WITH the new version of the list of the 100 Players Who Shook The Kop close to its conclusion, I was compelled to voice my concern at the repetition of the list.
In my mind the list had a gravitas to it. Voted by the fans, it was a tribute to players who had managed to make a real impact on the Anfield congregation.
It was not necessarily composed of the greatest players, though the greats would be likely to feature, it was an accolade to those who had managed to clutch the hearts of Kopites and write their paragraph into the Liverpool bible. Their songs may not all be sang by the faithful on the terraces but their contribution would never be forgotten.
Sadly, the latest edition to be collated has devalued that notion. A mere 6 year gap between polling fans on the footballers who have stunned them is not enough. The previous list was compiled on 6 October 2006, the new one will be released later this month. To emphasise the point, it is worth noting what has been won in that time frame. The answer? The League Cup 2012.
If versions are to be rolled out this regularly the exercise becomes invalidated, pointless and a waste. The list becomes immeasurable if done too frequently. Instead of a considered judgment on those who have made the Kop sway or had each fan out of their seat, spellbound by a moment that testified to the majesty of the game, it becomes a popularity event. Rather than reflect on history and give considered thought to the names that should be chosen it becomes more about the here and now.
Of course, any list will always favour more recent memories but holding a poll so regularly encourages supporters to keep the mind focussed on the present. Indeed, it can become a thing to be mocked where fans suggest ‘let’s try and get Biscan to no.1 in the list this time’ and thus instead of the PWSTK becoming a scroll of Liverpool history to be reinvigorated occasionally to celebrate those that have made us hold our breath, it rots into a useless rag.
Now we have a mere 6 extra years to look over. Who else really needs to be added to the list? Torres? Suarez? These are perhaps two additions who truly have shaken the Kop in their accomplishments but is it fair to review their contribution while they are so fresh in the mind? Torres may not even make the list given the acrimony around him leaving the club. But he broke records and he broke hearts and that makes him a worthy candidate as a Kop shaker.
Were the poll conducted 50 years on perhaps those mentioned would make it, perhaps they would not but time would be taken to measure up those who deserve it.
Perhaps the alternative is to have a Hall of Fame style approach where former Anfield servants can be appreciated and inducted in on a season by season basis. However, this task has already been carried out without the fans’ assistance and having two separate Halls of Fame would be as ridiculous as this recent poll. That’s why the list of the 100 PWSTK was the list and perhaps even every 20 years is too regular. The first time the poll was held supporters were asked to pour over one hundred and fourteen years of history to discern who should make it into the list.
The only positive aspect I can see in repeating the task so soon is that more fans can engage in the voting as there is a greater access to it, be it via Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms. But that reason alone is not significant enough for me.
When the original was compiled it gave me the opportunity to delve deep into LFC’s past and look up players I had never seen or heard of and I felt the club was creating something special. A repeat so soon has tarnished that ideal.
It will therefore be with regret that I will read the latest compilation, as I fear that irreparable damage has already been done to such a promising piece of Liverpool history.