Date:Monday September 14 2009
Robin van Persie - playing for the Eternal Victims of Bullying - tried to take out his former teammate Emmanuel Adebayor, now playing for Citeh, with a disgraceful tackle. His former teammate, determined not to be outdone, attempted to stamp on his head for which he'll probably get a hefty ban which he fully deserves - it was quite possibly the single most dangerous thing he could have done.
However, it's his celebration that's interesting here. Adebayor ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans who's been showering him with abuse throughout the 90 minutes. I think the Arsenal fans may complain about Adebayor's less-than-committed performances of last season but they do not have grounds for vilifying him because of the celebration.
Because, let's face it, when someone gets abused it's natural that he responds if his self-control and discipline isn't bordering on the superhuman. It was petty and childish, yes, but I guess a lot of City fans loved it. And even if they didn't, they would love if Tevez did the same at Old Trafford.
And that's my point. Owen would be widely condemned if he did the same at Anfield - after all, he would show no respect to the club which nurtured him, which made him the footballer he once was. Well, sort of true. But the fans will certainly hurl insult upon insult on him, just as Wayne Rooney received death threats in the past from Everton fans. If Owen scores at Anfield and runs to the Liverpool fans to celebrate, every United fan will love that. Just as we loved Rooney kissing the badge at Goodison Park when he gave us the lead in April 2007, because we heard all the abuse he'd been getting.
As for provoking a riot and inflaming the crowd... well, the crowd should grow up instead of throwing objects onto the pitch and clashing with each other just because some multi-millionaire happens to celebrate a little too wildly.
Date:Monday September 14 2009
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