CONTRARY to popular belief, Millwall fans are an intelligent bunch.
Whether it's a perfectly timed Monk chant that raises the energy and enthusiasm of all around, or the sensible decision not to buy any food served inside the walls of The Den, we generally know the right thing to do.
So I write this as a reminder of our fine tradition of making good decisions and our obligation not to ruin that record.
It has not been the happiest of seasons in SE16 and come April there may be few good times to fondly look back on. But I urge my fellow supporters that when you have that precious Player of the Year slip in your hand, do not let the events of the last 180 minutes of football lead you to make the wrong choice.
As welcome as Darius Henderson's goals have been, and fingers crossed they will not be his last of the campaign, nothing should take the award away from Mr. Jimmy Abdou.
I have left The Den unhappy many times this season but I have never been disappointed with Jimmy. Barely a game has gone by where he has not brought a smile to my otherwise glum face with a 60-yard sprint and tackle, or his belligerent refusal to give up what appears to be a lost cause.
Leo Messi he is not, and this is to our advantage. If he even came close to a scoring ten goals in a season, or if he could pass to a blue shirt further than ten yards away (the assist for Henderson’s second at Barnsley excluded), then the potential suitors would be lining up Ilderton Road. But he can’t. So we get to keep him, and that makes me very happy indeed.
Jimmy has participated in all but two league games this season, whereas Henderson has missed seven, and the odds of him playing in the remaining 21 matches are surely very short indeed. What you can bet on is that Jimmy will bust a gut for 90 minutes every week, carried around by a pair of legs that appear to be made from the kind of ice lolly sticks that had jokes on them when I was a kid, and throw his body (surely only ten stone soaking wet) into any and every possible challenge.
All the while maintaining that most rare of commodities in a Millwall player – a cool head. One booking all season is an amazing stat from the man who surely makes the most challenges of any Lions player.
I very much doubt the Scottish factory workers who founded the club had ever heard of the tiny African nation of Comoros and certainly never imagined 127 years into the future that one of its natives would be representing their new football team.
But I'm certain they would be proud that their ethos of never-say-die, heart-on-your sleeve football is being well maintained. Jimmy has already joined those founding members in the history of Millwall Football Club with “that” goal at Leeds in the League One play-off second leg. I hope to see that combined look of shock and joy at his own ability to score a goal a few more times in seasons to come.
Millwall fans, as mentioned, have a track record of good decision making when it comes to Player of the Year. We aren’t won over by goals alone, in fact it has been ten years since the award went to a striker (everyone’s favourite pundit Steve Claridge).
Lions fans recognise hard working individuals – we love players that mirror our own lives and attitudes, slaving away in an unglamorous role for little recognition. Jimmy Abdou will never have his picture in the papers with his shirt ripped off, he will probably never get a better crowd chant for his name but come the end of the season, however it ends, I hope we all make the right decision.