Ayoze Perez has revealed the truth behind his fingers in the ears celebration – saying it was his response to critical Newcastle fans.
This comes after the Spanish attacker was asked where his celebration originates from in a recent Q&A.
As explained below, the Leicester City star claims it came after he scored a late winner against Watford at St James’ Park in November 2019 – a goal which was his first of the season after heavy criticism from home supporters.
Here’s what he had to say:
“It was back in the days when I used to play for Newcastle.
“It was actually last season and I was getting a bit of stick because I didn’t score many goals in the first part of the season.
“So I remember it was a game against Watford when I came on at half-time, if I’m not mistaken and we were 0-0 and I scored with a header and we won the game.
“As soon as I scored I had that reaction, I didn’t even think about it. It was a reaction and from that day I’m doing that celebration.
“I like it.”
Looking back, this was a turning point for Perez in that 2018/19 season, with him going on to score 11 goals in his next 27 league games for the club – including 9 goals in his final 11 games for the club, which ultimately earned him a £30m move to the Foxes last summer.
Some called Perez inconsistent or accused him of not working hard enough, yet this often baffled me given he got into double figures in ALL of his last three seasons at St James’ Park, showed intelligent movement and covered plenty ground in his pressing up top.
Yes, he was a little lightweight and was patchy from time to time, but he was a good servant and a VERY good piece of business at £1.5m all those years ago.
Some criticised him for celebrating with his fingers in his ears when he scored in their 3-0 win at SJP on his return earlier this year, but wouldn’t you do the same if you were booed from the off by your former fans?
After all, he left for a club with MUCH bigger ambitions than us after performing well for three seasons at St James’ Park.