WHEN talking about a football club in general, a far wiser man once told me: “Chairmen, directors, managers, players, they come and go, the fans are the constant, they are the people on a voluntary life sentence.”
It’s not rocket science and perhaps certain sections of the Albion support should think about that in the wake of Albion top scorer Glenn Murray’s departure to arch-rivals Crystal Palace.
Until Dean Wilkins paid the reported six-figure transfer fee for Murray in January, 2008, the player had no affinity with the Albion. He is merely a paid employee, and as passionate as we get about our football team, and I’m as guilty as the next man, that is the bottom line.
Of course, things can always be handled better. His agent, like many before him, has manipulated the situation, some might say poured petrol on it. But, basically, Albion made Murray a fair offer, he decided it wasn’t for him, and looked elsewhere. The aforementioned agent manipulation certainly made matters more volatile, but if it hadn’t been Palace, it would have been someone else.
Taking a step back, the facts are clear cut.
Murray scored 22 goals in arguably one of the most attractive, attacking Albion sides that have ever represented the club. Many observers say that playing in the same team, Bobby Zamora would have smashed Peter Ward’s all-time club record of 36 by pancake day.
That was in League One and the gulf between that and the Championship is perhaps only surpassed by the gulf between Championship and Premiership.
In short, have the Albion got the best out of Murray?
Is League One his rightful level?
Football history is littered with players banging in goals for fun in the lower leagues and then coming well short when they step up in class.
I’d rather Murray was found wanting in a Palace shirt than playing in the blue and white stripes at a packed Amex.
His apparent replacement, Will Hoskins, is considered by many neutrals to have been one of the best strikers in League One last season, despite playing for a team that were eventually relegated.
As football fans, we all shoot from the lip and fly off the handle at the slightest thing, but hard as it may be, is it not best to wish Glenn well as he moves back up north. And ultimately wait to see which of the two players, him or Hoskins, fares better in the Championship next season?
Though it won’t happen, I would like to see Glenn get a good reception when he comes down to the Amex next year with Palace. Instead, it will be on a par with David Bellotti doing the draw on the pitch at half-time.
But as my mate, uberfan John Fullard, pointed out earlier this week, for all the fans that will shout and scream Judas, etc., we should also consider where the Albion would have been without Murray’s 22 goals this season (although Zamora would have got nearer 50!).
The Worthing Evening Cricket League is celebrating its 60th anniversary in what will be its final season.
Wouldn’t it be nice if, on the final evening of matches, any former players in the league attended the games at Hill Barn, if only to show a overwhelming debt of gratitude to the local sporting legend that is Sir Laurie Claydon?