Interesting interview with Bobby Zamora in today’s Guardian. He says he was responding to direct abuse from the stands (as we thought all along) and not to the nutters on the club’s website. He mounts a compelling defence of his angry celebration, couched in the pride he feels about having come so far in his career.
This season we’ve done well, we’ve been winning games, and people are still abusing not only myself but other players. A little while ago Damien Duff was warming up at our place before the game and some people were going, “Oy, you’re a …” and I thought, hang on a minute, we haven’t even kicked a ball yet and he has been hot for us this season. I just can’t get my head round some people. I just think, if you are a supporter, support your team. You expect it at away grounds, fair enough, but from your own supporters it is a bit strange. It wouldn’t make me want to leave but it’s not nice. I wish at times football could be a happier environment.
I can tell you outright that I have never looked at any fans forum for any club. I am not interested what they are writing about. I don’t even pick up a paper after scoring a goal. That’s just not me. I am not a football freak. I know a lot of players who will go home and watch football on the TV but I want to go home and switch off.
I’ve been the long way round. I said to Clarke Carlisle the other day, enjoy it up here. We’ve been in all the divisions and to finally be playing in the Premier League is an achievement. You appreciate it more. I am still in touch with a few of the lads I was an apprentice with at Bristol Rovers.
If you ask Joe Bloggs down the street how many assists I have had this season they wouldn’t be able to tell you. Or how many team-mates I have set up for a shot at goal. Or pass completion. They just know goals, full stop.
The gaffer has been behind me from day one. There was a lot of pressure on me to score goals last year. Because I wasn’t, the press and the fans didn’t think I should be playing. But the gaffer and the players appreciated what I was doing for the team. That’s all that matters really. After the Sunderland game, the gaffer told me to keep doing what I was doing, that I was proving people wrong with the way I was playing.
In a way, the excellent Amy Lawrence is a little unhelpful here. The interview might have dwelt a little more on his brilliant performance against Basel, and the form that’s brought Bobby crucial goals against Sunderland and Burnley, and not an incident that has been blown out of all proportion and now largely settled. My opinion simply remains that Bobby can do what he likes when he scores, so long as he keeps scoring.