There are some things that people do that scar our memories of them. Betrayal is one of those things. When you put your trust and belief in someone and that person turns their back on you and goes on to stab you in the back. It is a painful experience that can ruin great relationships built in years. Betrayal is not easy to forgive and can easily turn a hero into a villain.
In 2007 Liverpool FC rescued Javier Mascherano from West Ham, where he was languishing on the bench. We brought him in on loan with the intention of signing him permanently, if he was to impress at Anfield. At the time we already had another good defensive midfielder in Momo Sissoko. We brought him in because Benitez saw something in him that the then West Ham manager, Alan Curbishley did not see. We brought him in even though we knew that he had 3rd party owners (Media Sports Investments).
Thankfully when he managed to establish himself as a quality DMF and he ended up being preferred to Momo Sissoko. The latter had to be sold to Juventus because a new gem had been discovered.
So in 2007 a love affair began between Mascherano and the Liverpool fans, we truly loved him. We bragged about his similarity to Gattuso, we would say “he is a Gattuso that can actually pass the ball”. He could stop the flow of a fast paced team and could distract the rhythm of a passing team like The Gooners or Barcelona. He was a darling to us, even though he is an Argentine. The country that produced Maradona, whose infamous hand of God we all loathe. But that was all forgiven; he was now a proselyte scouser.
But then at the start of the 2010/2011, when Hicks & Gillett were screwing everything up, we had many woes and huge debts that had to be serviced. At the time we were paying 40 million quid to service those debts, hence there was not that much money to invest in players. Things were simply bad! When we thought things could not get worse, Rafa parted ways with the club. That was the worst thing that could happen at the time. What was now needed was for the remaining group to stick together and go through the tough times together.
But someone decided that his time was up, even though he was under a contract. He decided to forfeit the Man City game as a protest for not being allowed to leave. With such a situation, poor Roy Hodgson just had to let the player go. The Man City game resulted in a 3-0 drubbing for us. A game in which we were outplayed and out muscled.
Now since Saturday everyone has been hyping about Mascherano’s dedication. It was very necessary, considering the way he left. But my question to everyone who is hyping about the dedication is “is that dedication enough?”