Fickle West Ham fans turn on cult hero
Pantsil doesn’t enjoy first match against former club
Fulham’s John Pantsil earned cult hero status at West Ham last season and before moving west in search of regular football the Ghanaian was one of the only things that kept fans singing over the final few games as the club took their foot off the gas.
The scene was set today for a romantic reunion. Pantsil was one of four former Hammers in the Fulham team alongside Paul Konchesky, Jimmy Bullard and Bobby Zamora. He spoke in the matchday programme about never forgetting the way West Ham’s fans treated him and the away support responded with an enthusiastic cheer when his name was read out and a hearty rendition of their ironic chant: “he comes from Africa, he’s better than Kaka”
But the relationship turned sour late in the first half when Pantsil challenged for the ball after Robert Green palmed away a Bullard free-kick and followed through on the West Ham keeper. A large percentage of incensed fans began chanting “f*** off Pantsil” before demonstrating the childishness of their sudden turn with a chant of “we don’t like you any more” before booing him every time he touched the ball for the rest of the match.
Admittedly, Pantsil didn’t react with the utmost concern for Green but surely the fact the shot-stopper recovered to complete the match and West Ham led 2-0 within fifteen minutes of the incident should have calmed the sudden rush of hatred? At full-time, Pantsil looked close to tears as he left the pitch to boos from fans who four months ago gave him raptuous applause when he did a one-man lap-of-honour after his final game for the club against Aston Villa.
Were the West Ham fans right to react in the malicious manner they did or was it just fickle behaviour? Is Pantsil the new Frank Lampard? Let us know with a comment below.