Catfish & The Bottlemen release new single “Hourglass” on June 22nd, so we spoke to bassist Benji Blakeway about his beloved Liverpool…
How did you come to be a Liverpool supporter?
Most of my dad’s side of the family are from Merseyside, and my granddad was a Liverpool supporter, so my dad followed in his footsteps, and I followed in his. When my mum and dad first met 28 years ago the first thing they bonded over was their love of Liverpool, so there was never any doubt who I was supposed to support.
What are your thoughts on the season just passed?
Last season was a bit of a train wreck, especially in comparison to the over-achievement of the season before. As long as we’re back challenging for the Champions League next year I’ll be happy but this summer is massively important for us.
Milner and Ings for (virtually) free is a good start but we need to attract some world class players if we really want to keep up with the current top 4. Our young squad has great potential but we need some more established players with experience to help us along.
Do you think Brendan Rodgers is the right man for the job?
I’m still undecided about Rodgers. He’s still pretty new to management mand he’s shown signs of maybe one day being able to become a great manager, but he still makes a lot of bad decisions, he’s been massively hit and miss in the transfer market (not entirely his fault), and he’s renowned for talking a lot of nonsense.
I’d give him one more season before making a big decision on him. With Klopp taking a bit of time off, if next season is another disappointment then I think we should really push to get him in instead.
Which areas of the squad would you like to see strengthened?
I think we need to strengthen every position. The ideal starting XI we have isn’t too bad but we are severely lacking depth. With Sturridge being injured pretty much constantly we have no reliable back up strikers. Gerrard is now gone and we’re going to have to fill that gap.
Henderson has the potential to do that but we need more in midfield, especially with Lucas being pretty injury prone himself. Agger leaving was a big blow, too, especially with Lovren massively underperforming. Sakho and Škrtel could still yet form a great centre back partnership if they can both stay fit.
We also need some stiff competition for Mignolet, although he was great from around Christmas onwards last year.
Have you managed to get to Anfield much over the years?
I’ve been to quite a few games over the years but with the schedule of the band it’s been almost impossible to get to games lately. Whenever I get a bit of time off I always make the effort to get to Anfield.
Would you be able to name the first game you ever went to?
The first football match I ever went to see was Stoke vs Brentdord in 2001, back when Stoke were in the old Divison 2. My best mate Ivan is a massive Stoke fan and his dad used to take us to games as often as he could, so I have some great memories at the Britannia!
Finally, if you had to select a five-a-side team out of all the Liverpool players you’ve ever seen in your time as a fan, who would you pick?
Five-a-side team of players I saw play at Anfield would be:
Carragher (or Hyppia, tough choice!)
Catfish & The Bottlemen release new single “Hourglass” on June 22nd. For more information, please visit their official website