“A guilty pleasure is something, such as a movie, a television program or a piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard”.
Using this make-shift definition plugged from the shallow depths of Google, as, you know, a gentle starting point, I think it’s *fairly* safe for me to assume that I, a Liverpool fan and a devote member (the only member) of the “Raheem moisten my dream” fan club, sit firmly within the confines of said ‘guilty pleasure’ when saying, with conviction, that I don’t want to bash that beautiful little head in with a rusty shovel.
It’s was with a heavy heart and a fractured soul that I watched our little golden boy… Raheem Sterling… depart Liverpool Football Club and make the *big* step up to Manchester City. Ugh, fuck you modern football. Amidst the carnage and barrage of ‘snake’ related abuse online, I stood firm. I sat with my head planted firmly in my hands as I watched a delusional Liverpool fanbase preach, “Ta for the 49 million lads @MCFC”, “Ibe > Sterling”, “He’s shite anyway, won’t even make City’s bench. LOL”. As we’ve found out, none of these statements are true… us Liverpool fans were wrong… Who’d have predicted that, ey?
Firstly. 49 MILLION POUNDS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? AND WE’RE ALL HAPPY WITH THAT? I weep. We’re looking at the ‘creme de la creme’, the big cheese, the goddamn puff daddy of English (being the key word) talent and we’re all sat here grinning at 49 million pounds. But that’s a lot of money, right? No. It’s not. Without meaning to traumatise anyone, lest we forget that we (Liverpool) payed £35 million for Andy Carroll. Andy fucking Carroll. We’ve had our pants royally pulled down. The talent that Raheem Sterling possesses is, frankly, immense. He’s electric, he’s exciting, he’s just got it. IT. I don’t even know what said, ‘it’, is… but goddamn he’s got it. I can’t help but gaze in awe at a guy, aged 21, starting week in week out amongst a (to say the very least) star studded team like Manchester City. I know I shouldn’t want him to do well. Trust me, I know… but how can I not? We watched him grow from a boy to a man *grabs I’m a proud parent tissues* and even though his journey with us has ended, doesn’t mean that I want his form/performances to crash and burn, unless I’m in a bitter mood, then, well, FUCK OFF RAHEEM IBE > STERLING GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE!
So yeah, he’s good at the kicking of the footballs’ and that… but why else is ‘wee’ Raheem a bit of a guilty pleasure, well – in a way – I *prepares for abuse* *stutters* feel a tad sorry for the little, erm, bastard. Social media erupted, cries of “HE’S LEAVING FOR THE MONEY” spread quicker than Simon Mignolet’s legs in response to a simple shot on target. However, Liverpool fans, can you honestly press your face against mine, maybe undo a few of my buttons, slowly take off my jeans, look me in the eye and say, “I don’t understand why he left, must have been for the money”… Because it’s not, that statement in simply untrue. Raheem Sterling left a sinking ship, yeah he got his first class ticket on the Titanic but he’s a clever ‘wee’ boy, he knew the captain (Brendan Rodgers) had lost control of the boat, we hit the ice burg and crashed straight into the chillings depths of 6th place, again. So he said “fuck the women and children”, grabbed his lifejacket and jumped into the nearest and most luxurious lifeboat he could find, appropriately named ‘Manchester City’. Now as bad as this sounds, someone please tell me they wouldn’t have done the same? He was offered more money to go and play at a club with a stronger squad and thus gave himself more chance of winning, you know, actual stuff. I don’t condone the way he nor his agent behaved because as ‘Big Jurg’ would say, it’s just not cool… But just because something isn’t ‘cool’, doesn’t mean I/we shouldn’t be able to understand. He’s still a bellend though.
Anyone who knows me even remotely well should be fully aware that I’m a sentimental bastard… like I’m the type of person who gets teary when my mum tries to re-arrange the furniture. So yeah I get attached to stuff. Raheeeem. I’ve been a Liverpool fan longer than I care to remember (I’m 18 *sigh*) and I’ve enjoyed this privilege about 6 times. Up the Reds. Well the 2013/14 season was the most I’ve ever enjoyed football, no doubt. It was fun, it was exciting, there was no fume or negativity and I actually looked forward to games. I’d be lying if I said Sterling turning Vincent Kompany and Joe Hart in a 1020 degree circle before slotting home in *that* game wasn’t one of my favourite moments in football, or his performance against Arsenal where we literally Blitzkrieged their back line alongside their fanbase or… or… well you get the point, he was awesome. Raheem Sterling was a massive part of my favourite Liverpool team, a team that actually made being a Liverpool fan enjoyable and for that I am thankful. Luis Suarez moved on a hero and Sterling left a disgraced villain, granted the situations were different but still, Raheem helped make us dream and that’s why he shall forever be my footballing guilty pleasure.
Whilst Raheem Sterling will perhaps never be held in high regard by the Liverpool fanbase, there’s still plenty of things that I personally can’t help but marvel at when it comes to El Shithouse; whether it’s that eerily comparable T-Rex style run, or the way his oddly crafted mop cut sways in the wind as he taps a simple chance straight at the goalkeeper (I joke) isn’t there just some small part of you that misses him? The mere thought of Bobby, Phil and Raheem operating behind a fit Sturridge isn’t enough to get your trousers bulging, your eyes leaking and your mouth moistened? If that doesn’t quench nor cater for your wildest footballing fantasies then what will? So maybe you hate (or dislike) Raheem, fair enough… but why not let the memory of him be your guilty pleasure, why not remember him for the good he did and the hope (at times) his brilliance gave. So cheers Raheem, you dick.