Liverpool’s season has ended.
It is truly a grim realisation to come to each May. Fortunately, commercialism has ensured that the off-season is becoming shorter every year; our first pre-season game is in a little over five weeks, but it is an off-season nonetheless.
Every fan has their own coping mechanisms. Some will satiate their football cravings with the European Championships in France (at the time of writing, 12 Liverpool players have been named in their respective nations provisional squads for the tournament.) Some will devote their time to sports closer to home in Australia. Some will even go to the lengths of spending the extra time with their friends and family.
Personally, I like to immerse myself daily in the myriad of transfer speculation which occurs annually in the European summer (the English tabloids are my favourite – I consider it my guilty pleasure).
The vast majority of this ‘news’ is absolutely ridiculous. If a manager looks at his star player the wrong way, dozens of articles will appear claiming a deal is imminent for him to switch to a rival team. Players following, or unfollowing, a club’s twitter account becomes back page news. Previously unknown players who exceed expectations at the Euros will be linked with moves to Munich or Madrid. Its not hard to see why these months are known as the ‘silly season.’
Fans, myself included, will once again fall for the trap of believing some of these stories and begin to speculate just how good the next season will be. We will be teased about Mario Gotze as we have been for months until he either signs at Bayern or somewhere else. We’ll become experts on players that we know very little about and convince ourselves that each signing is just what we’ve been missing.
The odd outrageous link will appear, the most recent being Gonzalo Higuain’s suggestion that he’d love to play for Jurgen Klopp. If that’s not confirmation that he will be wearing red next season then I don’t know what is!
But there is light at the end of this dark tunnel. Once the signings are finalised and the obligatory photos of players signing a blank piece of paper/holding the club’s scarf aloft at Anfield/awkwardly holding a jersey with their name on it have been taken, we fans can be optimistic. We can truly believe that we will be better than we were before and that this will be our year. Call it optimism or blind faith, but this passion is what makes following a football club such a unique and incredible experience.