Date:Friday March 3 2006
The usually mild-mannered (Rob) Kelly seems 'more than a little irritated' by the talk of hostility towards ex-City boss Peter Taylor on his return as Hull boss, seeing 'no sense in it'.
So says Bill Anderson in his Blue Army column today where Kelly says: 'The only edge is the points. It is not about personalities and it shouldn't be. This is about us playing them.'
Well, Anderson is reputedly a Hearts fan, or a Spurs fan, or both and it is doubtful that Kelly has ever stood on Leicester terraces waving his scarf or singing himself hoarse on behalf of the club so Taylor might be nothing special to them.
But whatever the rights or wrongs of it, football is all about personalities.
Fans will walk to and from the ground in as good humoured a manner as ever but within the stadium they just love to have a focus for their emotions.
They want to feel passionate. It gets them going after a weeks work and having someone or something to direct their songs or their banter at just helps create the sort of atmosphere they want and love to generate.
When there is no focus, too often games just come and go.
But put a hero or a villain on the stage for fans to worship or to villify - be it a brilliant new signing, a questionable referee, a Dennis Wise-type player or a manager some despise like Peter Taylor and many fans are in their element.
Rob Kelly might be irritated, and Bill Anderson might have aired Kelly's irritation for whatever reason, but if you do away with the personalities and what they stand for, good or bad, the game will lose a vital part of its attraction and the rows of empty seats will get longer...whether there's any 'sense in it' or not.
George Best, Roy Keane, Gazza, Chopper Harris, Chopper Chalmers, Frank Worthington, Norman Hunter, Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Bill Shankly, Peter Taylor, Graham Taylor, Dennis Wise ahve all been personalities of football across the ages for different reasons - characters on arguably the greatest stage in sport.
All theatres exist because of heroes and villains and whether or not Anderson/Kelly see 'sense in it' football is a stage and its audience thrives on the drama created by the personalities involved.
Right/wrong, love/hate, passion, debate, controversy, that is the food of football, indeed its very lifeblood and it doesn't want watering down because when these things don't matter the game will be dead.
And if anyone has any doubt whether personalities matter they should read a thread on FoxesTalk where fans were asked:
Would You ever Forgive Peter Taylor for his disappointing time at Leicester City?
Among a small selection of replies were from 'Darth Fox': NO!
'The Hillsdonator': Are we able to ban him from the ground?
'Ric Flair': I personally can't stand the man. Obviously he didn't set out to ruin this club but some people don't set out to commit awful crimes but still do and pay for it. I've always thought Taylor should serve time for what he did to us.
'Frenzied': I think it is the duty of every Leicester fan on Saturday to give the man such a torrid time that he at least starts to blubber and, better still, pleads for forgiveness.
'Bilko': We all make mistakes in life, the thing that always got me about Taylor was his total lack of admission that he failed at Leicester. He was continually making excuses to the point of arrogance. Had he stood up at the time, apologised for his failings we all might of moved on. At least he seems a bit contrite now though l doubt it will make much difference come Saturday!
Peter Taylor and the emotions he generates, has set the scene for tomorrow's match because he is seen by many City fans as the villain of the production.
Those fans want to see the bad guy beaten. That is the selling point of this particular drama.
It's a good one and it has swollen the gate no end by all accounts.
Whoever tried to sell tickets for a drama that had no characters, no personalties, no good guys, no bad guys and no controversy?
To coin a phrase - 'It's in the Game!' And it makes plenty of sense.
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