Et tu, Doyle?

In hoops once more... - Bryn Lennon

One of the peripheral talking points of our magisterial away win against QPR was the unrestrained goal celebration of a Reading legend, Kevin Doyle, as he scored against his former team. Our writers offer their opinions on whether this was appropriate or not.

Arguably, one of the unspoken norms of football is that former players bow their heads respectfully if they score against their old team. When this does not happen, the consequences can often be explosive - just think of the vitriolic reaction to Adebayor's antics a few years ago. Doyle's actions were nowhere near as provocative. Nevertheless, was he right to so clearly celebrate his goal against the club he won the Championship with? Our writers respond:

  • Marc Mayo: Celebrating a last minute winner, for your club which you clearly love, or something more significant than a scrappy first half equaliser is fair enough in any circumstance. Celebrating against the team that made you, for a team you joined on loan last week? Maybe not so much. It did disappoint me a little to see him delighted in scoring against us, but it won't spoil my opinion of him as a spectacular player for us between 2005 and 2009.
  • Rob Langham: I don't mind a jot. He's one of the best players ever to turn out for Reading but I like it when players get caught up in the emotion of a match and see fit to celebrate. This will have been keener for Doyle who has had a tough time of it latterly at Wolves while also losing his place in the Republic of Ireland team. I don't begrudge him and I'm sure he still has a very positive view of Reading Football Club.

  • JenURZ: Kevin Doyle was rightly a fans favourite and idolised by us, but his celebration for QPR will have knocked him off his hero perch for many Royals fans. Can he justify it with the fact that he has been having a torrid time of it at Wolves, and that he wants to adhere himself to his new fans and reignite his career? Maybe a little, but that just needs him to be scoring and doesn't need a celebration of the lengths he went to against his former club. There is no rule that you mustn't celebrate. However it's a mark of respect, and most former players, even those who are forced out unfairly, don't do it - take Michail Antonio and, to an extent, Jay Tabb as examples. With that said, I still won't forget what Doyle did for us and how important he was for the team, particularly as he stuck around after relegation for a year and didn't sulk about it. Nevertheless, his celebration has left a sour taste in my mouth. Because of it, I don't dream of a team of Kevin Doyles any more.

  • cpmurph: I'll be honest, my initial reaction to Doyle's celebrations was a tad irrational, and not positive at all. I cannot post it up here, but it involved carefully chosen vocabulary. On reflection, my position has not really changed, but it has softened. I understand Doyle is probably delighted he's scoring in the Championship again. And it does seem slightly unfair to demand something from a player who has given us so much in the past. Nevertheless, we as a club did much for him too, and some of the best moments of his career were with us. Therefore, it was disappointing for me to see one of my favourite strikers (both for Reading and Ireland) not show some respect to the Reading fans. After all, if that game was at the Madejski Stadium, I believe he would have received a warm reception.

  • Wimb: I've got absolutely no problem with Doyler's celebrations and I struggle to understand why others have got quite so upset.Going into the game Kevin told the press that he still had a fondness for the club and he's never had a bad word to say about a club that was clearly very close to his heart.Sadly time has moved on and as a player who left five years ago and has very few active connections with the current players and management I can totally understand why he doesn't feel he has to stop any celebrations.This is a player who's had a horrible couple of years and has just scored a key goal for his new employers who are in the thick of a promotion race. I don't think he was celebrating simply because it was against Reading, more that he'd just scored a goal full stop.Time waits for nobody and if Gorkss had scored a key equaliser in the last minute I doubt anyone would have complained had he gone OTT with his celebs.

As always, other contributions in the comments section are more than welcome...
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