Loyalty – a trait that many football fans demand from their clubs players, but one that they themselves can so often forget to reciprocate.
In modern day football, many fans have grown up knowing that they have to cherish their club’s finest talents, as the moment that a big club comes calling, departure is inevitable. Understandably, this can be frustrating to experience, and as a Southampton fan, I know this better than most.
This more often than not leads to fans cussing the player, growing to hate them and in many circumstances, demanding that the player should have shown more loyalty. This was the case for Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren and many more former Saints, and in truth, many of these players received the appropriate backlash to their decisions.
However, what leaves me confused is when fans bark and order for players to show loyalty to their club and fans, whilst they themselves only show loyalty to the player when it suits them.
The sad truth is that increasingly, it seems that the deciding factor in just how much loyalty fans show towards players has become determined by that player’s ability alone…
This became apparent to me after the Hull City game yesterday when just a quick search of ‘Jordy Clasie’ on Twitter, proved to me just how fickle some fans can be.
Criticism is allowed, in fact, it’s welcomed and encouraged. As fans, we deserve to voice our opinion over the performance of the players, but hurling abuse and treating one of our own players with no respect? That’s just ridiculous and unjustified.
Granted, Clasie’s performances have been below par of late and this is most certainly frustrating, but how many of us could truly put in a fantastic day’s work if being criticised constantly and publicly? Clasie has never kicked up a fuss at Southampton, has a strong relationship with Claude Puel, respects the fans, and quite evidently, gives his all on the pitch.
How can the same fans that abuse and turn on their own hard-working and honest players, simultaneously demand loyalty from their clubs wanted assets/stars?