It’s often said that supporters are the lifeblood of football.
Without them, the game wouldn’t be anything like the spectacle it is, and that was seen to hold true at the height of the Covid pandemic when teams were playing in front of empty stadia, devoid of atmosphere.
Players feed off of the energy from the stands, and that feeling is reciprocated if a team plays well.
Of course, when fans make their feelings clear, it’s not always for the benefit of the players their team employs.
It can just as easily be to their detriment, particularly if they feel that they have been wronged in some way.
Take the situation with Ousmane Dembele as a perfect example.
The French World Cup winner has never really hit the heights for Barcelona and the club should’ve sold him long before now.
In the last six months of his contract, he has been free to talk to other clubs since January 1, and can leave for free in the summer.
More whistles now as Dembele comes out to do a little warm up with the other subs. Reaction will be interesting if he gets on later vs. Atletico
— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) February 6, 2022
Barcelona are believed to have offered him a new deal, but at no point during the recent transfer window did he appear willing to sign.
Nor did it seem as though he wanted to be farmed out elsewhere before the summer, meaning that not only will he walk out at that point, but he will be able to command a huge signing on fee too.
It’s believed that the board of the club would prefer to have sat him in the stands for the remainder of the season.
However, given Barcelona’s current predicament, a decision has been taken to keep him with the squad and have him available for selection.
The next few months will be a rocky ride for him if the reaction to his name being read out at the Camp Nou before the game against Atletico Madrid is anything to go by.
— Pol Alonso ?? (@Polyccio8) February 6, 2022