The 4th episode of Being: Liverpool begins with the first game of the Premier League season against West Bromwich Albion, and the first real match for Brendan Rodgers, within touching distance. Having travelled the world during pre-season, and spent several months training in preparation, the day fans and players alike had been longing for had almost arrived.
The first half of the episode has a recurring theme of youth within Liverpool Football Club, highlighted by the Dave Kirby poem opening the episode, about his days as a child at Anfield, and how it began his love affair with the club. Also shown is the mass amount of children waiting outside the training complex Melwood every day, to get a glimpse, and if they’re lucky, an autograph from their heroes. The audience also gets to see midfielder Jonjo Shelvey meet a group of young children at a local football club, while veteran defender Jamie Carragher takes time to watch his son play at Liverpool’s academy. The interaction between children and footballers is a welcome one, portraying the professionals as role models for the children, while giving the kids hope they too can go on to meet and emulate their idols.
The episode then goes on to focus on Liverpool’s pre-match preparation for the game against West Bromwich Albion, before concentrating on the game itself. One interesting feature here is the contrast between match days for the fans and players, with fans meeting up early and boarding coaches for loud journeys full of debate, while the players are much more tranquil aboard there luxury coach, occupying themselves with the top of the range gadgets for the journey.
The audience also gets to see some of Brendan Rodgers unique pre-match tactics during the build up to the game. One controversial technique was to write three names of players he believes will let the team down this season in envelopes, a technique once used by Alex Ferguson almost 20 years ago, in an attempt to inspire them to “not be one of the names”. This has received some media attention this week, with sections of the press commenting on its obscure nature, and how the players felt about such a tactic. However its true effect, if it has one at all, will not be known until the end of the season.
Judging by the game however, it didn’t have a positive effect, with Liverpool losing 3-0. It was interesting to see the inside of the dressing room at full time after what could have been a demoralising defeat for the players and the manager. However, Rodgers remained calm about the situation, analysing the positives. This scene again raises the argument over the privacy of the dressing room which has dominated the series.
Match day coverage in the remainder of the series will certainly be an interesting watch, since viewers know further disappointment looms for Liverpool FC in terms of results, but it will be interesting to see the response from inside the dressing room.
Images from: Zap2it.com , Daily Mail