Allez allez allez. Liverpool kick off another European campaign today. The Reds travel to the San Paolo Stadium in Naples to face Carlo Ancelotti’s dogged Napoli side in the Champions League group stage. This may be an away game for Liverpool but the competition itself is not. Liverpool are a European club.
One away game in London will tell you how Liverpool fans feel about Britain. The Reds fans march through the streets to Stamford Bridge to chorouses of “we’re not English we are Scouse”. One away game on the continent will tell you how Liverpool fans feel about Europe. Reds fans march through the streets of Madrid to chorouses of “forza Liverpool allez allez”.
This has always been the case. Liverpool have been full of bilingual songs since the 1970s. During the legendary European Cup tie with St.Etienne in 1977, the French began singing “allez le vert”, the Reds retorted with “allez le rouge”. Nowadays some of the Kop’s most sung songs have a nod to foreign shores: “si señor”, “allez allez allez”, “bring on your Internazionale”.
The city itself has a longstanding distrust of England. Back in the 1980s, the Liverpool City Council famously went to war with the government. Since then there has been battles with the establishment over the Hillsborough disaster and “the managed decline” of the city. Liverpool has always stood unified in the face of adversity inflicted by the state – this has led to the mantra “we’re not English we are Scouse”.
The city has always called the continent home. We don’t belong in England. We hold 6 European Cups, we sing in foreign tongues, we aren’t English we’re Scouse. We are a European side.