Okay, first of all, in case anyone accuses me of being an Arsenal fan, I'm not. I'm a Sheffield Wednesday fan (way to go throwing away a two goal lead in the Steel City derby guys, i hate you sometimes), and yes, on those grounds you can accuse me of being a hypocrite for enjoying attractive football, but whatever.
To me, Liverpool's win tonight is a horrible, horrible thing. I look at Liverpool and I see a team who only sporadically play attractive football, a team who graft from week to week, relying on the incogrous skill of a few players (latterly only Torres and Gerrard, since Alonso decided he didn't want to play as well as he did in the 2004-5 and 2005-6 seasons). I see an ownership structure which flies in the face of my political allegiance, and also that which I am under the impression that the working class foundations of the Liverpool fanbase embody (though judging by their percieved support for DIC, maybe I'm assigning more integrity to them than they actually have). I see a manager who I have some fairly irrational dislike for, but it's also focused on his apparently inward-looking philosophy and his one-dimensional approach, not really showing any respect for the EPL (although you could say the EPL doesn't have any respect/integrity left to play with, and okay, that's not really overly different to Arsene Wenger). In short, I see a lot of things I don't like, as a neutral.
However, in Arsenal I might see a few things I don't like (*coughDavidDeincoughAlisherUsmanovcough*), and yeah, in a lot of ways they're not paragons of virtue. However, I see innovation and excitement, I see aesthetic pleasure in watching them play football, using styles and plans that are, well, pleasing on this neutral's eye. To see them beaten by a team who show so much I dislike, like Liverpool, is disheartening, it makes me sad.
I don't think (unfortunately for the misanthrope in me) it's the death of football, or anything sinister. It's just the point that I possibly once and for all give up on top-four football, it's got nothing left that I can enjoy really, nothing left I can relate to as a neutral, so I guess I'll focus my positive energy (or whatever) on helping Wednesday avoid the drop...
Maybe bamos, ht27, colinzealuk and all the legions of non-league followers have got it right - I've seen two non-league matches this year and enjoyed them thoroughly, there's been nine goals between them, a lot of honest, uncompromising football through players who are not the most talented, but do not always resort to the ugliest, most cynically effective football (in the way that I percieve Liverpool to, often), I dunno...
So, are any other football fans who happily follow top-end football as much as anything else, feeling a bit disillusioned?
I realise this all sounds a bit like a drunk man talking philosophy (it is).
(oh, and Liverpool fans, feel free to call me anti-Scouse or some other twattish thing, but you're wrong and it just makes you a knobjockey)