“I’m a fan of the club, I never had any ambitions to go anywhere else. Sometimes there were carrots dangled but I love St Helens. This has been a dream come true just to pull on the shirt. If I wasn’t playing, I’d have been out there on the terraces” Keiron Cunningham
I’d like to think that we all share the same common goal of wanting to see our club being successful. Why on Earth would anybody pay their hard earned money, take annual leave from their jobs, give up their time to attend… even taking a near 24 hr round trip on public transport from Scotland in some instances, if they didn’t care?
But for some, that appears not to be the case. We’ve all seen it – the club will post a positive status on Facebook and it’ll be followed by a deluge of posts along the lines of ‘we’re shit’, ‘gonna get murdered’ etc. Why even comment? Do people get off on posting this? Then you get fans who’ll criticise for weeks when we lose and when we win be nowehere to be found. I was shocked to see some fans actually willing and hoping for us to lose so that the situation gets worse!? It’s quite frankly unbelievable when we’d only played 5 games and still had our first choice half back to return.
In other areas we have pockets of fans willing to blame Keiron for absolutely everything, but when things go right, then suddenly it’s nothing to do with him and the players have taken things into their own hands and chosen to play how they want! Do people actually believe this guff?
No one is saying to not be critical – but with that you need to offer balance and give credit where its due.
Despite us not always agreeing with what Keiron says in his interviews (certainly In this column a couple of weeks ago, we stated that we were sick of hearing needless comment and there should be no more words, no more excuses) It appears the tide has turned. If we look at what was said objectively is it possible that he may actually have been right in a lot of what he’s been saying, even if it comes across poorly?
Keiron told us that this season he’d be judged with this team – Friday against Warrington was the first time that we’ve had chance to see Matty Smith in the mix in competitive action, and you have to say the team certainly looked a lot more fluid, even Jon Wilkin’s performance was a notable improvement back playing in his proper position and without the organising duties.
Keiron told us that with a senior half back then we’d have a couple more wins on the board. Everyone took this as a slight on Danny Richardson, and whilst we don’t believe the reason for losing the games where in any shape or form on the youngsters shoulders, and this comment certainly shouldn’t have been made to the press- you have to say that it’s not a stretch of the imagination by any means to suggest that with Smith in the side we’d have won at home to Wakefield, beaten Leigh and come even closer to winning at Hull. Yes, we understand it’s all ifs and but’s, but one player maybe he was right and one player could have had that much of an impact.
Some fans were critical of the decision to bring in Zeb Taia – you have to say Keiron’s judgement upto know is right: we look far more potent down the left side and it’s no surprise to see an upturn in Mark Percival’s form as result.
The truth is, it’s only now that Keiron is getting his owns tools back to his disposal, and the form has been turning around for the last few games. The forwards have responded to criticisms levelled at them, and the players certainly showed they are still playing for their coach.
In reality, the next month or so is absolutely pivotal and will give us a clear view where we’re heading this season. The table is tightening up, and if a Matty Smith led Saints side performs like they did against Warrington then we should be in the mix – There does appear to be light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve gone from feeling 3 weeks ago we were doomed to all of a sudden looking around and thinking maybe….just maybe; and that is why we keep coming back for more. The hope.
In the meantime, what do we want to see from Keiron? Firstly, after a couple of good performances, no ‘told you so’ type responses, nor a repeat of the comments last week that called anyone who criticised ‘shortsighted’ – fans had genuine reasons for concern. I kind of want to see Keiron model his interviews on Premier League managers ,who in press conferences talk a lot but say very little. Let performances and results do the talking.
We are all Saints fans, we support our club, not individuals. We should always want to win.
For the record, let it be said: my opinions or that of any of the contributors to this site are no more valuable than the fan next to you in the stadium, the forum user, the bloke in the local pub or even your old moaning Dad who believes it was all rosy 50 years ago! I certainly don’t claim to speak on behalf of anyone but myself: a proud Saints fan.
Why did I set up this website in 2003? For the love of my club, to facilitate and offer a platform and a home for other Saints fans no matter where they were based in the world to meet up and offer their views, no matter how skewed in one direction or another – all we ask is that you do this in a respectful way. I am quite proud of the fact that whether you wish to articulate with short posts on the forum or whether you with to write more at length as a columnist on the main site, the platform is an open invitation.
With that you will always see the moaners and negativity – I cannot control the viewpoint or mood of the forum – it’s certainly a lot less positive than my own!
Remember – the forum has always been a privilege and not a right.