The phrase ‘supporting your team’ appears to be used lightly in modern football, especially when the ‘supporters’ boo off their side when the full time whistle blows.
On the weekend, Brendan Rogers’ Liverpool side, as well as Andre Villas-Boas’ revamped Tottenham squad were both booed off at their home grounds after their teams failed to win their game.
Whilst some fans might be unhappy with the club’s owner, for example Blackburn fans venting their frustration towards Venky’s by protesting during the course of last season, most notably when a chicken was released onto the pitch at Ewood Park – the “Kean Out” banners also unsettled the Blackburn squad.
But surely there must be times when booing is acceptable?
When a manager makes a clear error, shown in a foolish substitution according to the onlookers, the boos from the stands help to show the fans displeasure regarding the situation. This was a scenario at the Emirates not long ago, when Oxlade-Chamberlain was brought off at half time against Manchester United, to be replaced by that fan favourite Andrey Arshavin.
Despite this, the clear fall in morale at half time and drop in confidence for Arshavin is not motivating for the team, and goes against everything ‘support’ actually means.
So Tottenham and Liverpool fans who booed off their sides, a new manager has come into the club and has to implement his philosophy into a squad which is not made up of their preferred transfer targets. The players are getting used to playing in a new surrounding and have to play in a different formation which might not expose their attributes, even being forced to partner new team-mates where their next moves are not understood by their team-mates.
But if the fans want to boo off their side after THREE games in the new season, clearly the word ‘support’ has changed meaning since they first called themselves a fan of the club.