Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The Anfield Shrine Column - Issue 190 of RAOTL

Originally published in print. Issue 190 of Red All Over The Land Fanzine

Firstly I’d like to introduce what is HOPEFULLY going to be a regular column in RAOTL. Some of you may or may not remember ‘The Anfield Shrine’ a little fan site I ran during the emerging years of t’internet and LFC forums, probably well over 10 years ago now, how time flies! I was known as ‘Curly’ back then… but very few would know me by that name now.

Anyway, to cut a long story short I’m looking to reignite The Anfield Shrine as a new LFC blog, offering opinion, news and guest columnists. I’m just getting it stared again, but I’m keen for anyone who is interested in helping to get in touch… any contributors / designers / supporters are most welcome! I’m also very keen to continue to support this wonderful fanzine that I’ve enjoyed over the years, so I intend this column to be a regular and print only affair!

We’ve just opened a Twitter account, so please follow us @anfieldshrine – we’re not really tweeting much yet, but follow us and we will!

So anyway… onto some musings…

In Simple Praise of Brendan Rodgers

It is late on Red All Over The Land’s very own deadline day and I am determined to pen a piece after a final plea for contributions from the big man JJP. I was struggling to think about what to write about. Strange I know considering I’m sat here watching ‘Ingerlund’ safe in the knowledge that Liverpool FC are currently sitting pretty at the top of the Barclays Premier League © (for all you SKY fans) and with I think we would all agree a pretty successful transfer window behind us AND all without the enigma that is Luis Suarez. So I thought, considering my initial reticence and to be honest, just general ambivalence towards Rodgers as a Liverpool manager I thought it was about time I reflected and expressed my change in opinion.

It was not so much Rodgers ability as a manager that I doubted; it was more just something about him as a man that I found a little ‘cringe worthy’ for want of a better word. I don’t think that God awful ‘being Liverpool’ helped him in my eyes, but to be fair to the man that wasn’t his fault. I will fully admit to be a fully-fledged RAFA obsessive, I still am, I love the man and I wanted him back in a flash… but I’m starting to get over that. I think I’ve found closure!

And who can argue with Rodgers progress so far? Several things stand out for me…

The purchase of Sturridge – what an absolutely inspired move!

Coutinho – see above, what an absolute find… he is simply a magician and I just hope we can keep hold of him. I’m more worried about losing him than I am about Suarez now!

How he handled Suarez - the way both Rodgers and Henry handled the Suarez situation over the summer impressed me. We set our stall out that we’re not a selling club and didn’t let Suarez and his big mouth dictate things. We have ambitions worthy of keeping a player like Suarez, and so we should!

This transfer window – I think we have probably had one of the most successful windows out of any club. We haven’t lost anyone that we didn’t want rid of anyway. We have strengthened in defence which was essential, and with what looks like some real quality. Toure has looked another inspired buy and the other new lads all look to have a lot of potential.

We’re top of the league – ok no one is getting carried away, but we can’t fault that can we? And what is more, we’ve done it without Suarez and with a slight change in style. We haven’t been as obsessed about ‘knocking it about’ but have passed it well, kept possession but in a more meaningful fashion. The display against Utd was fantastic, I thought Lucas was outstanding and everyone played their part.
So I apologise Rodgers, I’m sorry for my initial coldness towards you… carry on like this and who knows where you will end up in my affections!

Finally… support RAOTL

Finally, just a little humble rallying cry to you all… to make sure you support this wonderful publication. If you’re reading this, it means you’ve bought a copy. If you’re never bought it before, I hope you’re enjoying it and if you buy it regularly: don’t stop! Buy a 2nd copy and give it to a mate… and if you fancy putting pen to paper get in touch about contributing!

I love this fanzine and I’m so glad to be involved in it again, it was the first independent voice I came across as a young Liverpool fan and it gave me the chance to express my opinion and develop as a writer… albeit an amateur one! We all know our gripes with modern football, but fanzines like this are the absolute cornerstone of what being a football supporter is all about. Forget your replica kits, hospitality, 3rd kits, training kits and LFC branded egg cups, just buy yourself a copy of RAOTL, put your Adidas trabs up and enjoy. 

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