Wednesday, 21 October 2009

REVEALED: The most NEGATIVE Liverpool FC blog on the net

SOME of you may be aware of the blog Liverpool-Kop, run by Jaimie Kanwar, who claims to be a fan of Liverpool Football Club.

Normally, I wouldn't bother to mention it, each to their own and all that. However, Kanwar has decided to pull apart a recent article of mine about Rafa Benitez which I wrote for the opinion section of This Is Anfield. 

In it, I argue that Benitez has done a great job at Anfield in trying circumstances, a view I stand by, despite the current poor run.

As with any article, I did my research, checked my facts - as my day job is a sports journalist, I like to think I am capable of arguing my point without resorting to lies.

Kanwar, however, saw it differently, as he is entitled to. He took exception to the fact that numerous LFC fans emailed the article to him and posted it on his blog, accusing him of not being a 'true fan'.

Not my doing I may add, but there you go.

Kanwar has since published a post kicking off with: "This post is a direct rebuttal to the spurious blind-faith and misrepresentation of the facts displayed in the 'Why Rafa Could Quit' article, posted on ThisIsAnfield yesterday."

Clearly the intent - as with the site generally - is to inflame, provoke a response, wind people up. Some may say I've taken the bait - well, I've come this far...

Not unreasonably, I took offence to this line. The accusation of producing something spurious, false, fake etc etc. The piece goes on to question my sources, while spinning a new line for each point, selectively missing things out along the way.

Of course, I could do the same, go back through it line by line and counteract his one-eyed arguments. But I don't need to - other posters on there have done it for me.

Nevertheless, I wanted my say.

So I posted a response. I asked why I needed to justify myself to him? Asked him, who, in the grand scheme of things, is he? Who appointed him the oracle on all things Liverpool FC? I went on to say he could continue to dress up his negative articles as "critical realism" while I would carry doing what I do and people could make up their own minds on which they prefer.

I also pointed out I had no real interest in his site, because of its viewpoint and because of its support for a Manchester United fan site The Republik of Mancunia, a site that cashes in on the Heysel tragedy by selling the "Without Killing Anyone" t-shirt.

Kanwar links to this site, has given interviews to it as a "Liverpool fan", and is a follower of the site on Twitter. An example quote from an interview (in the wake of Liverpool's 4-1 win at Old Trafford last season):  

"Predictably though, Rafa Benitez’s ultra-cautious approach, nonsensical team selections, needless public griping and spurious personal agenda conspired to derail the club’s forward progress."

Yes, that was after the 4-1 win at Old Trafford.

In the past, I have raised Kanwar's links to the RoM site with him. He claims he is "fostering relations" with a rival club. I suggested this was PR bullshit, and asked for more details/justification.

He provided none and deleted my comment.

My comment replying to his attack at my This Is Anfield post was also edited ridiculously. It's a common theme on his site. He doesn't like awkward questions - so your posts are deleted, edited, ignored or, the best, "lost in the comments system".

So this is why I post - my right of reply was denied on his blog, so here it is on mine. I can take criticism, I understand Rafa Benitez divides opinion, I accept he has faults, but Kanwar's response was over the top in my opinion and cast aspersions at my professionalism.

There may well be a reason for that.

Until recently I only posted on this blog. While that was the case, Kanwar sometimes linked to some of my blogs, praising their content.

At this stage his site was new to me. And I read one or two pieces that raised valid points...then, as time wore on, I began to drown in the sea of sensationalism and negativity on his site.

Now that I'm writing articles for This Is Anfield, it's a problem for Kanwar. You see they banned him...for being a wind-up merchant.

He appears to be banned from Red and White Kop, too.

Oh and he's anti-Steven Gerrard, anti-Rafa Benitez, anti-Spirit of Shankly...(so that means he has more time for a site that profits from a tragedy than for a fans' group that wants what's best for LFC).

But God forbid if you suggest he's negative for the sake of being negative. He'll argue the toss all day about that one, even though, when attempting to promote the site, he wrote:

"The site seeks to redress the balance with a critical approach to analyzing Liverpool FC.  As a rejection of the poor current state of Liverpool FC journalism, the focus will be predominantly critical"

So the site motto "No.1 site for critical realism on Liverpool FC" and description starts out from the basis of being critical, but he's not negative - so how does that work?

Of course, it's up to you, I might have it all wrong, maybe he's a genius and I'm a fool.

But here's some highlights from the keyboard of Kanwar - you make up your own mind...
  • Accusing Steven Gerrard of being a xenophobe for using the word 'foreigner':
Gerrard should stick to improving his game instead of peddling this kind of ignorant, divisive, simplistic hogwash. Foreigners?! Surely the correct terminology is ‘overseas player’? The word ‘foreigner’ is dismissive, has negative connotations and exacerbates the insidious discrimination bubbling under the surface of society.
  • On This Is Anfield: With very few exceptions, is populated with precisely the kind of ‘fans’ Liverpool FC don’t need: Intolerant snipers who believe that blind faith is synonymous with positive support. Criticise any of the favourites (Rafa/Gerrard/Carragher etc) and you’re a pariah. Castigate unpopular players (Sissoko, Riise, Hyypia etc) and you’re welcomed with open arms.

    TIA has a ridiculous double standard of blatant self-serving hypocrisy, which is what makes it the worst Liverpool discussion forum on the net.
More on Gerrard:  Sell Gerrard and buy a midfielder who can function successfully as part of a midfield two. Cue mass hysteria and Liverpool fans collectively foaming at the mouth!
  • More on Gerrard: Liverpool will never win the league with Gerrard as captain. He is not a leader and he does not have the qualities required to be an effective leader. Quite frankly, he is an embarrassment, and the longer he remains in the role, the worse it will be for the team.
  •  More on This Is Anfield: I don't need to say else anything negative about TIA. The piss-poor standard of argument in the forums speaks for itself, and this is a direct reflection of the piss-poor quality of 'fan' that frequents the place. 
  • About LFC site Red And White Kop:  Is there a bigger collection of gullible cretins on the internet? I think not...  
  •  On Gerrard: In order to be a Liverpool Legend, there are certain qualities all players must possess, such as professionalism, humility and class - things Gerrard lacks.
      So, if that's your kind of reading, enjoy! Me? I'll give it a swerve.

      UPDATE:  Rather than address any of the issues, Kanwar has posted the following from his Twitter account. As I say above, make your own minds up about who is the fool here.

      @robbohuyton - Grow up, Gareth. Bottom line: I fairly and respectfully challenged your views and you couldn't hack it, so you lashed out.
      @robbohuyton I must say though, your quite excellent tabloid-style manipulation of quotes from my site is something to behold :-)
      @robbohuyton You made yourself look stupid. I don't even need to respond. Toys thrown out of pram in true sullen child-style. Congrats!