And guess what? We received phone calls and emails from irate Kop fans condemning us for “belittling” Liverpool’s achievements and “insulting” an institution revered throughout the world because of those two words in parentheses.
Now hang on a second, all you Kop.
I am a staunch and devout Liverpool fan myself – have been since 1972 and always will be. That’s why I am Red2TheCore.
So, believe me when I say that those two words were never meant to insult or belittle Liverpool in any way.
It was put there to temper my fellow Reds’ expectations after our League Cup win over Cardiff City. A tongue-in-cheek reality check.
If only we were so passionate about the injustices in society and life. This is sports. It is meant to be fun. It is meant to encourage friendly rivalry, banter and opposing views. Not shut off dissent or open debate. That’s not sports. That’s intolerance so unbecoming of true Kop fans.
Such emotional and irrational reaction is sad indeed. Thankfully, it was only a small faction of the glorious legion of Liverpool fans.
Yes, we won the League Cup for a record eighth time on Sunday. It was our first trophy in six years. That’s a long time for any Liverpool fan used to the glory days of the 70s and 80s.
So cheers to that and enjoy the moment.
But let’s face some home truths as I reel out the facts the Rafa Benitez way.
Fact No. 1: It’s just the League Cup – not the EPL or Champions League crown. Heck, it’s not even the FA Cup.
Fact No. 2: We very nearly lost to a Championship (Second Division) side, for heaven’s sake!
Full credit to Cardiff City, who played well, showed plenty of heart and gave it a real go.
They held Liverpool, of Premier League pedigree, to a 2-2 draw after extra-time, forcing the match to be decided on penalties (which we thankfully won 3-2).
Fact No. 3: We played poorly. For a club with Premier League and Champions League ambitions, we were pathetic (except for the early stages of the first half). And we had five players worth a total of more than £100mil on show – Andy Carroll (a club record £35mil), Stuart Downing (£20mil), Jordan Henderson (£20mil), Charlie Adam (£8mil) and Luis Suarez (£25mil).
And what did we get from them?
Carroll battled hard and … that’s about it. Henderson was a sheer waste of money. Adam was a mere passenger. Suarez was mediocre on the night. Only Downing came anywhere close to justifying his big-money transfer.
Fact No. 4: We are definitely not ready to fight for a top four finish – let alone the Premier League title. Not based on the performance against Cardiff.
Fact No. 5: We are still a long way from being the finished product. We still need to purge some deadwood from the team and bring in some real quality signings.
Fact No. 6: We need to beat the lower rung teams with the kind of efficiency and ruthlessness that the Liverpool of old did back in the good old days.
It’s one thing beating the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur but what is the point if we then go out and lose to (no disrespect guys) Norwich, Stoke, Bolton and the like.
Can Liverpool fans look me in the eye and say that the team are on the verge of greatness? We are, at best, a team in transition.
There is no need to lose our perspective, composure, dignity or sense of humour.
R. Manogaran hopes the Reds will not be suffering from any League Cup hangover when they welcome Arsenal to Anfield today.
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