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--- Quote from: Son of Spion* on March  5, 2021, 01:18:11 am ---One of the grimmest things for me was the fact that I fully expected us to lose before the game even started. Once they went 1-0 up, I knew it was done. Same with the Bitters game too. I'm generally a really positive person these days, so it wasn't anything to do with just me being negative. It was simply based on what I see before me and the vibe it invokes within me. My gut usually serves me well, but sometimes I wish it didn't. It told me if we signed Klopp he'd win us the League Title. It told me after Kiev that we'd be back and win Big Ears. When we came second with 97 points my gut told me we'd come back the next season and win that too.

One thing it also told me is something I've never admitted on here because I couldn't believe it myself. After we lifted the Title last season, my gut told me we'd be lucky to even make top four this season. I dismissed it out of my mind because I couldn't believe it, didn't want to entertain the thought anyway and couldn't envisage a way in which we could implode so badly. Now, here we are, and I'm cursing my own gut reactions to things. It's the same gut feelings that saw me hoping we'd win tonight, but fearing what felt inevitable.

I have to say, I've read this thread from start to finish now, and it's sad to see good people in here turn on each other like some have. I get it though. We all care. We've all been living through a pandemic, life has been hard and our club feels like it's in free fall at the moment. Tensions boil over. It's normal in many respects, but still a bit sad to see. I hope we can stand back a little once we sleep on it and can be a little kinder to each other tomorrow.

We often can't win as fans. Some want to keep the flag upstanding as they run up the hill into a blaze of flak and want to hear nothing negative at all. To others, that might look good, but it all feels a bit too head-in-the-sand and too idealistic to be true. Others say what they see in an unfiltered way. By unfiltered, I mean sometimes without wider perspectives being taken into account. That can and will piss off the flag bearers who see it as without nuance and based in hysterics. The bottom line is both sets care passionately, but handle stuff in different ways.

I have a bit of both in me. I love the romance and the idea of getting shot to pieces as I run up the hill with my LFC banner, all guns blazing in 100% undying support, but there is another part of me that sees glaring issues and wants to name them as I see them. It's often said that if we can't support in tough times we shouldn't be there for the good times either. I get that, but I'm one of those annoying buggers that will support until my dying day, but will also name something wrong if I see it. Personally, I feel you can be a good supporter and still stare reality in the face and talk about it. With that in mind, I really don't see the need for there to be only two camps that appear to be polar opposites. Really, most of us occupy the middle ground where we can be good supporters but also honest too.

I think we've all been on one hell of a ride in recent years. I've seen a lot from LFC in my 58 years, but the last couple of seasons were almost off the scale. It felt like the best I've ever seen at times, and when I think of the great teams, great managers and the collection of trophies Liverpool have racked up since I hit this planet in 1962, that's really saying something. I thought I'd seen it all, then Klopp's Liverpool matured and ripped football a new backside.

Since then, look at what's happened. A catastrophic pandemic sweeps the planet and turns it upside down. Our manager loses his beloved mother and cannot bury her. Our goalkeeper's dad drowns at just 57 and he cannot go home to be with his family and bury his father. One is standing on a touchline of empty stadiums in a meaningless season and the other is keeping goal in the same circumstances after just a few days off. We'll I've lost a father and other loved ones, and no way on earth am I going to work days later and giving my all. Not because I don't want to give everything, but because I can't. We have human beings trying to do their jobs in a state of grief and emotional turmoil.

We've had other players who have had Covid. We've had serious injuries the likes of I've never seen in my entire life. We are a club/team that runs on adrenaline and passion, yet we have a soulless season without fans in grounds. We have a fanbase that offers fantastic vocal support when it's really needed, yet not a one can enter the ground to do so. We have men down, yet can do nothing to help lift them. It's a perfect storm, isn't it? VAR and horrifically inept officiating has helped disrupt our flow and hamper us at crucial moments. Anything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. It has been an endless stream of problems in a relentlessly tedious, freak anomaly of a season.

With hindsight, I think it all came at absolutely the wrong time football-wise too. We went absolutely flat-out for two seasons. By the end of last season we had gone from nearly-men to champions of England, Europe and the World itself. An absolute tidal wave of emotion was released. All that adrenaline had finally reached its peak and the balloon had been finally burst. We'd done it. Champions once more.

Now all of that, like the most amazing night out, often comes with a mega hangover. Thing is, rather than being able to sit back, relax a little, bask in the glory then sleep off the hangover, we basically had to get straight up at 7:30am on Sunday morning and hit the road running once again. We were done, but we had to start over again with no recovery time. Look at Abu Dhabi after they went flat-out for two seasons. Even though they had a full pre-season their goose was cooked. It took them well into this season to get back on track. After two flat-out seasons we had to pretty much go again straight away and hit the ground running from the off. With hindsight, it feels like an impossible task. With the wheels coming off in pretty much every other respect too, it's proved to be impossible too. Personally, I don't think we'll see anything resembling the real Liverpool until next season. Mind you, knowing Liverpool, it wouldn't surprise me if we somehow lifted Big Ears again to round off the most ridiculous season in history.

To be honest, I'd be happy to turn a number six into a seven, but I genuinely cannot even get excited over that possibility given the circumstances around football and life itself at the moment. I'm not sure anyone is actually enjoying the game at the moment. By that I mean those playing and managing in it just as much as those watching it. The whole thing feels like an exercise of going through the motions to fulfill contracts. Given the societal backdrop behind it all, I can hardly blame any of them for dropping intensity and application. Going through the motions when you are mentally and physically exhausted is bad enough. Going through it in current circumstances must be soul-destroying. Doing it whilst bereaved must be like a living hell.

For me, the season cannot end quick enough. I'm knackered, I know most of you out there are knackered, and it's obvious that Klopp and his magnificent team of champions are knackered too. They all deserve and need a proper break in order to recover, regroup and reset for next season. Then, I believe, will we see Liverpool back once more.

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Al 666:
Absolutely fantastic post by Timbo.

--- Quote from: Timbo's Goals on May 30, 2021, 05:00:17 pm ---Where would all of us affected by Hillsborough have been without Phil Scraton?

It’s a thought that’s occurred to me at each and every key Hillsborough moment over these past three decades and did so once again as I listened intently to his compelling podcast on the Anfield Wrap [linked immediately below], dealing with the absurdity of the establishment’s latest weasel-worded desecration of true justice.

Would we ever have seen vanquished to the self-serving cesspit from where it was hatched that cacophony of heinous reality twisting and unpalatable lies which so characterized our unbearable tragedy and its aftermath without the priceless input of this incredible and indefatigable Liverpudlian and his determination to represent the truth and ensure it prevailed?

So many others, including most notably of course the families themselves, the HJC, Jimmy McGovern and Andy Burnham have either throughout the entire period or at key periods and moments during it shouldered the fight for justice. However, could the families, the survivors, those others of us who were there that terrible day as well as the wider Liverpool family and other decent folk who witnessed what happened and knew the truth ever have seen that moment when the truth of that day finally prevailed, had Phil Scraton and his uniquely steadfast forensic approach not been at the very centre of the effort?

Myself, for one, struggle to imagine it, which is why I believe the very least this uniquely extraordinary Liverpudlian deserves is a dedicated thread of his own on the main RAWK website.

I speak as someone who attempted as valiantly as I could in those early pre-internet days following April 15th to right the tirade of unspeakable establishment initiated/media driven wrongs. I did so with countless letters and phone calls to that same baying media that drove the onslaught. Ultimately, it proved to be a largely forlorn task. Indeed, the plethora of closed minds I encountered often seemed almost to take perverse pleasure in rejecting or ignoring any representations made, despite the legitimacy of what I was conveying.

As one lone sympathetic national reporter - Mike Langley of The Sunday People - who did happen to know the true reality put it to me at the time in that perfectly worded catchphrase that has been repeated many times since - “the lies were halfway around the world before the truth had got its boots on’.

And so, despite the findings of the Taylor Report, which for all its shortcomings did cite a failure of police control as a primary finding, it remained the pervading inclination – and in many cases the seemingly determined resolve – of so many beyond the bosom of our home city to vindicate the authorities and blame the fans. It meant the hurt and frustration lingered and the convenient scapegoat rhetoric which was fuelling it was to be reiterated many many times over the ensuing years, each time amplifying our collective anguish at the injustice which it seemed we were impotent to dispel.

Then, some five years after the tragedy in the text of his autobiography came Brian Clough’s despicable slur - “I will always remain convinced that those Liverpool fans who died were killed by Liverpool people”. For many back then, Clough’s words were to add a gravitas to their poisonous rhetoric, affording them even more impetus. And once more written efforts and phone calls to challenge that fresh found impetus of ignorance and venom, admirable as they were, were to prove largely futile in dispelling what so many seemed intent on believing. 

Imagine then all this time the feelings of those poor bereaved families exposed to such a persistent and impenetrable onslaught of lies and misrepresentation. Their innocent loved ones crushed to unimaginable deaths whilst much of the world outside laid the blame at the door of their fellow Liverpudlians.

I saw first hand the distress this sort of mantra inflicted on such folks when back in those early days I met with Phil Hammond and his wife Hilda who had lost their 14 year old son Phillip. Phil, who was then HFSG Vice Chairman, and Hilda had immersed themselves in unearthing the truth of Hillsborough and finding justice for their son but felt impotent in making that truth known to the wider world beyond. Desolate is I think the term that most aptly conveys how they felt back then. They despaired. Both of any semblance of justice ever being dispensed and of any sense of prevailing sensitivity and understanding of their plight in that wider world beyond.

They craved support but in those early pre-internet/pre-HJC days, such support was, by definition, thin on the ground. Thankfully, however, they had Phil Scraton. Back then, Phil Scraton by their side provided them with the human comfort blanket of learned and expert assurance they so desperately needed. How vital and irreplaceable he was to them.

To Phil and Hilda and other bereaved families he represented a virtual knight in shining armour; an erudite Criminology Professor at – and on – their side with his vast insight and knowledge of not only the Hillsborough disaster and all its causes and ramifications but also its place in the wider context of other UK disasters and their own corresponding establishment cover-ups. In those days when the families otherwise felt so alone and isolated, Phil Scraton and his team including Sheila Coleman and Ann Jemphrey were there for them. The Scraton team’s depiction of the denial of justice and the promotion of myth in the aftermath of the disaster in their initial No Last Rights publication provided a desperately needed crutch of perspective and sanity.

Crucially, ever since those early days, at every single stage of the Hillsborough story, Phil Scraton has been there for the families. And let us never forget for fans like us, too. To research, to scrutinize, to analyse, to challenge, to clarify, to advise and represent. His scrupulously researched and presented book, The Truth, provided precisely what it promised on its cover. His tireless ever presence throughout the entire Hillsborough justice process culminated of course in the pivotal role he so clearly played within the Hillsborough Independent Panel which unequivocally absolved the fans of any culpability for the disaster and established the culpability of the authorities, crucially their co-ordinated alteration of witness statements to deflect blame onto the fans.

Down the years so many have made tireless contributions to the pursuit of Hillsborough justice – and we honour them all most notably of course the families themselves – but let us make no mistake, Phil Scraton is the ever present individual who more than anybody else has ensured that the true story and legacy of the Hillsborough tragedy will forever be a matter of public record and not, the shameful obfuscation of reality that, forinstance, we witnessed in Manchester earlier this week with the scandalous establishment manoeuvring to prevent the clearly warranted prosecution of culpable individuals which served to inflict yet more anguish upon innocent and damaged souls.

Phil Scraton’s steadfast resolve after so many years of blocked paths to justice, set against hopelessly besmirched and corrupted odds when any prospect of the momentum that ultimately carried the fight to its rightful conclusion seemed but a romanticised pipe dream is a thing to leave us in awe. His indefatigable determination to right the wrong, complementing it with his expert insight provided the families with a unique expertise to match his innate empathy and became a cornerstone so crucial to their fight as well as the background lubrication to ensure that no matter how slowly for so much of the time they might have been turning, the wheels of justice being pushed never stopped inching forward.

RAWK salutes you Phil.

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--- Quote from: scatman on July  9, 2021, 11:22:10 am ---I'm asking as an England fan because I'm English and Indian. My friends from my shitty little northern hometown are of indian and pakistani heritage but supporting England. Yet all I hear on this thread is about how racist the country is and how nice places like Italy are and people like you supporting Italy because of the xenophobia in England.

As a person of Indian heritage who has lived in various European cities - England (the UK as whole for a matter) is light years ahead of 99% the continent in the way it treats people like me. Yes I know you've done your various little tourist visits to cities and they've treated you nicely. Have you ever lived in Rome as a brown man? Did your African friend ever get raped and the police not give a shit just because she was African(thank god for NGOs in Rome)? Do you have a click in your ankle because someone randomly decided to stomp on it on a night out just because you look different and tell you that this country isn't your place to stay?

Have you ever lived in Krakow? It's a lovely city, I'm still here, 6 years now yet I've suffered a broken nose and a fractured orbital bone from 2 punches thrown at me by the faces of men I never saw with the words 'spierdalaj brazowy kurwa'. In Zagreb, another place I lived in and fell in love with, I was told 'n****s arent allowed here' before my friends intervened. This is in this decade just gone, the 2010s.

Let me tell you about a story in the 1970s when an old white man decided to take a 14 year old indian kid who wanted to earn extra money to Liverpool market to work every morning and would drop him off to school too. Let me tell you about how a northern town in England took in 2 orphaned twins from Uganda whose parents were killed by Idi Amin and helped them grow up and become successful pharmacists whilst keeping them in tune with their culture. When I lived in North West London - my close friend group consisted of a Punjabi Sikh, a Hindu Punjabi, a kid from Zimbabwe, a Karachi Christian, a Gujarati Muslim, a Jewish kid from Barnet and a Tamil from Sri Lanka, I'm a 'Kutchi' Hindu.

Why do I still live in a place with this kind of overt racism? My parents ask me that all the time, well my parents lived in 1960-70s England surivved and the country became accepting over time, so I'm hoping Poland will as well. I'm manager of a football team here, the first foreign founded club in the Polish league system, our captain has a rainbow armband, sure he's got kicked a lot for it too but our club is here for all (the Polish too). My club has 40 footballers from 24 countries and even more cultures. My ability to manage however is limited by the Polish FA, you have to be Polish to take coaching courses you see. Do you know who hasn't stopped me taking their courses despite where I live? The English FA, in fact their first 2 intro courses allow anyone anywhere in the world to take (my Brazilian, Angolan and Portuguese coaches have taken them - they've never lived in England). The course materials are also night and day to the ones in Poland, Croatia and other places - they focus on respect, positivity, empathy, inclusivity, disabled football, first aid training (especially CPR/defib).

So back to the England team, I think most people who hate them, look back at the 70s and 80s and think England as a whole in its attitude is still like that towards 'forengers' - sure there's not a single British Asian (such a wide grouping its a ridiculous term) - however to me and my friends in our backwater Northern town and to my friends in London - when we look at that squad they represent us best than anyone else. They are a product of what our parents and grandparents achieved in England.

But of course to some of you, I'm just a racist xenophobe shouting Ingurland who says effnik and innit

--- End quote ---

Charlie Adams fried egg:

--- Quote from: royhendo on July  9, 2021, 11:40:06 am ---

--- End quote ---
Deserves a wider audience.


--- Quote from: Charlie Adams fried egg on July  9, 2021, 12:54:18 pm ---Deserves a wider audience.

--- End quote ---

I've been trying to find where the post is so I can reply to it.

Any clues as I'd expected to find it in the Euro/England thread but couldn't see it?


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