HELL, as Fernando Torres discovered last week, has no fury like a scouser scorned.
Those Liverpudlians, whose shirt burning antics following the Spaniard’s record-breaking move to Chelsea on transfer deadline day, seemed to take great delight in ensuring Melwood was illuminated by flames.
Had they been protesting about the fact that English football, which proudly champions its community roots, continues to throw pound notes around like confetti while the majority of its followers fear for their jobs then I’d have every sympathy. Join them in reaching for the Swan Vesta’s in fact.
Likewise if they were calling for an end to the tax avoidance methods being employed by those lavishly re numerated players who have the temerity to visit childrens hospitals every Christmas and then employ accountants and advisers to prevent large chunks of their fortunes being used to fund those very same facilities. (Perhaps UK Uncut, who have recently been dropping in on some of Oxford Street’s most famous chain stores might like to add Carrington to their hit list?)
But they weren’t. They were complaining that Torres, who I’m sure has both professional and personal reasons for forcing through his switch to Stamford Bridge, had failed to demonstrate loyalty.
A quality which has never existed in the game. Never has. Never will. And why should it?
The urge to compete at the highest level is part of a professional’s DNA. To collect medals. Be the very best that they can.
As Torres himself put it earlier in his career: “A player wants to be remembered for what he has won.”
Emotion has never been a valuable commodity in this unashamedly capitalist market place. Otherwise players would be permanently wedded to the clubs that developed them unless, of course, there was a pressing reason to sell or moral obligation to remain.
Those over-excitable individuals who turned themselves into performing chimps for the television cameras would do well, as they are fond of reminding everyone who visits Anfield, to remember their history. How their King, Kenny Dalglish, ignored Jock Stein’s pleas to stay with Celtic because he felt he had a better chance of basking in European glory by decamping to Merseyside.
Pause for thought. Take a look at themselves. And then donate their replica jerseys to one of the many charities which kit out youngsters in disadvantaged parts of the world rather than use them as petty pantomime props.