Van Dijk Return Should Not Be A Distraction For Saints Fans
Saturday, 10th Feb 2018 08:41
There has been a lot said about the return of Virgil Van Dijk, but his return needs to be used as a catalyst for the fans to support the team, not one that takes the focus off the task on the pitch.
This week has seen controversy in the Daily Echo with a Saints fan saying she would be staying away from the game due to her not wanting to listen to a barrage of four letter words chanted at Van Dijk as they have been at Dejan Lovren when he has returned to the club.
That has prompted a barrage of replies, mainly from those that feel that football grounds are more sanitised these days and that is a bad thing !
Now whilst I agree with that to a degree, I also have to say I can see her point, most Premier League grounds seem to now have areas where more "boisterous" language is ok to use individually, but then again areas that it is not, ie the family centre, football fans are very self policing and most would not use foul language in front of women and children.
If you are in the Northam End then you can expect a bit of individual swearing, but you should not be hearing that in the Family Centre.
That being the case the women has a point she should not have to listen to and nor should other women and children, hear 3,000 people chant the C word at Van Dijk.
Mauricio Pellegrino has also got into the debate saying.
“One group of people can be grateful for him and one people can say ‘boo’, but it’s not about this. Every single person has got an opinion and we have to respect that,”
“I think our fans are really respectful with ex-players and I prefer that our fans are focused on supporting our players and get behind us."
“But Virgil is part of the past and we have to focus on our game and what we have to do.”
“Our players must be focused and give to our supporters with good feeling, attitude and energy to try to be 100 per cent on the pitch.”
Pellegrino is right in what he is saying, we have to move on, perhaps that can't be done straight away and undoubtably Van Dijk will get some stick before the game starts, but keep it (relatively) clean and make it a catalyst to get behind the players who actually want to play for Southampton Football Club, not as a spur for ex players who don't to put in a performance to metaphorically stick up two fingers as the abusers.
Let's show them what they are missing, if we get behind the team and spur them on then there will be plenty of time to give our ex players a bit of stick when the result is in our favour, not to throw it back in our faces.
When the fans get behind Saints, St Mary's has an atmosphere to match most in the Premier League, certainly a lot of grounds don't have a very visible vocal section as we do in the Northam End, at least not in the numbers we have, we need to start to use this to our advantage, the Northam Enders need to get the ground going tomorrow afternoon, get the Itchen and Kingsland North joining in and create another special atmosphere.
Remember that crowds inspire teams, especially when things aren't going well on the pitch as was the case two years ago when we were 2-0 down at half time.
So dont let the return of Van Dijk become the focus of fhis game, at least not in a positive way for Liverpool, let's make it all about Southampton Football Club !
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