Are we Arsenal (fans) in disguise? Well we might be mistaken for such if the treatment Wilson Palacios received on Sunday afternoon from sections of the home support is anything to go by. It was very reminiscent of that meted out to Abou Diaby and more famously to Emmanuel Eboue by the slack-jawed tourists at the Emirates during the past couple of seasons.
Why boo a player on your own team? Whatâ€™s the point of getting off your arse and screaming abuse when he misplaces a pass or joining in the sarcastic cheers when he makes a good one? Howâ€™s that going to help him get his confidence back & play better? Palaciosâ€™s passing has always had an erratic side. Itâ€™s not ideal but itâ€™s not his strength and itâ€™s not why we bought him.
When he joined us less than two years ago we had Championship brown stuff swimming over the top of our boots; he was one of the key men our recovery was built round. He was one of those who started the raising of the bar on the pitch, especially in midfield. Those refusing to support one of the leaders in the relegation battle of only two seasons ago are the same ones sitting back whilst our captaincy is handed to a former Arsenal skipper.
The relative success of the past season and a bit has raised expectations and led to complacency amongst some of the fans, a quality that is one step closer to the nauseating smugness that is palpable when you pay a visit to the New Library or Old Trafford. One bloke near me regularly yells at Palacios â€œget him off the pitch, heâ€™s not a footballer, heâ€™s not a footballer!â€. What? I wonder if he sees the irony in his shouts betraying the fact that heâ€™s nowhere near fulfilling the much easier role of being a supporter. The clueâ€™s in the name.
Any success we achieve this season will be on the back of our home form and weâ€™ve developed a reputation for creating an atmosphere that even the best of visiting teams struggle to cope with. Let off steam about the players on message boards, in pubs, on Twatter, on your I Love Prawn Sandwiches Facebook page by all means but donâ€™t do it at White Hart Lane or anywhere weâ€™re playing, youâ€™re just doing the job of the opposition fans for them.
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