The feelings of Heart fans were made clearly known on Sunday afternoon as a silent protest was implemented.
And in the naked light I saw.
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking.
People hearing without listening.
People writing songs that voices never share.
And no one dared.
Disturb the sound of silence.
The 1964 song by Simon and Garfunkel was written for a completely different time and place but yet the lyrics apply so appropriately to the first half of last weekend’s match against Adelaide United.
The first-half silent protest undertaken by active supporter group ‘Yarraside’ certainly made an eerie impact and arguably effected Heart players negatively in the concession of two early goals.
The decision to make a silent stand against perceived mediocrity caused much debate on social media; would the players be negatively affected and were the fans’ grievances with the current form of the team already well enough known?
As an attendee of the southern end but not as a part of the active Yarraside it is difficult for me to be critical of the move although I do wonder if mob mentality and peer pressure may have got in the way of fans who did want to remain vocal throughout the half.
The feeling in the crowd was at an eerie low and did appear to affect the confidence of the Heart players. Going 2-0 against this backdrop in an already struggling season was the low water mark, the atmosphere could hardly have been more dire.
To the credit of Yarraside the protest did highlight the atmosphere in which they usually do create and the energy and noise coming from the entire southern end during the second half was fantastic. Scoring three successive goals at the end of the rapturous supporters’ end quickly turned the toxic atmosphere of the first-half into pure ecstasy.
At the previous home game against Sydney FC Yarraside chanted “Aloisi out” after the final whistle. This time Aloisi to his credit faced up to the home supporters post game and passionately called for their support which was granted largely positively.
The passion of Aloisi was clearly on show both in the goal celebrations and in this brave appearance in front of the fans. This passion cannot be doubted and there is still a role for him at Melbourne Heart.
In my previous blog posting I too called for a change of management. I still stand by that call; a home draw against the team in eighth is hardly a revival. A tough away trip to Parramatta will give a strong indication of just how genuine this revival in passion really is.