Leon Clarke has come in for a fair ammount of critisism this season. The current fans’ Young Player Of The Year has had to bear the brunt of terrace derision that has escalated to large sections booing his name when read out over the tannoy.
br>A product of Wolves acadamy, and once a fans favourite, his fall from grace was completed on Saturday, when, after scoring the goal that took Wolves through to the FA Cup 4th round he ran to the home fans and put his finger to his lips.
That act earned him an earbashing from captain Paul Ince, and even more derision from the fans, angered by his gesture. Leon has spoken to the club’s official site to try and put things straight. He says: ‘I was wrong to make the gesture and I’m sorry if I upset the fans. ‘I’m not making excuses, but I was just really ‘pumped up’ for the game and when I scored all the frustration came to the surface.Unfortunately, this meant I did the wrong thing. ‘This whole thing has upset me. I’m a Wolves lad who’s been at the club since I was nine.To be honest, the last month has been difficult. I’ve never been through such a public lean patch before, but the manager and players have been great. They’ve taught me to keep believing and to accept that fans are entitled to a view, even if I don’t like it. ‘I just need to show self-control at all times and make sure that nothing takes my mind off working hard in training and scoring goals when it matters.’He adds: ‘I want to put all this behind me and get back to scoring goals.That is the best way to say sorry to fans. ‘I’ve learnt a lot about how to behave on the pitch over the last week and you won’t stop me celebrating when I score but one thing’s for sure – I will try to keep my hands by my sides in future.’
Hopefully that’s the end of the matter, but Leon will need to work hard to earn back the respect of the fans who feel he has let them down. Because at the end of the day, that is the root of the problem. Extremely demanding fans are being left feeling let down But for one 20 year old local lad to have to shoulder that seems harsh.