On a night when emotions were running incredibly high at Ashton Gate, one idiot’s actions towards Pape Souare have left a hugely bitter taste in the mouth for the vast majority of Palace fans.
Disappointing night, emotions were high. I understand the frustration. All love ❤️💙
— Pape Souarè (@papesouare) October 24, 2017
Following the conclusion of the Eagles’ 4-1 defeat against Bristol City, second-half substitute and fan favourite Pape Souare decided to throw his match shirt into the crowd as an act of solidarity, only for it to be thrown back by a “supporter” who was clearly painfully unaware of the significance attached to the defender’s actions.
Whilst I fully understand there being a bitter sense of frustration with our overall display, it’s always worth taking a look at the bigger picture in instances like this. If there was one player left on the pitch at full-time who didn’t deserve a volley from our fans, it was Pape. Removing the fact that he’s battled back to full fitness after an accident that could have left him unable to walk, he was only on the pitch for 26 minutes, being subbed on with the score already 3-1 in City’s favour.
Roy Hodgson said after the game that the players he’d trusted to put in a solid display on the night hadn’t pulled their weight but it was obvious that Pape was not one of those the gaffer had in his mind when speaking to Chris Grierson. In truth, the Senegal international’s story is one of very few bright spots in what has otherwise been a thoroughly dreadful campaign to date, making the reaction he received on social media last night all the more heartwarming.
Looked at in isolation, it’s difficult to imagine Souare putting in a performance at left-back any worse than the one Patrick van Aanholt managed last night. The Dutchman was utterly dreadful from the first minute to the last at Ashton Gate, leading me to wonder if Pape may indeed be trusted to start in a Premier League game before Christmas.
At a time when our fans are desperately searching for players who are willing to put their bodies on the line for the shirt, Souare’s inclusion may be a stroke of genius.
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