Today, The Echo and liverpoolfc.com are running a story about how a lucky punter can win the chance to play ‘paddle-tennis’ with Jürgen Klopp. Apparently, a £5 donation to the Liverpool Foundation means any fan who is not yet a member of the burgeoning #KloppOut movement can enter into a raffle, the prize of which is a day with the big amiable German.
Elsewhere, the club is being touted as next summer’s most feckless spenders and the perpetual transfer tittle-tattle train toots teasingly once again. There’s a story about Champions League winner Djibril Cisse becoming a DJ and another about club ambassador, Gary McAllister, backing the manager.
It would appear, then, that normal service has been restored on Planet Liverpool, at least until after the Spurs game. For now, the vilest of trolls have retaken their positions under the bridges of the internet and the general anger of all has abated somewhat. Enough, at least, to allow Latest News the indulgence to report on the latest musings of Estonian defender Ragnar Klavan? No? We appear to have lost some people there at the back….
Well, for those who have not imploded at such frivolity, Klavan has been speaking about the effect that the Anfield crowd can have on the team and… WAIT! JUST BEAR WITH IT! No? More gone? Fine.
Last season, with his Augsburg teammates, Klavan experienced a ‘proper’ European night at the Redmen’s famous old stadium. Despite a hellish run of recent home form, the centre-half believes that Liverpool’s remaining eight games at Anfield can be successful occasions.
“I have sampled playing against Liverpool here and it is really hard,” Klavan observed. “All these supporters create this whole club and you have that sense of representing them. Our fans can make a big impact on the rest of our season; it is a big boost for us when they are with us from the first minute to the last. The game against Manchester City was a perfect example. We were leading but they were pressuring us more in the second half, getting more possession and pushing us a little bit downfield. You could sense that the crowd understood that we were having a few difficult moments so they started cheering us all the more which gave us the extra energy to stay in the game and keep on fighting.”
Now that is the type of symbiotic interaction that will be necessary if Liverpool are to claw back something worthwhile from a season that has all but collapsed over the course of five horrendous weeks. Yes, the crowd must play their part in spurring on the players but yes, the players, too, must dispel the angst in the stands with a nerveless and ruthless display of the type of football that had many experts predicting title glory until all-too-recently.
“It’s not too easy to describe the feeling you get walking out as a Liverpool player,” the defender continued. “People talk a lot about getting goosebumps when the fans sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ but it was true for me the first time, too, even when I was sitting on the bench as a Liverpool player. That says a lot about the impact of the stadium and the people inside it. When I made my debut against Hull City it was very special for me to walk out in front of those people and have them cheering us on. It is something special in everybody’s life who steps out onto the Anfield pitch to play for Liverpool.”
If Ragnar and chums can express just how special they feel with a sequence of wins, well then we fans will start to feel special again too. If we’re honest, it’s the least they can do, having been so neglectful of our feelings since the turn of the year.