|Loach Shows Class|
written by Edmunds5 Wednesday, 3rd Oct 2012 15:53
This blog is not a hugely in-depth one, but during a time where some of our players have been heavily criticised, I just wanted to show a bit of appreciation to our goalkeeper Scott Loach.
In an era in which many footballers come across as quite self indulgent and don’t seem to put effort into forging a genuine connection with fans, and without being a suck up the Town keeper does seem to be a rare exception.
League results and indeed performances have been inadequate and regardless of what people think of Loach as a goalkeeper, his attitude off the pitch seems to be something that cannot be questioned.
Not only does Loach distribute 25% of his clean sheet bonus to a children’s charity, he also regularly interacts with fans, on social networking site Twitter.
Not a massive ask I suppose, writing six or seven words is hardly climbing Everest but this is massive for fans, who often feel that footballers live on a different planet to them. But it proves that some of them are real and are just normal people like you and I.
After last night's away game at Brighton, Loach applauded Brighton’s North Stand to which the Seagulls fans warmly replied.
A Brighton fan then thanked the goalkeeper for his gesture before making the point that most goalkeepers often mock opposition fans particularly after picking up a decent result.
The Town number one then thanked the supporter for his acknowledgement before inviting him to the reverse fixture at Portman Road after he had asked for an autograph.
An earlier tweet involved a different fan asking whether he could be given a pair of gloves to which Loach obliged. This is something that is quite frequent asked on Loach’s page and I have yet to see him refuse to grant their wishes.
He also stated that he is a big fan of indie rock group Kasabian, which as a side note, only increased my admiration for the guy.
I’m personally not the biggest fan of Twitter and think it can have its pitfalls particularly for sportsmen, many of who are under the spotlight in their every day lives and have every word monitored, with the FA and media eager to pounce.
However, I do believe it can be a great way of exercising a bond between a players and fans and shows that there is not a huge level of division within society.
Often players will applaud fans at the end of games, albeit largely after a finger point by their manager. Others go onto social networking sites to thank fans for their support but there is something very genuine and sincere about the way in which Loach does this.
The introduction of Loach’s page includes the slogan ‘Living the boyhood dream’, which tells you all you need to know about his levels of affection for the club and the amount of pride that he takes out of being our goalkeeper.
It is also somewhat refreshing to think that there are some players out there who care deeply about their football club and that not all players are willing to be flown to a country they have never heard of for ridiculous wages.
Especially at a club like us who have seen more than their fair share of players who have seen the club as a walkover.
I really do think this bond is important and in a way it’s a shame that Loach isn’t an outfield player where you could maybe see that relationship with the club translated via a strong midfield tackle, or incredible work rate. Both are attributes that tenacious midfielder and local lad Luke Hyam demonstrates when wearing a Town shirt.
Being an Ipswich fan I do occasionally check what our players are doing on Twitter. Though I feel a little bit nosey doing it, as it's personal to them but I think this is often something fans do nowadays.
Part of me is just curious as to the kind of manner in which they present themselves, as footballers can often be given quite a harsh reputation.
Of course, it isn’t like meeting someone in person and you can hardly judge someone through a computer screen. But I think you can gauge a little more of an insight as to their personalities.
Not once have I seen Loach complain about any aspect of the club, not once have I seen him use bad language or provoke people in any way or form and he is constantly interacting with fans.
What people decide to do on Twitter is far from my concern but there are examples of a few situations that may give an indication of player’s attitudes.
Jay Bothroyd recently attacked fans after a Sheffield Wednesday match and James McClean expressed his anger after being left out of the Republic of Ireland's victory against Kazakhstan, before heated exchanges with Irish fans.
Further more, I’m sure a few people will be aware of Leon Knight’s recent disturbing shenanigans. People will say that people have every right to go and vent their fury on social networking sites, and will say it is human make up to express frustration through a form of media.
But footballers are in a more privileged position and for me it just shows lack of professionalism and can be quite distasteful.
Likewise I don’t agree that fans should use the site as a way of demonstrating their fury at players creating a tension within the club. Supporters and players are the core of any football club and it just hampers our reputation when you see two of the biggest parts of your club at verbal war.
I want players to enjoy being at our club and all insults do is just give these players a slightly different outlook on the club, though I accept that this unfortunately is a part of football and that it is mainly the minority of fans who do this.
As I say it works both ways, people should be allowed to have an opinion no matter who they are. From a player's perspective, comments such as ‘gutted to be left out today, but I’m prepared to work hard and try and get back in the side’ would be seen as perfectly acceptable and quite impressive.
In the predicament that the club is in at the moment, this is a time more than most when we should all show a unity and togetherness. It's fine to do this when the club is on a high but I think it is when the darker times strike that the internal and external character of the club is really challenged.
Once a club loses its fans it loses its heart, and it is very difficult to breathe without a heart, in fact impossible to breathe without a heart.
Just look at Blackburn, though to an extent understandable the anger portrayed by Rovers fans only worsens the team in terms of performances levels and will just invite more negative attention from the media will only continues the spiral.
When listening to Blackburn play Hull earlier this season the commentators were saying how the surreal atmosphere of the ‘fans’ inside the stadium made you believe they were waiting for the team to lose so that they could boo at the end of the game.
Whilst I respect the fans disgruntlement, and think many chants are reasonable and acceptable I also feel that fans have to try and get behind the team no matter what happens.
Portsmouth have been through near fatal financial problems and are still surrounded by uncertainty as there future hangs in the balance.
However, they have all come together as one, and doing all the humanly can to help the club survive. I’m sure they hate the turmoil at the club which has gone on for years, but there doesn’t seem to be an ounce of disharmony at their club which can only be a positive moving forward.
Some of my views may be seen as a little bit harsh and well, who am I to say what someone can and can’t do? I just feel that if many people had Loach’s nature, football in general would be much better for it.
I also hope that Loach can reach the heights some predicted a few years ago, and that he can do this at his beloved club, Ipswich Town.
Thanks for reading, any comments welcome. I don’t have Twitter but I'd like it if this could be sent to Scott’s page in some way.
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