I may just be imagining it but I do get the feeling that there is a tension among Liverpool supporters recently about how the team should play. I alluded to this in a previous article yesterday about the use of set pieces and the importance of both Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll next season, and I think it is something worthwhile elaborating a bit further on.
A lot of supporters, both young and old, could be termed to be “Football Purists.” Although it is not really right to pigeon hole fans so specifically, if you did generalise slightly, there are those who like to see the beatifically game played as exactly that, beautiful. It is a style of play most perfectly demonstrated by the current Barcelona side, and it is a winning, attractive style which has won them many plaudits as well as many trophies. Great Liverpool teams of the past, playing the Liverpool Way have also come close to matching this style in the pass and move philosophy instilled first by Shankly, and latterly perfected by Dalglish in the late 1980s.
For this reason then, there are a higher percentage of “Football Purists” among Liverpool supporters than anyone else, and so there should be, considering how we have all been brought up believing in this way of playing the game, watching the Reds over the years. It was a big factor in fans hostility towards Roy Hodgson as in no way did he befit this style despite proclaiming its virtues before the start of last season.
The argument has reared its head again during the last 6 months though after the purchase of Andy Carroll. Why do we need a big burly old style English number 9 some have asked? Won’t he mess up our style of play, and prevent the pass and move style from being established again?