By David Usher
The least enjoyable win I can ever remember. This was a horrible night, and coming out of Anfield I felt a range of emotions, from disappointment to anger. The performance of the team was bad enough, the cowardice from the manager no more than I have come to expect, but the most depressing thing was the Kop. Tonight was the night when the myth about 'most knowledgeable fans in the game' was well and truly exploded.
I'm sure I'll get stick for what I'm about to say, but to be honest I'm so angry right now I don't really give a shit. Liverpool fans have always prided themselves on being superior to everyone else. We often look down our noses at supporters of other clubs, and we've had every right to in the past. No more.
We were the most original, the most witty, the most sporting. In short, we WERE the most knowledgeable. But somewhere along the line we've lost all of that. The atmosphere at Anfield has been getting steadily worse, but I can understand the noise levels dropping, because let's face it, most home games are about as interesting as watching the Salon live on E4.
So there's an excuse for the lack of atmosphere, but there's absolutely no excuse for the treatment handed out to Steve McManaman. It was pathetic, embarrassing and totally unnecessary. More than that, it was [censored] shameful, smalltime behaviour which we would expect from the likes of Villa or the Blueshite.
Whatever your view on how McManaman left the club, there is no excuse for booing a player who cost us nothing, gave us six years great service, carried the team almost single handedly for about three seasons (I say almost only because of Fowler's massive contribution in that period), and was man of the match in two cup final successes.
Tonight showed once and for all that we can no longer claim to be different to other football supporters. We still have our moments of great sportsmanship of course, but the sad truth is that the Kop has been diluted to such an extent that morons now feel comfortable in expressing their smalltime views safe in the knowledge that there are plenty of like minded individuals in the vicinity.
It was a minority booing, but it was a significant minority. And whatsmore, it's a minority which is growing each season. There's still Kopites with that wit, originality and humour, but they're a diminishing number.
When was the last time you heard anything original emanating from the Kop? Anytime there is something original, no-one joins in. Tonight being a prime example. Robbie takes a tumble in the box after an innocuous collision with Carra, and a few Kopites started singing "Same old Scousers, always cheating" No-one wanted to know. Someone boos Macca, and a couple of thousand join in.
The booing was bad enough, but even worse was the banner displayed at the start of the second half at the front of the Kop. "Sub at Real, Sub at City - Judas" Nice eh? I don't know if Steve saw it, but his dad certainly did, as he sits right in front of me in the Main Stand. I was talking to him at half time, and he just shrugged off the booing, as I'm sure his laid back son will too.
Steve's dad was there supporting Liverpool - as he is every home game - and was on his feet after both goals. He's a bigger man than I am. If my son had been treated like that I'd say '[censored] the lot of you' and I'd be tearing up my season ticket and going to watch my lad play every week. The booing wasn't universal, but it wasn't just a handful of people either. It's not often I feel ashamed to be a Liverpool fan, but tonight I did.