplane and was still in disbelief that we winged such a big coup. Klopp for me was a demigod even before be joined us and for us to bring him on made me wonder 'Have the stars aligned themselves?' 'Maybe he is the ONE' (definitely the normal one as he says). Every press conference was box office material. The laughs, hugs, the norwich celebration, the chest thumps and the fist pumps. Oh I love it all and I would be one of the few fans who has seen all his press conferences till date. We reached 3 cup finals and still couldn't land a trophy. But I wasn't bothered because I could smell fear in our opponents. From top 6 strugglers to the hottest team in Europe is a great ascend. Well I was doubting no more as I had slowly started the transition from Doubters to Believers as Klopp would ask from us fans.

Its a big journey to the Believer land, the pastures here are never green and burden of history sometimes feels too heavy to make the journey back to be in Doubter land where we can give up easily and switch off the telly. But if there is any time to be in Believer land it is this year. We are playing some top notch football and have a complete squad. As of today we are 3 points ahead and lost just 1 game. Our previous miseries have been addressed well in transfer windows and we have a system where younger hungry players want to join the bandwagon. And having said all this I know we have the greatest ever league team in City chasing us and one of the best young teams in Tottenham behind them. But even then they are all shit scared of us. Pep Guardiola has nightmares about Liverpool and United fans are supporting their arch rivals City to win the league. Isn't this the best time for us. So sit tight and enjoy the ride. Its just February now and its just 2\3rd of the league now there is a lot to play for. Pundits claim Liverpool is under pressure, so were every team who has won this league before. If it was that easy we would have done it earlier. It is going to be tough and testing and mind boggling and sometimes scary. But isn't it always like this for everything in Life??

Hope, Trust and Believe.....

Sabarish Chandrasekharan
Lifelong LiverpoolFC Fan

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