Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More Jimmy's, Less Bobby's...

I've read an interesting article today explaining Bobby Zamora's bizarre celebration on Sunday. (I'll be honest my house-mate told me about the article, check his blog out here)

Anyway, after Zamora scored the only goal of the game against Sunderland on Sunday he celebrated by yelling "Shut your fucking mouths" towards a section of the home fans. A bizarre way to celebrate you'd think? The reasoning given was that a selection of Fulham fans have been badmouthing Zamora on a Fulham fans forum due to his lack of goals for the club, so this was his answer.

I find this pretty interesting for a number of factors. First of all, was he right to react this way to a small selection of fans? Secondly, Zamora now joins a list of players where the Internet has been involved in their careers recently. Thirdly, Zamora's goal scoring record for Fulham isn't fantastic, so do the fans have a right to voice their protests over his lack of goals?

I think reacting this way to a small selection of fans was somewhat naive, especially as a lot of the Fulham fans do actually like Zamora and regularly chant his name for his efforts, (he has even received some praise on the Fulham fan message board for Sunday's celebration!) So in voicing his opinions at Craven Cottage towards the home fans he has also abused perhaps the same fans that may have been chanting his name during the game. I don't think he was right to react the way he did, the perfect reaction was hitting the back of the net. Criticised for lack of goals, scores a goal - what could be a better way to answer critics?

The Internet is clearly becoming involved in football (like it is with pretty much everything) and is giving fans and players the chance to voice opinions, apologise, praise and discuss football even more so. Social networking sites such as Twitter have been used by Darren Bent to vent frustration over transfers, Thierry Henry used to apologise for his infamous handball which led to France qualifying for The World Cup over the Republic of Ireland. This could be a good thing though as it opens up another platform for people to discuss football, voice their concerns, praise players etc, this goes works for players and fans alike. But, clearly a problem that comes is with issues such as racism, for example, that plague football in certain areas can now be written anonymously. 

Now, the obvious problem for Zamora was that he was receiving some bad treatment because of his lack of goals for Fulham. I looked into his goalscoring record for The Cottagers and to be fair it isn't fantastic. He has scored just 6 goals in 44 league starts (source: Soccerbase), so perhaps the criticism is justified? I think it's fine for fans to criticise players, after all they pay to watch and I would expect the players rather enjoy it when the same fans sing their names and praises (us football fans are notoriously fickle!!)

I think it's a shame to see Bobby celebrate the way he did, especially as it comes just a week after we saw one of the best Premier League celebrations of all time. Jimmy Bullard's celebration was full of banter, aimed at his manager of all people, and that's the sort of celebration and playful banter I like to see in football. The game needs more players like Jimmy Bullard, full of wit, banter and a general love for the game and it's people.

You can see Bullard's celebration here. 

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