Our regular Obstructed View columnist Ross Crombie gives his view on the booing of Mikel Arteta during last weekends win over Arsenal. Keep an eye out over the next couple of days for a pro-Arteta article.
This could have been called ‘hero to zero’ as I reflect on the booing of one-time idol of Goodison, the best little Spaniard we knew, the sidekick of another Goodison legend, the one, the only, Tim Cahill. No booing from me, and in truth none from those around me in the Upper Gwladys, but there’s nothing that irks a Blue more than when a former hero kisses the badge of his new club when scoring against his old one. A certain Mr Rooney has suffered the same fate almost every year since he left and certainly since he scored at the Park End.
Personally, I thank Arteta for some glorious moments, more than moments, running whole games, spraying magnificent passes left and right, and even the odd well-timed tackle; I do begrudge his seeming inability to clear the first man at corners, and my heart still hasn’t recovered from the penalty howlers that night against Kharkiv, so I’m not doing a complete hindsight review in the rose-tinted specs. Booing usually spurs former idols, or indeed former Kopites, to better things against us, and I’m not sure I see the point frankly, other than clearly to make our displeasure known. Better for me to roundly applaud them, make them feel guilty, maybe even make them miss a few passes because they’ve gone all misty-eyed, rather than waste time and energy booing the opposition rather than cheering our own team.
I would just say, even allowing for how adrenalin can help top sportsmen and women do things they’ll regret, that Arteta did show a distinct lack of class in kissing the badge when he scored the penalty in the FA Cup. Given how clever the man is, given that his career was re-ignited by Everton, and given that his boys were both born on Merseyside, I’d have expected a bit more class from him. Perhaps the OG was a bit of karma.
Somehow can’t imagine Cahill ever returning in the opposition and kissing his new club’s badge on scoring.