Patrick van Aanholt scored the goal that sent Stoke City down to the Championship on Saturday afternoon but in the immediate aftermath of the game, the Dutchman was being showered with praise by Potters fans everywhere, thanks to an extremely classy tweet he sent shortly after the full-time whistle sounded.
The immediate emotion after today’s result is clearly sadness. This tweet though, moments after full time – shows a lot class, thank you for your words Patrick. Wishing you and all at @CPFC the best next season. https://t.co/MnaKwq88HA
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) May 5, 2018
After seeing Wilfried Zaha’s misplaced pass deflected into Patrick’s path by the desperate lunge of Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross, I and a dare say most Palace fans expected to see him slot the ball into the back of Jack Butland’s net, and whilst the defender celebrated wildly in front of the travelling supporters who were housed behind the goal, he was quick to voice his sympathy for the Stoke fans who were left devastated by the impact his winning strike had on their team’s league status.
Having initially struggled to oust Jeffrey Schlupp as Roy Hodgson’s first-choice left-back, the former Sunderland man has grasped the opportunity afforded to him by Schlupp’s absence through injury with both hands, nailing down the position as his own in recent weeks. Helped hugely by the number of goals he’s been able to chip in with during our last few games, it’s difficult to envisage him losing his place in the side for our final game of the season at home to West Brom this weekend.
Whilst Roy Hodgson will only ever judge his players on their technical ability and tactical suitability, Van Aanholt’s presence on Twitter over the last month or so has made him something of a cult hero amongst the club’s supporters. Known to be close to Eagles legend Clinton Morrison thanks to the time the pair spent together at Coventry City years ago, Pat has apparently taken the former front-man’s advice on board and is now reaping the rewards.
It would have been easy for the defender to speak solely about Palace’s efforts following the victory which secured our Premier League status for a sixth successive year but by taking the time to offer his sympathies to Stoke, he’s come out of the encounter smelling of roses in the eyes of everyone who took an interest in the game in question at the Bet365 Stadium.
It’s not often you can say that about the man who sends a club tumbling out of the Premier League after a stay of 10 years.