Naturally, we spend a lot of time with new manager Brendan Rodgers, starting with him doing the mandatory raising the scarf above the head on the pitch for a press call. He’s full of the quasi-inspirational babble beloved of modern managers: “It doesn’t matter if you’re a cleaner or one of the players, it’s all about respect.”
Despite only just arriving, the bull-necked Northern Irishman acts like he’s been at Liverpool for years. Everybody else does too. “It has been very enjoyable,” says Jamie Carragher, who would clearly like to spend more time on television himself. “I’m not just saying that for the cameras.” Being: Liverpool seems to be selling Rodgers to the fans as much as Liverpool to investors.
“It’s not just about winning, it’s how you win on and off the pitch”
But, as we now know, Liverpool are as far away from winning the Barclays Premier League as ever. All around, there are signs of coming trouble. Look, there’s Charlie Adam, a ghost of the player who was signed under Dalglish he looks lost and already halfway out of the door.
There’s Andy Carroll, having picked up a Scouse accent in training. “It’s going to take something incredible for him to leave the football club,” says Rodgers. Well miracles do happen while a replacement carelessly failed to materialize.
“Every player I see as my own son”
The camera also follows one of the players from Liverpool’s “esteemed” Academy, a forlorn Scouser named Jon Flanagan. This was obviously meant to spotlight a future star, and Flanagan did indeed get some first team action. Last season. This season he hasn’t got near the subs bench.
The cameras should have been following young Raheem Sterling, a non-Academy wunderkind who has been one of the few players to make an impact under Rodgers. We briefly see him in training in the USA being given a stern talking to by Rodgers for answering back. “You say ‘steady’ again and you’ll be on the first plane back, okay?” Sterling needs to listen to his own advice, as he’s 17 with three children to different mothers.
There is also a side documentary called At Home With Stevie G, where the captain plays with his family and enjoys a round of golf with Accrington Stanley’s 2nd goalkeeper. “He is exceedingly normal,” says Clive Owen doing the voiceover.
“It’s always good to get a result”
That stupid, pointless colon in the title tells you all you need to know about Being: Liverpool. Giving ‘being’ its own clause suggests that Liverpool are celebrating just existing. “Hooray! We haven’t gone down the toilet!” Maybe it’s the first in a series. Next year it’s Being: MySpace.
Liverpool are in big trouble at the moment: European football, never mind league titles, a far-off dream. Even relegation might not be impossible. Making a documentary like this is exactly what you shouldn’t do, as every fan scrutinizes every nervy bullshit statement and questionable tactical decision made in training for evidence of how they lost 3-0 to West Brom.
Let’s leave it to the high-pitched strangled cry of a fan in the pub watching Liverpool lose the FA Cup last season: “For fuck’s sake, get a grip!”.