After ten beautiful years, Carrow Road said goodbye to one of Norwich's greatest ever players on Saturday. It was an emotional occasion. Having scored and set up a goal in his final home appearance, Wes Hoolahan was substituted with six minutes to go.
The reaction of the fans, Wes himself, his teammates, and even the appreciative Leeds players, was one of the great football moments of the season. A true servant and hero to a club was given an emotional send off by fans who paid to see him play for the last decade. It was the kind of scene that would give the viewer faith again in the sometimes soulless world of modern club football.
Or was it such a great moment? The commentary team of LUTV, Thom Kirwin and club legend Eddie Gray, weren't happy at all with what they saw.
Wes Hoolahan pic.twitter.com/8L6X8wfABz
— #WALMOT (@WALM0T33) April 28, 2018
Norwich's win took them up to 12th in the table. Leeds sit three points behind them in 14th. Neither were anywhere close to making the Playoffs or being relegated. It was the ultimate mid-table, end of season snorefest, utterly pointless for anything other than planning for the future, and maybe for the fans and players to, you know, enjoy themselves.
This was the environment in which the Norwich fans and players wanted to say goodbye to a club legend. While everyone got annoyed by John Terry's farewell to Chelsea last year, the fact it was in the 26th minute and the ball was kicked out of play to accommodate it specifically was what drew the ire of football fans. The staged nature of it made a mockery of the game. This was a substitution of a 35 year old player in the 84th minute. It's hardly the same.
For Norwich fans and Wes' teammates not to acknowledge his departure would have been ridiculous and disrespectful, no matter how much is annoyed Leeds commentators, and plenty of their fans.
Should've been booked for time wasting
— Dan (@lufc_dan) April 28, 2018
What is that!? Just get off the pitch and wave after the game! Not having our lads joining in either, we’re losing the bloody game!!
— Josh Hobbs (@JoshAHobbs) April 28, 2018
It's hard to imagine being that miserable, but then again, I'm not a Leeds fan.