Despite the Reds' horrible situation, defiant Liverpool fans walk on with hope in their hearts
While victory against Wolves would have been a foregone conclusion last season, the Reds didn’t look completely comfortable in a win which saw former Wolves striker Diogo Jota netting the winner on his return to Molineux Stadium.
No wild celebrations from their fans, and no gloating posts on social media reminding everyone else what a great team Liverpool are. Because, far from a convincing triumph, it looked more like Little Red Riding Hood’s escape from the big bad wolf.
However, the desperately needed win provided some respite for supporters of the great Anfield outfit, who moved up to sixth and are now within five points of a Champions League spot. Everton (seventh) and Tottenham Hotspur (eighth) both still have a game in hand and could leapfrog the English champions if they win their respective fixtures, but for now, or at least until next week, Liverpool are a stone’s throw from Europe’s premier competition.
WATCH: Klopp wishes Rui Patricio speedy recovery, praises Jota's influence
How the mighty have fallen.
“I’m speechless. I’m really at a loss for words about Liverpool’s current form,” says music DJ and Liverpool fan Sahul Hameed, also known as Kzee. “My mind went blank with defeat after defeat. I didn’t even know how to update my Facebook status.”
Kzee thinks Liverpool’s current sorry state is the result of a killer mash-up between injuries to key defenders and a loss of form on the part of the strikers. The injury to Virgil van Dijk started it all, he adds.
“It’s really hard to swallow. Realistically, things will probably only get better next season when we get some reinforcements during the transfer window. Some players in the current squad will also have to make way for new blood,” says Kzee.
Meanwhile, he will have to deal with the taunts of rabid Manchester United fans baying for the blood of their arch rivals.
“Somebody from Manchester United must have cast a voodoo spell on Liverpool for them to be playing so badly,” says Kzee, only half in jest.
“But seriously, I just have to bite the bullet,” he adds. No doubt he is already used to it, having lived through the good ol’ days when one Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge of the Red Devils.
WATCH: Solskjaer pleased to see his side keep four clean sheets in a row
“I mean, we have been there, we’ve been through the Fergie era. Obviously, Manchester United fans are still living in the past, so it is what it is,” he says.
It must be particularly grating that Manchester United actually have a mathematical chance of winning the English Premier League title, and while United fans shamelessly backed Manchester City against Liverpool last season, Kzee insists he will never stoop so low as to back City against United.
“Never!” he declares. “I will never support any club other than Liverpool,” he says defiantly.
Right now, Kzee looks forward to success in the Champions League for his beleaguered team.
“Jurgen Klopp has already given us more than we have hoped for, and that includes a Champions League trophy and a Premier League title,” says Kzee with gratitude pouring out of his Liverpool heart. And that, I have to say – even as a Manchester United supporter for the rest of this season – is way more than what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done for United.
Win, lose or draw, Kzee maintains he will continue supporting Liverpool.
“I might stop watching the games because of VAR and the match officials – they keep making the same ‘mistakes’, so it looks like corruption.”
WATCH: Klopp bemoans VAR decisions in Brighton draw
But corruption or complete incompetence, Kzee says: “I will always support Liverpool because it’s already in my DNA.”
While Kzee’s mood seems as bruised and battered as Liverpool’s liver bird, his fellow Liverpool fan Danny Loong, co-founder of Timbre, appears a lot more nonchalant about the state of affairs at Anfield.
“It’s not a great feeling at the moment but I am actually not as affected as most Liverpool fans,” he says. “I will always love the club and have been a fan since the ’80s. I have been to Liverpool and Anfield a few times and enjoyed the atmosphere there, so nothing is going to change that. I am a lifelong fan and I still believe Jurgen Klopp is the right man for Liverpool. I also think most fans are still 100 per cent behind the man and the team,” he adds.
He attributes Liverpool’s bad run to the spate of injuries, shocking bad luck and awkwardness among some of the players.
“I’d say bad luck, which also led to injuries resulting in the loss of Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson along with other first team players, and the awkward vibe between the front three of Mo Salah, Sadio mane and Roberto Firmino and other team members – especially between Mane and Salah – contributed to this really bad run.
“Now the important thing is how the team regroups and comes back together like the champions they are. After some rest and with the recent awesome home Champions League win, I think we will be back on track for a Top Four finish.
“Once the team members are also in their preferred and best positions, we will do better. We have already started winning – this morning against Wolves with Diogo Jota scoring – and Jota to me will be a key player. Fabinho staying in midfield and Henderson coming back sooner are also key factors. We will get there and finish stronger.”
WATCH: Klopp praises Kabak and Phillips after Wolves win
Stronger, indeed, but strong enough to weather the taunts of United fans?
“Well, it’s truly hilarious. Really funny and thanks to them for making me laugh!” Danny says. “The way I see it is, until Solskjaer actually wins something and can come closer to what Klopp (they’re poles apart at present) and what Liverpool have achieved in the last few years, they come across sounding like noisy neighbours shouting from an empty Milo tin can. To be clear, as a lifelong Liverpool fan, I do have respect for the team, especially during the Ferguson years. However, some of their fan reactions are laughable and totally lacking in class.
“They seem overly-excited, and perhaps it reveals a desperation to win something under Solskjaer. For me, Manchester City remains the main challenge. Even Chelsea is a bigger threat with the quality of their new manager Thomas Tuchel. It’s also about the quality of the manager and not just the team. So, for now, those fans should wait a while and drink Milo.”
Meanwhile, Danny – who is now probably hanging out with Arsenal fan Daniel Feiler, with whom he will be performing at the Esplanade’s Outdoor Theatre on March 21 together with Souls of Singapore for a show called Soul Spectacular – derives pleasure in watching the Liverpool team get back together, like watching Mane and Salah embrace after scoring, and even watching Liverpool alumni Steven Gerrard’s success in Scotland with Rangers. Danny has thus revealed his hopes for Liverpool for life after Klopp.
“I think we are all happy for Gerrard. It shows hope for the future.”
WATCH: Steven Gerrard's Rangers revolution
And as Danny looks to the future, another Liverpool fan – Fahmi Bai Achmad – just has to look at the past to console himself that the present situation really isn’t quite so bad.
“It’s de ja vu for me – to the time before Jurgen Klopp’s arrival, when supporting Liverpool meant being disappointed over and over but still having the faith that Liverpool will bring joy, like the 2005 Champions League win,” says Fahmi.
“But there's no giving up being a Liverpool fan. Been a fan since the 90s – I’ve survived the Roy Hodgson era and countless other disappointments. This is mild,” he insists.
And there is no problem with the Liverpool team apart from the shocking number of injuries they have suffered this season, says Fahmi.
“There seems to be no other problems such as infighting or disagreeing with the manager’s tactics from the players. It is just the injuries,” he explains. “Things will get better next season
when the injuries clear up and we have a new slate to start over. That’s when Liverpool will show us what they can really do like they did last season when they won the league.”
Meanwhile, he has to put up with fans supporting Liverpool’s great rivals...
“I give it back to them as good as they give it to us. Second place doesn't get you a trophy, United fans. It’s been eight years since they last won the Premier League title. Europa League matches must be fun, however the quarter-finals of the Champions League is better. We have six Champions League titles compared to their paltry two. Shall I go on?”
No, thanks. Not for this Manchester United fan anyway. Not until the end of this season.
“And no, I won’t be supporting Manchester City like United fans did last year. The title is for Manchester City to lose, and United aren’t getting it,” he adds.
WATCH: Man City prepare for Champions League second leg against Gladbach
Fahmi believes that Liverpool will win the Champions League title and hopes that United will end the season fourth, but with Arsenal or Tottenham Hotspur winning the Europa League so Manchester United will be denied a Champions League spot.
“We will win the Champions League, and I hope United get fourth and have their Champions League spot taken away from them,” he says.
It’s a diabolical wish, but it could actually happen. I’m glad my commitment to United will have expired by then, should that nightmare scenario come to pass.
One Liverpool fan who doesn’t seem to care about the outcome is Clifford Clement Chua.
Liverpool this season? “Meh,” he replies without elaborating.
Liverpool’s problems? “Jordan Pickford,” he responds, seemingly stuck in Goodison Park since Oct 17 last year.
He believes things will get better for Liverpool in 2022 and doesn’t seem to know who Manchester United fans are.
“You mean that elephant sitting on the tree?” he says, probably referring to a large pink vision in front of him at the Sand Bar at Sentosa where he works.
He declares that whisky and bikinis – not Liverpool’s current form – would probably cause him to give up supporting the Reds, and then sends us a video, which we will not be publishing because we aren’t sure what the whisky in him is trying to focus on, though we suspect it’s a very red bikini. We have no means of knowing if there was a Red Devil on it.
While the Liverpool fans we spoke to generally attribute their bad results this season to injuries, I suspect it goes way beyond that.
No, it’s not infighting. It’s not that Klopp has lost it, either. It’s probably the curse of this man: Stephen Francis – the most annoying Manchester United fan in Singapore, who, earlier this year predicted that Liverpool will keep losing (at least at home) and remain in sixth, seventh or eighth place, which is where they have been hanging out for a while.