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Hitting boos does no-one any good.

Byline: TOM ROSS THE Midlands sporTs JournalisTof T of the year

INEVER have and never will understand what makes football supporters boo and jeer one of their own players during a game.

In my opinion it only helps the opposition and harms your own team. You might as well wear the opposition's scarf.

I accept, 100 per cent, that fans pay their money and are therefore entitled to shout, boo or jeer at whoever they want. However, it does no good whatsoever to help your team win the game and it can also affect an individual player's ability to perform to his best if he is the one constantly hearing boos and abuse.

If you are one of those who do boo players' efforts during a game let me ask you a question: Why do you think opposition managers always say in their team talks "let's try and turn the crowd"? Because they know if they do that it will put pressure on their opponent's players and affect their performance.

They will certainly lack confidence and if that happens their touch is the first thing to suffer, along with their decision-making. Conversely, if you get behind a player who is having a bad time you can help him to come through it.

If you have to boo then save it until full-time but during the 90 minutes surely getting behind the whole team is what it's all about? If you believe, as I do, that supporters are very influential and can definitely be the 12th man, then surely with that tag comes a responsibility to do your best to get 10 per cent more out of the players by creating an atmosphere of support for the team - both individually and collectively.

There are examples of players whose form has improved dramatically when the jeers have turned to cheers.

One classic example is former Blues, Wolves and Coventry defender Brian (Harry) Roberts. He was bought by the fans who had contributed PS10,000

to a "buy a player fund" in 1984.

He had a difficult time to start with and was on the end of some boos and jeers and it affected him and his performances. For whatever reason, the fans started to get behind him and his game drastically improved - so much so the fans were chanting, tongue-in-cheek, "Harry for England".

Paul | Positive support (cheering) can get more out of a player while negative support (jeering/booing) can have the opposite effect - so the choice is yours.

Football is bizarre in so much as we all become really close to our club and it becomes a very important part of our lives. A love affair you might say. We see them every week so we think we know the players but we don't know them at all.

We don't know how the booing and abuse affects them or their family. They are human beings first and footballers second.

Why have some supporters become so intolerant of a player's performance? Robinson Blues defender Paul Robinson is a perfect example. He had a poor game against Bournemouth but that is all he did.

I have seen ridiculous and nonsensical comments saying he should never wear a Blues shirt again. This is a man who has always given 100 per cent for the cause whoever he plays for, a man who plays with his heart on his sleeve. He was even voted player of the year last season.

If a player disrespects a club by deliberately not giving 100 per cent or tries to engineer himself a move away from your club then I would understand him getting criticism.

We all know players who are guilty of that. Robbie Savage is one who springs to mind, he admitted he played poorly for Blues in order to get away, while Dwight Yorke at Villa and Peter Odemwingie at the Baggies are another two players whose behaviour was less than commendable.

At the end of the day you pay your entrance fee and it's up to you how you support your team. I just think the positive way far outweighs the negative way.


Paul Robinson |
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 15, 2015
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