The general public has been advised not to engage in any football-related conversation with Liverpool-supporting colleagues under any circumstances when they return to work after the Christmas break.
Experts have warned that an innocent enquiry about a co-worker’s holiday season could result in an unprecedented deluge of Liverpool-based enthusiasm, endangering productivity in the workplace and any attempt to remain pleased that Jurgen Klopp’s men have unexpectedly unseated Manchester City.
“If you do come into contact with a known Liverpool fan, we would recommend steering clear of any sporting discussions, but you should be vigilant because any topic may be manipulated towards the Premier League,” public health expert Laurence Aherne told FourFourTwo.
“We’d urge you not to ask whether anyone did any walking over the festive period, and if so whether they were accompanied on their hike.
“If you have a mutual friend called Allison, don’t under any circumstances ask after her, and don’t offer to buy anyone a Salah [salad] when you pop out to Pret on your lunch break.
“Similarly, you may believe you’re on safe ground asking a work mate who made his new hat, but even the seemingly innocuous query about his favourite milliner could somehow end up being interpreted as an excuse to discuss James Milner.”
Once a Red
The public has also been warned that many people they didn’t even realise were Liverpool fans will suddenly be extremely vocal about their love for a club they have scarcely followed since the 2005 Champions League Final, and are just waiting for their chance to reassert their credentials.
“The clearest indicator that someone is a lapsed Liverpool fan is a scarf or stationery item on display on their desk, which clearly isn’t current and has been resurrected from an attic,” Aherne warned.
“This person may also be singing You’ll Never Walk Alone but mumbling the more challenging verses, or could have an oddly encyclopaedic knowledge of Vladimir Smicer while responding stutteringly to being asked who currently plays at left-back.
“When pushed hard, this ‘fan’ could believe Virgil van Dijk to be a renaissance artist.”
As bleak as the situation may seem, anyone who does find themselves accidentally embroiled in a Liverpool conversation shouldn’t panic as there are ways the discussion can be terminated without the loss of many hours.
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“One simple method is to innocently ask the Liverpool fan whether this is the first time in recent memory that they’ve looked likely to win the title,” Aherne explained.
“If that doesn’t take the wind out of their sails then maybe say how great it is that they have such faith in Dejan Lovren and aren’t at all worried about him suddenly having a moment of madness.
“And if all that fails, just ‘accidentally’ load up the Anfield Rap on YouTube and play it at full volume until they go and sit down with their head in their hands.”