Phoenix handshake snub no big deal

DAVE BURGESS
Last updated 11:29 13/03/2014

OPINION: So Carlos Hernandez failed to show the sort of team spirit required at Wellington Phoenix when he didn't shake hands with his replacement as he was subbed in the disappointing 1-1 draw with Perth Glory.

He then bypassed the Phoenix players and officials warming the pine to sit dejectedly alone at the far end of the bench.

Phoenix maestro Ernie Merrick has criticised Hernandez for his actions. Fair enough, he is the one trying to build a winning environment at the club.

I take a different view.

Hernandez' actions showed just how much playing for the Phoenix means to him.

So what if he didn't shake hands with his replacement or take the customary high-fives from those on the bench?

Some may say his failure to press the flesh was disrespectful to his colleagues.

Surely they - that's the Nix players and staff - weren't really upset about that.

They more than most know how emotions can spill over in the heat of battle.

He was annoyed at being subbed early - no player likes that - and threw a 'silent wobbly'.

It's not as if he punched, slapped, verbally abused, or head-butted anyone.

Sometimes professional sport has a decided lack of emotion, so it was good seeing Hernandez wear his heart on his sleeve.

A fired-up and motivated King Carlos is exactly what the Phoenix needs as it tackles the home stretch to make the playoffs.

- The Dominion Post

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