Football has quite a few topics that create great debate and division between those that love the game.
Off the top of my head such topics include players not celebrating against former teams, whether a challenge merited a red card or not and should Arsene Wenger leave Arsenal or stay forever.
In Scotland last night we had one about the Tartan Army booing one of their own players, Chris Martin, when he came off the bench on the eighty-second minute in the World Cup qualifier against Slovenia.
It’s fair to say that Martin hasn’t really shone too much in a Scotland jersey. So when his arrival was announced towards the end of the game, the home fans made it clear that he wasn’t entirely welcome.
Those boos and jeers soon turned to celebration and cheers as Martin steered home a late winner for Scotland and now their qualifying group looks slightly better.
Some folk went on social media and berated the Scottish fans that booed the eventual goalscorer. As did Tv pundits and newspaper columnist’s and current footballers like Kris Boyd.
Personally I’ve never booed a player playing for my team and certainly not booed the side during a match, but that being said I fully support any fan in the stadium that feels passionate enough about their team that they’d boo one of their own.
People can call it pathetic, unwarranted and state that it ultimately achieves very little. But these football fans have chosen to go to Hampden and pay a fair few bob to voice their frustration.
Look Scotland haven’t been to a major competition since France 98. The squads often look uninspiring, we’ve struggled so far in this campaign and our manager Gordon Strachan hasn’t seemed up to the task.
In the meantime the fans are continually fleeced. If they are diehard supporters then they’ll be members of the supporters club, get season tickets to all the games (which only ever seems to go up), buy merchandise like replica tops (again not cheap), travel to Hampden plus travel to some away fixtures too. If they can’t get to the games, then they’ll need to pay to watch their side on TV.
Yes we won last night, yes the sub that the fans booed scored and yes the manager will stay on for the remainder of the campaign due to him finally getting a selection call right. But it’s still far from being rosy.
Martin reacted in the right way to the criticism and produced when it mattered. He came out afterwards and said he wasn’t listening to the crowd and was just concentrating on what he had to do. That’s the best thing he could’ve said and done.
Gordon Strachan, his managerial team and the SFA were calling on the fans to turn up to Hampden, no matter what.
Assistant boss Mark McGhee said in the build up for the match:
“I would only implore the supporters to at worst come along and if we’re rubbish then boo us.”
That was clearly an invitation some of the support took to heart.
Now we’ve often heard from Strachan that this squad have a bit of a complex, maybe just maybe the fans turning on them can help the side get over that particular barrier. They need to toughen up!
Again it might not be overly productive to boo your own stars but in this world of footballing business, I’ll always stand up for the fans that actually turn up, pay with their hard earned cash and support the team and if they want to vent then let them.
It’s up to the manager and his players to make sure they respond in the right way and give the fans little to be angry about in the first place.
Posted on March 27th, 2017 by scott
Filed under: Article