“There are not enough characters in the game anymore,” or “The players and the managers just don’t care as much as they used to.” These are phrases that are constantly espoused by football fans but perhaps more crucially a lot of football pundits these days.
The game is missing passion apparently and it’s a statement that while not entirely true, it is one I mostly agree with. Yet, after his display of passion at the end of the Merseyside Derby, suddenly Jurgen Klopp‘s ‘passion’ is deemed an overreaction and he has gone too far by the very same ‘proper football men’ who always bang on about passion. It is these passion haters that need locking in Room 433.
Danny Mills is a name I’m going to have to pick on in particular. Mills said that Klopp’s actions were disrespectful and over the top. And yes, while I agree Klopp may have gone a bit too far, he’s just seen his team clinch an important winner in a derby – so you can forgive the German for getting a bit excited.
Mills then, of course, completely undermines his point and says he probably would’ve punched Klopp if he was an Everton player. You can’t have your cake and eat it, Danny. Either accept that passion is part of the game or do not say the best way to deal with these displays of ‘disrespect’ is to punch somebody.
The FA have also fined Klopp, which I understand that by the letter of the law they have to, but it’s discouraging managers and players from showing fans they care. Now, if Klopp was getting in Marco Silva’s or any Everton player’s face, that is an entirely different story. But the Liverpool manager hasn’t. He has merely run onto the pitch excitedly and gone to celebrate with his goalkeeper. It was essentially the last kick of the game too so Klopp was hardly breaking up play.
The game can feel so sanitised and corporate at times and obviously, no one is advocating a return to the dark days of the 70s and 80s. But a bit of passion being injected back into the game cannot be a bad thing. Therefore, if you are a passion hater then you are duly inducted into Room 433 (a concept literally nothing like BBC’s Room 101 in any way) alongside the truly worst things in football, such as people who don’t like VAR.