A Message to you Guly…

“Stop your messing around,

Better think of your future.

Time you straighten right out,

Creating problems in town.

Guly, A message to you Guly.”

Over the last twelve months there has been a complete reversal on popularity of two Saints players. This time a year ago Jason Puncheon’s name was mud in the stands of St. Mary’s, the problem that we couldn’t be rid of, the player who was continually loaned out to teams in higher divisions after a spell of indifference and a seemingly poor attitude for Saints. He had been the subject of crowd abuse and his time looked up on the South Coast, only a difference in opinion between Saints and the chairmen of several other clubs as to his value kept the player a Southampton asset (See this post from March 2011 ‘Puncheon Below His Weight’ for context). At the same time Guly do Prado was a regular in the Saints first team heading for Championship promotion, weighing in with 10 league goals as his role changed between striker and winger as to Adkins needs per game. He was always a crowd splitter though (See the post ‘Guly, or Not Guly’ from November 2011 for context.).

This season Puncheon has completed the ‘prodigal son’ return in full, and is now a crowd favourite, wowing the supporters with match winning performances and even prompting talk of England recognition. Guly on the other hand finds himself the victim of the boo boys, and even when he has yet to do anything wrong (he was booed on being introduced against Reading) he finds himself the target of hate.

For me I find it difficult to explain where this level of hatred has come from. It is perfectly acceptable to not like a player, or rate their ability, but Guly has  been decent for us for two and a half seasons now. Whenever I watch Saints and he plays, he barely puts a foot wrong, yet those that decided he wasn’t good enough over a year ago, have moved from silent dislike to noisy disdain, and for me that isn’t fair. Firstly, you support the team, picking out a player for abuse is harsh at the best of times, but to do it before they have even kicked a ball is unfathomable.

Guly has split opinion from day one, and that is fair enough, but what is abundantly clear for anyone that has watched him play, is that in terms of comfort on the ball, he is one of our best. I often ask people what it is that makes them hate him so much, and the responses vary, from rumours of his unrest in England (decent enough reason for him not to be in the team, but to boo him?), his drink driving charge (you would have to boo nearly everyone in football if off the pitch activities are taken into account and remember club ‘hero’ Claus Lundekvam), to him being ‘lazy’ (he isn’t whenever I watch, in fact he is extremely busy), to him being ‘crap’ (this one simply isn’t true), to him being ‘Cortese’s signing’ (if true, still not HIS fault).

Guly focussing on the ball...

Guly focussing on the ball…

Similar reasons were given for the abuse Puncheon received at the time, and it makes me wonder what it is about them that makes people take a dislike to them. From what I can see, the main thing they have in common is that they can be a little nonchalant. Is that enough of a reason to vilify them? Fans should learn from the turnaround of Puncheon that they might not always be right.

One of the most common criticisms of Guly seems to be that he “gives the ball away too much”. Actually this season he has the best pass success rate in our entire squad (90.8%), this is relative with regards to pitch time etc. but clearly indicates that he is someone who rarely makes stray passes. Statistically he is also dispossessed less than once a game (0.8times), in comparison Gaston Ramirez and Adam Lallana are dispossessed 2.8 and 2.6 times per game respectively, and this is what I don’t get.

Guly plays in a similar way to those two. He tries things, he attempts the creative, sometimes it will go wrong, that is the pay off for when it goes right. So why aren’t they given the same treatment?

The fact is, Guly hasn’t made a massive contribution this season, he clearly isn’t first choice, but when he has been used he hasn’t done anything wrong. In the previous two seasons, he has made a massive contribution. So why the disdain?

During our indifferent run of games earlier in the season, I saw fans calling for the likes of de Ridder to be brought into the team and Billy Sharp brought back from loan, yet when Guly is given the nod (a player who has contributed more than those two in the past) it is met with a plethora of complaint from a section of the Saints fans. There comes a time when you have to sit back and say “look. Nigel knows what he is doing”, if he thinks Guly is good enough, then he is.

I’m not saying you have to like him, or think he is the best player around, but when he pulls on the shirt get behind him. The guy is owed at least that. With it looking like Lallana may be out for months, don’t be surprised to see Adkins turn to Guly to play in that role. Back him.

If his home sickness is true (the quotes seemed to suggest that he would like to end his career in Sao Paulo) and he leaves the club in the next couple of transfer windows, let’s hope he does so with his head held high and smile, his contribution over the last two fantastic seasons means he should be wished well.

I had a think about the Saints players that have been booed by their own since I have been watching. I can think of David Speedie, Kerry Dixon, Jermaine Wright, Jason Puncheon and Guly. That shows how spoilt we have been since the Liebherr takeover. Puncheon and Guly should never be categorised with those three for anything, and far worse have wore the shirt.

Back the maverick samba assassin, or at least stay silent when he is brought on if you can’t bring yourself to ‘support’ him.

Chris

As featured on NewsNow: Southampton FC news
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13 thoughts on “A Message to you Guly…

  1. Guly looked class when he came on at Reading. A few of us in the Kingsland a) chanted his name and b) rounded on the dissenters who booed the substitution before he’d even stepped onto the turf.

    Good piece, and well researched.

  2. Well written – agree completely. It’s embarrassing that he was booed at the Reading game. The section of Saints fans responsible is utterly pathetic with their goldfish memories.

    Ultimately what does it achieve? Is it going to make him play better? Is it going to make the team play better? Is it going to stop Adkins from selecting him? No – on all counts.

    Unfortunately stats and detailed analyis are beyond some fans. Because he doesn’t run around like a headless chicken, they think he doesn’t care or he’s not working hard enough!

    Proper fans get behind their team – and stay silent if they don’t like a player. Boo and abuse the opposition, not those in red and white.

  3. Couldn’t agree more Chris, I was one of the few singing his name – I can’t wait for him to score to shut the boo boys up. I rate Guly – it seems when he has been selected (Man City and West Ham) ahead of Lambert his role has been to run down defenders and knacker them out before Lambert comes on – granted this never came off but if anything that was Adkin’s approach to the game not Guly.

  4. If Lallana is out for a while then I’d say that Guly will get a few games. Shaw and Ramirez looked decent down the left so wouldn;t surprise me to see Gaston moved there, opening up the central slot behind Lambert. Maybe Steven Davis in away games but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Guly start against Sunderland.

  5. I just wish the non-sensical idiots that boo their own players would have a read of this. Unfortunately, most of said supporters are busy swimming around in the proverbial goldfish bowl and do not have the mental capacity to grasp the one real message:

    ‘You don’t have to like him, you don’t even have to support him… but for Le God’s sake don’t boo him.’

    If you are one of the boo boys and have momentarily managed to free your head from your arse then hear this: All your booing does is put a divide between the players and the supporters and make us all look like fickle morons. Please stop embarrassing your club and untying the close bond our (mainly) excellent fans share with the players that have taken us so far.

    PS. I’m not a huge Guly fan myself, but I know that he can still do a job for us, and – most importantly – he is still a Saint. I therefore sing his name along with all the other proper fans.

  6. Agree 100% with your assessment and it’s good to see the statistics proving that the perceptions on which people ‘justify’ their criticisms are plain false…and that’s before you start the discussion on how you can call yourself a supporter yet boo one of your own players when he comes on as a sub.

  7. You miss one glaringly obvious point.. The guys who boo punch + guly are I believe simply racists (whether they openly admit it or not). If guly was white.. Would he be getting this disgraceful treatment ? .. No.

  8. I absolutely agree with Redandwhitedee, Jason Puncheon has to perform like Messi each week ,one average game and the hate mob are calling for him to be dropped

    • Great article. As much as pains me to say or think it because I think it’s used far too much to grab media attention, I think the racism side is probably true 😦

  9. From the Chapel there was booing at the player who had taken lalana out who was being spoken to by the ref. It quickly turned to applause when Guly came on.
    However I agree with your main argument that players should not be booed,
    I must confess I rather like the officials being chanted at some of them this season almost deserve it with some very poor decisions, I think players asking for the ref to book players should be booked themselves?!

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