Players have to display passion
PUBLISHED: 15:38 02 December 2006 | UPDATED: 09:52 14 September 2010
There is little point in pretending that Peter Grant's comments last week were anything but disrespectful. To describe fans that shell out their cash on tickets every year as a 'disgrace' was inexcusable.
There is little point in pretending that Peter Grant's comments last week were anything but disrespectful. To describe fans that shell out their cash on tickets every year as a 'disgrace' was inexcusable. According to Grant he demands passion from everyone connected to the club. If so then I would recommend he retain his words for the first team squad whose efforts so often fall short when they walk on to the pitch. If he wants commitment from me as a member of the crowd then in return I have two demands of my own.
Firstly, I demand passion and commitment from every team member for every game. Surely not too much to ask from professional players representing my team but this has been sadly lacking for too long. It all started with Fulham on the last day of the Premiership season. On a day that was arguably the most important in the Club's history, we all witnessed a team of players keel over and hoist the white flag in a manner that I still find hard to believe. Since then, the only passion I've witnessed on a regular basis are the banal player interviews processed through the local press with titles such as “We can't wait to put it right” or “We owe it to the fans”. Well, as we all know, and many of our players regularly demonstrate, talk is cheap. I know the current squad is not of Grant's making and he has clearly improved matters but there are still games where the players just don't appear to be as committed as the opposition.
Another key element in engendering vocal support is excitement and this too has been in short supply. I'm sick and tired of going to a game and watching just a few shots on target. Football was meant to be played with two, yes I know it's radical, two strikers leading the attack. Look how much better we played on Tuesday night with two up front. Suddenly we see more action in the opposition's penalty area and as a consequence, more excitement and noise from the fans. It's hardly rocket science. To be fair, Grant has returned some excellent results and it's hardly his fault that we find ourselves playing with only one experienced centre-forward, but it's also notable that Tuesday night was the first time we had scored more than one goal in a game under his leadership.
The real disgrace of course was not the fans last Saturday, but the performance against Ipswich where commitment and excitement were, to be polite, in short supply. Hull wasn't much of an improvement and to blame the fans for the late equaliser is ridiculous. I'm sure I don't need to remind Grant that Hull went to Colchester on Tuesday and were thrashed 5-1. That's Colchester United, playing in front of a 5000 crowd. Indeed, the very same Colchester who I felt earned a well-deserved point at Carrow Road, simply by showing more passion and commitment than us.
I'm obviously fully in support of Peter Grant and I hope he's wise enough to avoid such ill-chosen words in the future. However, if he does ever vent his frustration on fans in the future, he at least needs to make sure that the players' effort levels and commitment are beyond question.