The Offside Yap #6

In the latest instalment of The Offside Yap, we have called upon some of our contributors to give their thoughts on an issue in the game which has got us thinking… This week we asked the team: In light of last week's game at Upton Park, where a section of West Ham fans booed their side during their victory over Hull City, do you believe that fans are entitled to boo their own side and do you feel booing ever has a positive impact?

Sam Allardyce cupped his ear to the home crowd after they turned on his side at the final whistle

Sam Allardyce cupped his ear to the home crowd after they turned on his side at the final whistle

In the red corner…

@jessfmartin – Football fans definitely have the right to boo their team. In most cases team fans are completely supportive, so when they do start booing surely this gives the players a bit of a kick up the backside? It should motivate the players to do everything in their power to prevent the booing and actually play well.

@sebdawkins – Fans are of course entitled to boo their own side. They are a crucial component of a football club and deserve some sort of ‘say’ on their team’s performance. But it has to be for the right reasons. To boo your team after a random defeat, or if you’re sitting in 12th and you’d prefer to be in 8th, is pointless and demoralising for the players. To boo a team that is producing poor performances, and showing general apathy on the pitch, however, is understandable. It’s also important to remember that booing is not always aimed at just the players…

@David_Lee91 – Fans have every right to boo their side considering the immense amount of money it costs to support a football club.But booing breeds indecision and cautiousness so in my 15 years of supporting Tottenham I have rarely booed the players during a game.

In the blue corner..

@GregHelmich – I feel booing should only ever be aimed at the board or the manager. This type of fan protest is unfair on the players. If you want to boo it would be much better to express your frustration with a banner or similar so it is clear who it’s being aimed at. Man United’s protest with the airplane last weekend was a good example of a meaningful protest.

An anti-Moyes banner flew over Old Trafford at the start of last weekend's game against Aston Villa

An anti-Moyes banner flew over Old Trafford at the start of last weekend’s game against Aston Villa

@footballwritr – In general booing your team because you’re not satisfied with their level of performance makes little sense. Yes, you paid your money, but there’s no guarantee on a football ticket that what will happen during the game will be what you want. That’s not what you’re paying for; clubs are selling the chance to be at the game, and all that entails. If you don’t like it, your only sensible option is to stop going.

@MorganHammond89 – For me it shows a lack of class and respect and it is also counterproductive because it quite simply makes them play worse. Fans should support their clubs win / lose or draw and booing is not the way to go about voicing discontent.

@ShafLdn – As a regular at The Emirates, its unfortunate that Gooners are one of the quickest to jump on the booing wagon, and all too frequently since the move in 2006. It has never helped, and in worst case scenarios reduced a player to tears when Emmanuel Eboue, already a sub, was subbed off to a cascade of boos. If fans are going to boo, they shouldn’t bother attending matches and let more positive influencers attend!

One Arsenal fan in particular shows his discontent during their shock home defeat to Aston Villa earlier this season

One Arsenal fan in particular shows his discontent during their shock home defeat to Aston Villa earlier this season

@NikkiDcfc – No. While some may say that as paying costumers, supporters have the right to react how they wish to players and performances, I believe it is of utmost importance to show support for anyone who wears the shirt or represents the side, barring any substantiated ethical or moral cause or actions by a player, manager etc. While after a poor display -particularly a lackadaisical one- it may be tempting to boo, booing will only breed negativity, and it is more beneficial and more likely to uplift the side if you were to show encouragement instead.

Booing experiences…

@jessfmartin – The only time I have booed was watching Peterborough when they lost to Barnet 5-2, it was shocking and they deserved it! They haven’t lost to them since.

@NikkiDcfc – The only person representing Chelsea I have ever booed is Rafa Benitez. This was in part to demonstrate to the club hierarchy that a strong and rather large body of the supporters was angered by his appointment, one which we had clearly and vehemently opposed several months prior to its taking place. When you add to that his attitude toward Chelsea and the previous comments he had made about the club and its supporters, it became very difficult to accept him as manager, especially as we felt the dislike was mutual, and we were not afraid to let him know it.

Chelsea fans made their feelings known when Rafael Benitez was appointed interim manager in 2012

Chelsea fans made their feelings known when Rafael Benitez was appointed interim manager in 2012

@sebdawkins – The 2011/12 season was full of ‘boos’ from Blackburn fans, myself included. It was heartbreaking to watch my club in complete disarray, managed by the incompetent Steve Kean. We got criticised for our protests against Venkys, but we knew we were right to do so. And it was only when we got relegated from the Premier League that others realised this, and became aware of the irreversible damage they had and have caused.

@David_Lee91 – I did made an exception after Spurs’ 3-0 home defeat to West Ham earlier this season. We were dreadful!

Plenty of interesting points from our Yappers, but where do you stand on the issue? Have you ever booed your own side, and if so why? 

Read Alice Weekes’ article on the issue of “to boo, or not to boo” here!

Episode 32 of The Offside Rule Podcast (We Get It!) will be available on our Audioboo page on Thursday 3rd April. This week the ladies talk about protests in football from across the leagues.

Find the rest of our Offside Yap debates here!

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