Hossam Ghaly has not taken the field at White Hart Lane since May 2007.
In his last appearance for the North Londoners, a league match against Blackburn, the midfielder turned the home fans against him when, after being substituted by then manager Martin Jol, the Egyptian threw his shirt on the floor as he stormed unhappily off the pitch. (The incident can be seen here.)
And last night, just in case Ghaly thought that this incident may have been forgotten, the Tottenham faithful uniformly sung a chorus of boos against their own squad player, forcing Harry Redknapp to shelve plans of a rare introduction for the number 15.
With Tottenham leading Wigan 2-nil with ten minutes remaining, Redknapp ordered Ghaly to strip off his tracksuit and ready himself to come on as a sub as he looked to wind down the clock. But with Ghaly standing on the touchline, seconds before making his entrance, Redknapp was forced to change his decision after being confronted by the loud and clear disapproval of the home support.
After the game Redknapp commented, “thatâ€™s not what you need at 2-nil up and with everyone buoyant. I didnâ€™t want him running on with everyone booing and shouting abuse. I didnâ€™t want the atmosphere to change. I wanted the people to support us, but obviously theyâ€™d got the hump. I asked Hossam what he had done, I didnâ€™t really know what it was all about. I spoke to him afterwards and he said, ‘I threw my shirt down.’ I felt sorry for the boy… It’s going to be difficult for the boy to play here again. But I’d like the crowd to give him a second chance. Everyone makes mistakes and we’re so short at the moment that we need him.”
The incident can be seen here.