Brunt, The New Scapegoat.
Today was a sad day for me. I haven't had many of these down the Albion for a while. It wasn't the defeat against Fulham, or even the display, which was admittedly poor. It was our support that saddened me. The booing at half and full time was really disappointing, the treatment of Chris Brunt shocking.
First thing, why the hell do we even have booing down The Albion this year ? Our best season since I could get out of a chair without groaning. Look at the table for goodness sake. Look at our Midland neighbours . Tis the season to be jolly. Yet we moan like spoiled brats when we open the occasional present and don't like what is inside despite having a pile of fantastic presents already opened.
I guess that is the price of relative success, a rise in expectation. However, today overstepped the mark. Especially when our Captain went off.
The prolonged cheering of Chris Brunt's substitution today was nothing short of appalling. I can understand people being unhappy with the way he played. He was awful. I would imagine he was feeling pretty crappy with himself and was almost relieved to go off. But then he was completely humiliated by the crowd.
Wrong, just so very wrong.
I have never personally booed a player. That doesn't make me any better supporter than someone who has at some stage. Mickey Phelan deserved every bit of spite spat at him. But that is a rarity. Booing individuals is and always will be counter productive. It helps nobody and most importantly it doesn't help the team.
Chris Brunt is no Mickey Phelan. He has been a big part of the teams rise over the last few years. He isn't a player that has ever taken the money and given nothing back. So why the spite? He was one of many that had their boots on the wrong feet today. Gera has been awful of late too yet he seems untouchable. He even got clapped off.
We like to think of our support is a cut above the rest but are we really? It certainly wasn't today.