Why are Tottenham fans still so unforgiving toward Hossam Ghaly is a mystery to me, but Friday night left me even more perplexed as to why the Egyptian is still disliked so much still at White Hart Lane. There were 12 minutes to go on Friday night and Ghaly seemed set to be sent on by Harry Redknapp to add a bit more steel to midfield and help close the game out against Wigan Athletic. As he stood up, a fair amount of booing and jeering began to echo around the stadium, Ghaly looked stunned, Redknapp horrified and a couple of minutes later, Ghaly was sat back down, tracksuit top now zipped up and looking beyond crestfallen. The day after, Facebook groups and petitions began to appear, all appealing for forgiveness towards the midfielder and the club have acknowledged hundreds of letters and phone-calls sending Hossam their best wishes and sympathy for the events.
Let’s be honest, to still be giving the lad stick nearly 2 years after he threw his shirt down in a fit of pique is pathetic and I don’t understand the boo boys at all. The shirt throwing incident happened against Blackburn Rovers in May 2007 and saw Ghaly substituted for tactical reasons after actually coming as a substitute in the first half for the injured Steed Malbranque. Spurs were desperately pushing for 5th place and Martin Jol made the decision to increase Tottenham’s attacking potential, Ghaly didn’t agree and as he reached the touchline, threw his shirt down and stormed down the tunnel. Three days after the incident, Ghaly issued a public apology and offered to redeem himself by his performances on the park for Tottenham, but he’s never been close to the squad until Friday night.
Now I know football’s a passionate game, but surely this is getting a bit stupid when someone makes a mistake, apologies and yet two years later, people still castigate him. After the Sol Campbell debacle at Portsmouth earlier this season, the last thing Tottenham fans need right now is more abuse aimed at a player which can quickly be leapt upon by morons using the situation to vent more than their displeasure at Ghaly’s treatment of the shirt. Look at the Campbell issue; fine vent your displeasure at him for leaving Tottenham for Arsenal, but racial and homophobic abuse? For any moron to racial abuse players as a so called Tottenham fan makes a complete mockery of the clubs history, squad, integration and location. Tottenham fans and players are a multicultural bunch from all creeds, races and areas. These are the people that will jump on the Ghaly situation to use for their own twisted agenda’s.
Hasn’t this gone on quite long enough? I can understand the treatment given out to players who cause injury on and off the pitch, who walk out to go to other clubs just for the money and who simply don’t try when they’re out on the pitch, but Ghaly realised he made a mistake, apologised and yet still for some it’s not enough. It’s a sad indictment of an extremely vocal minority of Tottenham fans that they cannot find it in themselves to let the situation die down and allow the lad a chance to show us some of the form he’d given in the 2006-2007 season. It’s time to forgive and forget Spurs fans and give Ghaly the opportunity to make it up to us on the pitch.