Polite applause for that Villa equaliser – and Collymore’s impassioned response

Did anyone else hear Stan Collymore’s howls of joy – “Get in …….!!!!!” – as Aston Villa grabbed a late equaliser against Chelsea?

TalkSport was asking listeners the other day whether they thought Collymore was out of order to react as he did to the crucial goal scored by the team he has always supported and once played for.

Some thought his actions unprofessional. Others applauded his passion.

Now Monsieur Salut would not not be especially pleased to hear him doing the same sort of thing if he is involved in the TalkSport commentary from Villa Park tonight. We’d very much like there to be no cause for Villa celebration at all, of course.

But the heart rules the head in these situations, and while Collymore’s instinctive response was indeed unprofessional, it was excusable because proper football support is a passionate business.

Back in our 15-point relegation season, The Daily Telegraph sports desk had the bright idea of sending me from Paris, where I was living, to report on Sunderland, bottom, versus – on that occasion, too – Chelsea, though unlike now they were top. They paid for everything and fixed me up with a press box pass so that I did not even have to report from my own seat in the East stand.

As a journalist, I knew what would make the better and easier story and it was not David slaying Goliath but the long-suffering Sunderland fan witnessing yet another defeat for his team.

This briefly had me wondering what, deep down, I wanted to happen. We knew pretty much by then that we were gonners. The team was clueless and destined only for one fate at the end of the season. What would one more defeat, preferably an honourable one, matter?

Well the loyalty and passion of the fan triumphed over the convenience of the reporter. Liam Lawrence whacked in an excellent early goal and the home crowd, plus one member of the watching press corps, leapt to acclaim it. Other hacks may have tut-tutted – I heard nothing but wouldn’t have cared anyway – but I was aware of no pompous complaints to stewards, as apparently happened when Stan had his say about the third Villa goal.

Sadly Chelsea came back and made the work bit that much more straightforward by scoring twice to win the game. It meant poor Mick McCarthy’s record as a Premier manager read: LLLLLLLLLLLLLLDWDLLLLLLLLLDLL.

It was the honourable defeat I had wondered about, but a minor victory for self-esteem.

* See the rest of the Aston Villa V SAFC build-up: click here for Pauline McLynn, Villa-mad actress (Mrs Doyle in Father Ted) and here for Dominic Wren’s Villa view from across the pond.

Monsieur Salut, with thanks to TalkSport for permission to use its presenters’ images

9 thoughts on “Polite applause for that Villa equaliser – and Collymore’s impassioned response”

  1. The action just showed how passionate he was for the team. Maybe its his way of encouraging his team. Many people would not understand it, but he is just human with human feelings; and sometimes, no matter how “professional” you are, you will still tend to be overpowered by your emotions.

  2. It was only a matter of time before somone mentioned his other passions albeit indirectly (so thanks very much Malcolm). He was probably practising his “Get iiinn!” shout for Talk Sport in lay bys even back then.

  3. Oh but to answer your question Salut – despite my dislike of the man I am all for his public show of passion for his former club – public displays of passion being something with which he is apparantly familiar!

  4. Robbie Savage and Collymore are two of the least deserving people to be given the job of pundit/summariser in my opinion except for Steve Clarridge. Am I the only person who thinks he’s c**p? I see Mickey Gray has begun to be used in that role on the radio and SuperKev on Sky. Despite my bias they have to better than the aforementioned three.

  5. Pundits, summarisers. They are all the same to me. I think that the point which the article makes Salut is a very good one. I was just questioning whether the case of SC referrring to Villa was perhaps the best example of unbiased reporting etc. If you want to find the most appalling example of biased nonsense then look no further than Mick Lowes on Radio N****tle.

  6. But he’s less commentator than pundit, blurred as the distinction can be. And all the pundits drawn from the game itself are necessarily associated with one club, or mostly with one. You don’t expect quite the same level of impartiality as from the man doing the running commentary.
    I think Stan C does his job reasonably well, making forthright statements and drumming up controversy (without which football would be a lot duller), even though I do not warm especially to him. And it would have been dishonest for him to react to the goal as if it had no more importance to him than the offer of a cup of tea.

  7. The issue here about Collymore’s outburst (if I can call it that) is about impatiality. Sadly the day of the impartial unbiased commentator or summariser has long gone. Unfortunately the likes of the late great Brian Moore are no more. The quality of some of the commentators is embarrassing. Many of whom have little idea who the players are and their information appears to have been provided by a lack lustre researcher on the back of a beer mat in some cases with cringeable results such as reference to “David” Bardsley when referring to Phil and “Fraizer” Richardson when referring to Keiran in the case of some of the Setanta commentators. The modern commentators rarely commentate in fact preferring to bore viewers with their inane perceptions about specific players or what happened when the two sides last met in 2004 or whatever. If you closed your eyes while watching TV games these days you’d struggle to comprehend what is going on during a game. Many commentators seem to think that it’s their role to ‘support’ the bigger club in any game even when the opposition are making a real fist of it. The most irritating comments are those usually directed by the commentator to the summariser along the lines of “If Liverpool are going to secure the points in the last 20 minutes what do they need to do Craig?” as if the opposition had just turned up as cannon fodder. Thats what really gets my goat.

    I doubt very much whether Collymore was coached prior to his comments about remaining impartial. This is Talk Sport and not Radio 4. I also very much doubt whether such a suggestion would have cut much ice with him anyway.

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