Players are allowed to have trademark celebrations. Managers? No. Just no. The Cutter writes an open letter to Brendan Rodgers imploring the retirement of his raised arm.
I think it’s fair to state that I’m not your biggest fan.
There’s your monstrous ego of course. How could I not start with that? A self-regard so deluded in nature that Jung would have fashioned a brand new couch for it. If you were made of chocolate you absolutely wouldn’t eat yourself. Because then the world would be deprived of a chocolate Brendan Rodgers.
Then there’s your mid-life crisis; a manopause that’s only missing the leather kecks and sparkling gnashers to complete the full set of pathetic cliché. My mistake, just the trousers.
Lastly – and most galling of all – is your vainglorious crusade to portray yourself as Shankly Mk II constantly peddling Liverpool mythologies to the cheap seats to elevate your own standing. This is despite winning the grand total of sod all in your managerial career besides a play-off final for Swansea. On an almost daily basis we are informed that Liverpool is special; a religion; more than a football club it’s a family.
That last nugget is a particular favourite of yours, uttered like a hideous lovechild of David Brent and Carla Lane.
Seriously pal, enough with the aggrandizement of LFC because quite simply they are not your mythologies to peddle. These folklores you espouse and the characteristics you boast of were established by other men from another era. Men such as Kenny Dalglish who went on to manage Liverpool just like yourself – but won actual trophies and stuff during his reign – yet rarely felt the need to talk up the club, probably because it was largely due to him that it became so special in the first place.
It would just be boasting.
Worse yet there is a distinct politician’s whiff about your constant trumpeting of the ‘Liverpool way’. As I’m sure you’re acutely aware Brendan – can I call you the Brodge? No? Okay – many reds have stitched together a security blanket from all that makes them so unique to comfort them through the prolonged fall of their empire. As Dalglish slowly morphed into Andriy Voronin and their hated rivals United repeatedly took their crown there was solace to be found in the passion and intelligence of their support, the balladry of the Kop, the togetherness of the club. By repeating these parables ad nauseam you are merely condescendingly playing up to the more susceptible sections of the fanbase. I won’t swear – as I’m sure you wouldn’t approve of that – so I’ll simply say this: It’s a cult’s trick.
Okay, enough with the character assassination. Because, although I’m certainly not your biggest fan it is equally true to say that I don’t hate you. It isn’t possible to hate on anyone who once declared, “My biggest mentor is myself”.
It’s also true to say that mostly I find you cloying in the extreme simply because you manage a rival team to the one I support and that many of your unsavoury traits that leave a little sick in the mouth – your conceit; your arrogance, and your hypocrisy – can be shared among other rival gaffers such as Van Gaal and Mourinho.
I don’t hate you but…well, there is that one thing, the thing that explodes my spleen every time I witness it. The thing I find more deplorable than FIFA corruption, diving, and Joey Barton combined.
Your one-handed goal celebration Brendan – the other always kept under-stated in pocket – is an affront to baby Jesus and perfectly encapsulates the very worst of you. It displays calculated arrogance and implies taking credit for someone else’s finery.
Managers are supposed to celebrate a goal vicariously, to revel in their player’s achievements. They, after all, had very little to do with it besides pick that player and offer some pre-match instruction. They certainly weren’t the one who just twisted a full-back inside-out before curling a blinder into the bottom corner.
Yet there is dignity in even the most wild of reactions – a punching of the air or a group hug with backroom staff – as it reflects the ecstasy of the fans while we in turn appreciate that the goal acts as a temporary release from the suffocating pressure all coaches endure.
What is not dignified – far from it – is striking a studied Shearer-esque touchline pose that’s no doubt been practised at length in front of your hallway mirror while your new girlfriend shouts out “Fiiit!! But try it with this jacket babe”.
No matter the importance of the strike – a last-minute winner or god-forfend a Balotelli shot on target – your response is always the same. Contrived, pursed-lipped dad-cool that’s as fake as the tan on your face.
Please stop it Brendan. It’s not fitting for a manger of Liverpool football club. It’s not fitting for a manager of any football club.
If you’re going to endlessly pontificate on your club’s class try and keep a little back for yourself.