It was Blackpool’s Victory, Incidentally. Not Liverpool’s Loss.By: Max | October 4th, 2010
Liverpool, winners of the last league title, erm, 20 years ago, have been the centre of discussion everywhere since Blackpool’s majestic display in their back yard on Sunday. Talk of Luke Varney’s searing runs from the left flank, Charlie Adam’s midfield mastery in the face of England stalwart Steven Gerrard, and Matt Gilks’ instinctive block all come second on list of importance to a side, and a club who have been getting worse and worse for sometime.
It is fitting for a society so completely engrossed in the fall of the mighty, in largess whatever the form, that such a compelling and heart swelling story of the gradual rise of the purist should be deferred so easily. From the top, our manager is the epitome of a game that is desperate to do away with the over worn cliché of pragmatic football in order to survive, right down to his post match comments. ‘A bit false’ he said. ‘False’ is not a term any self-respecting fan or observer of the game can accuse either Ian Holloway, or Blackpool of being.
This is a man who has been caricatured as being a cider-drinking bumpkin, whose preference for an extended laddy metaphor has gained him only the kind of respect a person reserves for a mate who is usually in a good mood.
What they don’t see is the way he has consistently resurrected the careers of footballers whose self-life looks increasingly dated. Gilks, Varney, DJ Campbell, Marlon Harewood and more have come alive thanks to this unique man-management and attacking 4-3-3 system that allows his players creative licence and a fearless approach.
Granted, Liverpool were fairly dreadful, but then it is not surprising to me that Blackpool dispatched (what was at kick-off) a bottom 3 club with in such a way. Liverpool did not have an answer. The uneasy truth for fans who cling to the notion that high investment equals high returns is that all it really returns is a high-interest debt and a team whose individual purposes are incompatible with the historical success such clubs fans so desperately cling onto. Indeed, it is no surprise that assumptions based on cumulative, retrospective, heart-swell are so easily tarnished. Liverpool fans, fans of any club in fact, should not be surprised when they see our fans who do not have the burden of such a thing. What we get to witness is something that has grown in a way that is so anti EPL, so anti-corporate practicality, that it is understandable neutrals find it easy to ignore, or dismiss. The emotion that motivates us most as a race is fear, and fear of change.
If Blackpool do go down, and people react the way they usually do when another name like ours retires back into the midst of the football league, it is because they don’t want to believe it can happen. They would rather just accept that things should go on as they are. Strange things may happen occasionally, but a permanent change – the long, strong rock-of-the-boat the kind our side are capable of performing – may help shake our self-involved societal beliefs into thinking that there is another way to achieve a kind of success that can be at once genuine and kind without being vicious and greedy.
We are all happier in the Black, than we are in the Red.