I was having a bevvie with my mate charlie the other day and I was trying to convince him to get himself back on twitter. He left twitter about 2 years or so ago, around the same time clickbait became the biggest and most annoying thing since go compare entered the opera game. My argument wasn’t focused in on the fact (lie) that twitter is now a clickbait free zone, open only to those with reasoned arguments and who love a good open minded debate, because as we all know this if anything has only intensified in the last couple of years. Betting promotions reigned for a long time, and like a virus seemed to engulf several once interesting accounts reducing them to ratings whores. We have to contend with the “football stock markets”, and declarations of ‘FACT:’, ‘LEGEND:’, ‘CLASSIC:’ and ‘TEKKERS:’ by all the 16 year old kingz of bantz that run BBC sporf and the like. Add to all that the various ITK’s pronouncing that a deal is 100% over the line, only for it to amount to nothing and the tweet subsequently deleted in a vain attempt to preserve their self-proclaimed “100% record” when it comes to transfer goings on.
There is indeed a lot of shite to sift through in the world of twitter, and i had a task on my hands to try and turn charlie’s head back in the right direction. But it is important to bear in mind that for every tabloidy, waste of space, diarrhea storm account out there, there is plenty with insight and genuine knowledge of the goings on at Liverpool which makes it all worthwhile. That was the starting point for my not so convincing argument for Charlie to dive back into the murky depths of the Twitterverse. Although you know you’re on to a losing battle when your first argument is “it’s not all shite i promise…”.
The main reason i brought it all up in the first place was that he’d seen from the bastion of reliability, the BBC sport gossip column, that Liverpool had ‘lined up a deal’ for the young PSV left back Jetro Willems. His first question when we came onto the subject was, “does this have any beef to it?” Hard to say really. Nothing concrete has emerged beyond the fact that he’s liked a picture of Jurgen klopp on instagram. Which is a new odd type of passive come-and-get-me plea, with about as much substance as finding a picture of him as a 6 year old in a Liverpool shirt, or seeing he once played as liverpool on FIFA, or that he has used the word Red in a sentence.. The important thing to say at this stage is that the best way for him to find out which stories have meat on their bones and which ones are as strong as a chocolate kettle, is to get on twitter and start panning for gold.
The answer i gave disappointed charlie though. The reason being he was so excited by Jetro Willems because he had bought him on FIFA and he was lightening quick and had “giant long throw” as a trait. This is for me indicative of the mentality of a worryingly large proportion of our fans. Games = football Lore. Now i’m not trying to imply that most of our fans rely solely on this mentality, but we’d all be lying to ourselves and each other if we said that we’re not all a little bit guilty of rating players that are good on FIFA and FM in real life. It’s just that for the most part we should separate these two things because there is the ingredient of unpredictability in football that a game just cannot replicate. Leicester anyone?
It is then dangerous territory to treat a players ability and development on a game as a basis to form an opinion of them in real life. But how often has the question, “is he any good?” been answered with, “dunno but he gets REALLY good on FIFA”. It’s something that breeds a new type of fan, something that means a globally supported club such as Liverpool now has in abundance – I give you the keyboard warrior. For the keyboard warrior there is no grey, only black and white. The keyboard warrior doesn’t have time for development, the keyboard warrior needs the finished article. The keyboard warrior is more reactionary than in their attitude to performance than the love child of Mike Ashley and Florentino Perez – either none of the squad are fit to wear the shirt, or they’re a terrific bunch of lads worthy of parading through the street for.
This aspect of fandom has become more and more prominent and has been a key element in quite a substantial divide between our (and probably lots of other clubs) fanbase. I like to be the optimist, it’s in my nature, and as an optimist i find it easier to be patient and pragmatic when it comes to dealing with the reds behavior on and off the field. Rightly or wrongly this tends to help out when the reds do something in the transfer market, or something tactically significant. It means that i always try to find an angle of understanding, even with the Ballotelli transfer (like i said, rightly or wrongly..).
For those who seem to exist only to get angry on the internet though, these things provide them with a platform for fume, spouting venom and bile at anyone who would dare to not decree to the whole world that they would rather Albie (poor Albie..) Moreno dropped dead than played another game for us! Now i’m pretty sure we all agree that Moreno has his flaws, but the sheer volume of aggression that comes from sections of the fan base is mad. It’s not just that which is aimed at the player that baffles me, its the explosive verbal battles between fans of the same club that consume entire threads on twitter with insults flying all over the shop that are the most bizarre. We’re all reds here lads. The bottom line is we all want the same thing.
What is becoming essential though is a unified fan base from which to build. We need to listen to what our effervescent German commander in chief is saying every fucking week instead of using his quotes to prove a point in an argument about how we should or should not feel about something. In order for us to turn Anfield back to the cauldron it has been for certain games on a weekly basis, we all need to be shouting from the same hymn sheet. For this to help the lads on the pitch we need to stop sniping at each other and start trying to use the hours spent debating whether Mignolet should be set on fire or just dropped to find better more productive ways to support the reds, support being the optimum word. now i’m not saying turn into blind followers, by all means have a moan. It’s in our nature, its what football fans feed off. But things are not black and white in the real world as they are on FIFA. Someone is not just shite or sound. Building a successful team is a lot more complicated than just, get that superstar player and everything will be fine. Luckily we have someone at the helm who completely gets that.
The Fume can be an amusing thing, and the fume is now part and parcel of being a Liverpool fan. We just need to use more of that passion for the reds in a positive way, and not for a pointless internal battle where nobody wins! There’s a lot more to be excited about at the moment than to moan about, so lets all get on that instead. And isn’t it more fun looking at other fans fume than our own? See @arsenalfantv for details.
The internet truly was a glorious place after the madness on Sunday, lets keep it that way.
Having said all that, I think it might be a while before Charlie does get back on twitter..