Would Jack Colback Be Welcomed By Newcastle Fans After His Derby Celebrations?
If we are led to believe some of the transfer rumours that have came out of the North East over the past few months, it would be fair to say that we are odds on to complete the free signing of Jack Colback when his contract with Sunderland expires this summer.
Which brings us to the modern day conundrum of when a player scores a goal against his old club, or in this case his boyhood club, it has become increasingly common for them not to celebrate as a mark of respect. For some players, a way of saying that they enjoyed their time at the club, showing the appreciation they have for the supporters.
There have been lots of comments made about Jack Colback, with some fans saying they don’t want the player to play for the club because he disrespected the fans when he scored against us and posed for photos.
As someone who has played the game to a high level at youth football, I for one just cannot understand why players look devastated if they score against their old team, or a team they supported as a boy– or a club they spent time training with during the school holidays when they were 7. Should players not just lighten up a bit and enjoy themselves if they score a goal?
As a holding midfielder, you may not be surprised to know that I don’t score many goals, but when I do, boy do I make the most of it. Not celebrating a goal degrades the ultimate joy of football. It’s the whole purpose of the game.
I know from some professionals, and I know for myself, that if I was to score the winning goal for Sunderland in the derby then I would celebrate. Sure, I’d show my respect, I wouldn’t take my shirt off, raise my finger or swear my head off, but for those ninety minutes I would want to win. To be honest, I’d probably want to win more against Newcastle than most other clubs. It’s nothing personal, it’s just football.
I have spent my whole life dreaming about scoring a goal at the Gallowgate End, I may not get another chance to do it again, so too right I’m going to make the most of it. I’m assuming that was the same for Colback.
Jack Colback doesn’t score many goals, he had every right to enjoy his moment. He was playing for a side at the bottom of the Premier League, in a local derby, in front of 52,000 people, it could be argued that if Sunderland had lost one of the derby games this year then probably they would have been relegated – possibly meaning Colback’s and some of his teammates’ careers would have taken a massive hit. To celebrate a goal with your fans is to show solidarity and say, “That was for you lot!”
Putting the shoe on the other foot now – If Colback was to score for us next season in the derby against his former side, and decided that he wouldn’t celebrate a winning goal in the derby, we would go ‘David Batty’ about it! Wouldn’t we want to see our player fully committed to the team and wouldn’t we want him to share the joy of a winning goal in the derby with us?
The finger to lips ‘sshh’ celebration, posing for 3-0 photos with his team-mates, and sheer joy at scoring a goal, does not mean he isn’t a Newcastle United fan, nor does it mean he wouldn’t give 110% in a Newcastle United shirt, if he were to join. His actions and celebrations were just the delight of a player who had scored a big goal in a big game. Now that’s the type of character that I want to be playing at my football club.
For those that still wouldn’t have Colback for reasons not related to how good a footballer he is or isn’t, just take your minds back to a certain Alan Shearer scoring against Newcastle at St James’ and Ewood Park for Blackburn. Now he certainly didn’t hold back – and neither did Graham Fenton for that matter.
Now whether Colback is good enough to make our first team squad is a whole different debate and not the argument I am making here.
I personally believe that he can add something to the team due to his Premier League experience, his know-how of what it means to play for the club, and most importantly his versatility may be crucial. Something we have certainly missed this season without Jonas Gutierrez and James Perch
You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanComyn.
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