Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam
No football fan would love to see their beloved `defence` breach, let alone by someone who had earlier worn their own colours.
But on Sunday, the Kop army showed no sign of hostility against one scorer who has breached the Liverpool defence. It`s altogether another matter that the Reds have been conceding goals in the very rate at which their famed SS force is finding the back of opponent goals. At will, as one of that striking force would say.
In their crucial home game against Swansea City, Liverpool started the match in the right earnest with Daniel Sturridge scoring a three-minute-opener. Seventeen minutes later, Henderson stretched the lead. But the match was far from over, even after the Reds led by 2 goals to nil.
Jonjo Shelvey, who is returning to his old playground, scored a scorcher from just outside the box with some twenty minutes into the break. But instead of celebrating the goal, the 21-year-old showed maturity by showing he didn`t really enjoy scoring against his old club. He spent some three years at the Anfield before moving out on loan to Blackpool, and was finally sold to Swansea last July.
Players switching teams is no sin. But players showing intent, like scoring goals on return and celebrating like it`s been the title winning strike, certainly infuriates the home fans to no end. But fans do know the desire for players to celebrate such a feat. Their caution, however, is – score beautiful goals but also acknowledge that you were once part of them — the fans.
Shelvey`s beautiful goal and the subsequent celebration or the lack of it enlivened the crowd. The tepid raise of the hands, as if he was forced to do so all the while facing the crowd with utmost novelty, for minutes, allowed the Kop army to stand-up and accept his gesture.
The match ended 4-3 in Liverpool`s favour, keeping the Reds in contention for the league title. The win gave enough reasons to celebrate for the Anfield crowd. Besides that, they have also got the real take-away from the match. Respect and honour, from one of their own who now represents another team, another colour and another set of fans.