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Why neutrals will be voting red

There will always be those who are less than impressed by Liverpool Football Club. A friend of canada goose coat 1000 bulbs promo mine, who lives and breathes Manchester United, seems to find it impossible to speak about Rafael Benítez’s team without prefacing his observation with “bloody Scousers . . .” No matter that only a couple of “bloody Scousers” regularly get a game nowadays, I suspect he is not alone among United fans in holding that particular sentiment. And as for Evertonians. . .

But for Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, Liverpool will surely have their biggest level of popular support across the country since the days when Bill Shankly ruled at Anfield. Chelsea may become champions tonight, should Arsenal fail to defeat Tottenham, but they have singularly failed to capture widespread public affection despite the undoubted excellence of their play.

The feeling is more one of resentment. The billionaire Roman Abramovich’s patronage of Chelsea, with the £300m he has invested, has hardly endeared the club to a wider audience beyond south-west London. At the same time, from the manager Jose Mourinho’s numerous spats with the Premier League, the FA and Uefa, along with his apparent inability to take best canada goose jacket for men defeat without a whinge, through to the leaden-footed machinations of the chief executive Peter Kenyon, Chelsea have sometimes seemed an unlovable bunch, however impressive their football might have been.

It is not only Arsène Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson who have formed the opinion buy canada goose jacket ebay that there is an unpleasant whiff of arrogance around Chelsea, not too far removed from Harry Enfield’s condescending Brummie who began every sentence with “I’m conseederubly richer than yuaao.”

Chelsea have had the two outstanding players of the domestic canadagoosesalesus.com season in John Terry and Frank Lampard, who will thoroughly deserve all the acclaim and awards that come their way. Terry, amazon canada goose jacket whose character and form have been transformed, has given defensive displays which have canada goose coat 1000 calorie meal plans been nothing short of heroic, while Lampard’s development to become one of the outstanding midfielders in Europe, let alone England, has been extraordinary. But there is little doubt that for this forthcoming Champions League showdown it is Liverpool who will have neutral support behind them.

Perhaps it is because a team that dominated English football for so many years are now firmly cast in the role of underdogs or maybe it is because their Spanish manager seems as self-effacing as Mourinho is cocky. Perhaps also it is because the heart of a true Scouser, Steven Gerrard, still pounds in midfield for the fans, almost as one of them. And what of those supporters?

For the outsider, there is still the sense that Liverpool’s fans remain closer to the traditional backbone of the game than their loadsamoney Chelsea equivalents. The reality may be a little different.

For a start Benítez has made it clear that he is an admirer of Mourinho and that he particularly respects the Portuguese manager’s attention to detail in his preparation of his Chelsea team – an attribute which, in Sir Alex Ferguson’s words, has “raised the bar” in the Premiership.

In addition the days buy canada goose jacket london when Merseyside dock workers clocked off at Saturday lunchtime to go and stand on the Kop in buy canada goose jacket australia the afternoon have long gone, and the idea that the average Liverpool fan wisecracks his way through the few spare coppers he has in his pocket in support of his local club is an outmoded cliché.

Meanwhile Gerrard has not quite laid to rest the rumour that he is heading for Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, even though there was much rejoicing in Merseyside at the crumb of comfort given by the news last week that he has pulled out of two prospective house purchases in London.

In many best ideas about canada goose parka on pinterest ways Chelsea are now the club Liverpool and others strive to beat. And, if Benitez’s team somehow pull off a semi-final victory, it would be a magnificent achievement and one to raise the Spanish manager’s profile still higher.

Benítez has not yet buying cheap canada goose outlet jacket online come close to fashioning a team to match those of Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley but he buying canada goose jacket online seems happy in embracing the history of success that others might have found intimidating. When he famously mingled with the fans in a German bar before the Champions League match in Leverkusen, it was a moment when he became more than just a highly paid overseas manager of Liverpool Football Club.

Benitez was on his way to achieving folk hero status and it was an impression underlined when Liverpool travelled to Turin to face Juventus in the quarter-finals to pull off one of their most memorable rearguard defensive performances in years, picking up a priceless goalless draw to preserve a 2-1 lead from the first leg.

Of course, the odds are stacked against Liverpool reaching the final. But, if they can rekindle the performances that did for Juventus, who knows? Chelsea are worthy Premiership champions this season but it is Liverpool who will have me and many others as adopted “bloody Scousers” on Wednesday night hoping for an upset.

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