Your previous football club is not an ex partner. It isn’t an old car which broke down on you one too many times. It’s an institution which taught you how to become the player that you are today. It’s the club that gave you an opportunity to live the life you dreamed of.
You might be wondering what I am blabbering on about, (or, you might not), but to give you some context. Andros Townsend, a football player who currently plays for Crystal Palace F.C. in the English Premier League, scored against his former club Tottenham Hotspur in Englands FA cup competition yesterday.
You’re probably thinking who cares, right? Players score against their old clubs all the time. Yes, they do, but I believe it’s what they choose to do after that, which shows their true character. Andros Townsend chose not to celebrate scoring against his former club. Instead, he showed them respect and he remembered that they helped him become the player he is today.
Then the twitter trolls descended,
@andros_townsend career at @SpursOfficial – played 50 times in 7 years (last time 3 years ago). They loaned him out 9 times. He just scored against them for @CPFC. He Didn’t celebrate. Have a word with yourself.
— Paul Latham (@PaulLay10) January 27, 2019
I don’t think I need to explain my thoughts. It’s obvious that this troll is a wanker, but when does respect for a former club end? Does it have an expiry date? It doesn’t, in my opinion.
Andros Townsend’s career began at the Tottenham Hotspur academy when he was 8 years old. They offered him the opportunity to learn football at a prestigious club. So what was he supposed to do? Forget his entire career up to when he started playing for Crystal Palace? Get the fuck out of here.
Although he does not need to explain himself to Twitter trolls, he did, and in class fashion.
Try 93 games and being there for 16 years from the age of 8 till 24…. it’s called a bit of respect to the club that made me mate ✊ https://t.co/JkVQsPv93m
— Andros Townsend (@andros_townsend) January 27, 2019
Kudos Andros. You definitely won my vote, and many others, with your response.
Matt Simon, the confused
Let me tell you the story of someone who completely confused their own goal celebration situation. Enter stage left, Matt Simon from the Central Coast Mariners in Australia’s Hyundai A-league.
I’m not a fan of Matt Simon. His style of play is somewhat uncoordinated and scrappy. He also enjoys a good nudge and push. But style of play aside, he seems to be rather confused about his footballing origins.
Starting his youth career at Wyoming on the Central Coast, Matt signed his first senior contract with Central Coast Lightning. After one season with the Lightning, he was signed by the Central Coast Mariners and spent 8 season playing for them, with a brief unsuccessful spell in South Korea.
In August of 2015 he signed for Sydney FC. Then in the 2017/18 season the unthinkable happened. Matt Simon came on as a substitute against his former club. He scored. It put Sydney FC 2-1 ahead at the tail end of the game. Now instead of muting his celebration, Matt goes off and celebrates the goal. Moment later, he scored a second goal and celebrated. Again.
You may be thinking, so what? Well here’s the confusing part, Matt Simon rejoined the Central Coast Mariners for the next season and was promoted to club captain. Then on the 1st of December, when playing against Sydney FC, he scored, and wait for it, he decided not to celebrate…
I am as dumbfounded as you. Yes, the Mariners let him go after his contract ended, but they gave him the opportunity to play football at the highest level in Australia. Does that not mean anything? After spending the majority of his playing career at the Mariners, one would assume they inherently deserve an ounce of respect? I guess not.
Now there are many examples that come to mind of times that players have chosen to celebrate or mute their celebration against former clubs. But the point that I am trying to make is that as a player, showing respect to the club that helped in making you who you are today should be something that is never forgotten or taken for granted.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Should players show former clubs respect? Does that respect have an expiry date?