There were plenty of talking points in the recent Nedbank Cup semi-final between Orlando Pirates and Free State Stars, which ended 4-2 to The Buccaneers. Among those was a scrappy goal poached by Thamsanqa Gabuza, which he followed with a celebration in which he pretty much told the crowd to stop criticising him. He has since apologised, but the supporters do not seem convinced.
Firstly, most supporters do not accept the apology on the basis that Gabuza simply has not done enough to silence his critics this season. A player can ask the fans to keep quiet if he is delivering the goods, but if he is not, then it is perceived as arrogance.
"Mxm, I don't accept your apology, you insulted us. Only when you score more than 15 goals in a season, maybe I will forgive you." – Vumisa
"Even 10 goals cannot make you the best player in the world. You need to work hard and be honest, you missed chances and cost the team dearly. Be humble and work hard, you are not talented but a hard-working pressa pusha panda gandaganda." – Buccardinho
Of course, there were those who wholeheartedly accepted the apology, but they were few and far between.
A lot of supporters, aside from not accepting it on the basis of the quality of his football, did not accept the apology because it didn't seem genuine. It seemed to many as if it was written for Gabuza, or aimed at the wrong audience.
"Apology, my foot. It's not even your words, stop wasting our time." – Pato
"He should have apologised to Free State Stars fans as he provoked them and declared war against them." – Logero
Despite this, we must commend Gabuza for apologising. There are certain players who wouldn't have even done that. Yet, the fact remains, he has been underperforming, and therefore cannot afford to not be humble.
On top of this, silencing your critics should be done through a consistently good season, or by scoring a screamer of a goal. Gabuza's strike was not a classic; in fact, it was rather messy, and he hasn’t been consistently great either, so his celebration seems unwarranted, that is for sure.
Whether his apology is genuine or not, we'll never really know, but it seems the supporters' position is clear: don’t apologise through your words, show us with your feet.
What do you think of Gabuza's celebration? Is there any place for that kind of behaviour in our football?