Sunday, March 26, 2023

Lessons For Liverpool From Guy Ritchie’s Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels | How Anfield Expansion Rifles The Club Towards The Big Payoff

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Jon Depp (JD)
Eccentric writer, effervescent blagger. What he lacks in cheekbones, he makes up by being cheeky. The footballing Jack Sparrow pompously navigating the high-waves of journalism.2015 International Football Blogging Award Finalist, the pin-up boy of The 4th Official.

Now, now. We don’t expect the match to be quite like shootout scene from Guy Ritchie’s low-budget, gangster cult classic, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. No, in fact, we expect it to be rather high-budget. Factor in the star cast on show at Anfield and the visitors from Leicester, we are talking upwards 200 million GBP worth of potential market value trying to outgun one another.

Speaking of expenditure, let’s talk about the Main Stand, as I have in the past 3 out of my 6 articles. This time, not only touching upon the sheer enormity of it (but, honestly, I reckon you could see it from the Soviet), but the narrative it sets, because, trust me, it will set the course of Liverpool’s narrative this season. FSG, or to you and me, John W. Henry and Tom Werner, the custodians of the sleeping giants, who have been rather magnanimous in the efforts to tickle it awake.

What’s funny, is that while the 18k Main Stand has put forward the first step for the club to compete with the European elites with their XXXL sized stadium offerings and state-of-the-art facilities, the overlay, would have, could have, should have, tied up Juergen Klopp’s hands in going over the odds for the procurement of a defensive midfielder and a left-back.

So, essentially, while Leicester and many other teams away from Anfield, will target those two chinks in the armour; Liverpool, regardless, playing in front of the now burgeoning, 54k capacity, reinvigorated home support will be looking sweep teams away – purely, and vicariously on sheer will and dogged determination washing down the stands. Ey, just like the days of St. Etienne and David Fairclough.

Can you really bundle up romanticism and raw passion and dunk it away into the laundry basket and definitively state that it has got nothing to do with the modern game and the results it churns out over the course of club’s history? Liverpool wouldn’t have been half as storied that it is today. Heck, just have a look at how Dortmund were decimated last season – match that was beyond any scope of cold, calculated logic. At this crucial juncture, it pays to have someone at the helm, who clearly understands and relishes the additions of the intangible, insurmountable odds, Herr Klopp. The man who built Dortmund’s new-found legacy from the bottom up, brick by brick (figuratively).

I can fully relate to the demands of immediacy from the Liverpool fans, who are rightly concerned about the pressing issues in terms squad depth – but from the outside looking in, I believe the good chaps handling the day to day affairs of the club, on evidence of prudence and an incorruptible dedication to their modus operandi, will leave Liverpool in good standing for years to come. What is oversight to one, may be foresight in hindsight. Teams coming to Anfield may again find themselves being shot down like fishes in a barrel.

The narrative of Liverpool Football Club might seem like it’s in a constant jumble, like most of Guy Ritchie’s classics, but pan out and see the wheels turning towards an inevitable payoff. Teams coming to Anfield may again find themselves being shot down like fishes in a barrel.

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