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  • John John Jan 29, 2008 19:57 Flag

    How should we welcome Steven Hunt?

    Players must be playing bluff to see who gets to wind up the little fella. Mind you, they're likely to get a crotch full of boot for their troubles.

    Robert, surely you can't be condoning any nastiness towards him. You're far too nice a guy to wish that upon him aren't you?

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    • Depends what you mean by nastiness. A year ago I took my kids along to see Chelsea v Reading just after Christmas. Coppell was very wise that day, I thought, in not playing Hunt but sending him out to run up and down the touchline as a substitute a few times. This drew a bit of verbal venom from the Chelsea crowd and probably took the sting out of the situation a bit when we next played them, at Reading at the start of this season. Hunt played then.

      I would expect him to be whistled and jeered whenever his name is mentioned and whenever he does anything with the ball. I won't be there but I'd join in if I were there. I don't advocate anything more but I would expect quite a cheer if he gets fouled.

      John, I understand your motivation in your gentle needling. Call me a hypocrite if you wish, but Hunt's crime in Chelsea's eyes is quite different to the alleged crimes of Cole, Gallas, Campbell, Lampard, Ferdinand and the rest. The accusations against them are of disloyalty. I think those accusations miss too many points to be very valid. The accusation against Hunt is that he either recklessly (in my view) or deliberately went in late on Cech, nearly killed him (which he obviously didn't intend), but then couldn't bring himself to show any remorse afterwards. The commentary from Hunt and Reading afterwards was defensive to the point of self-justification. It is quite straightforward to be regretful without admitting any wrong-doing. Hunt couldn't even bring himself to do that. This is why I put him in a class of his own in the Premiership. I think other Chelsea fans do too.

      cf Sonko