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Boo the bully boys

By Lue  Glover :  28/01/2008 :  Comments (33) :
I'm really glad in a perverse sort of way, that Hibbo can't play on Wednesday. Glad because he won't be subjected to some of the awful abuse he gets from some individuals when he's on the pitch. If Nuno plays no doubt he'll get it in the neck for not passing, passing, pushing up, staying back, tackling, not tackling...... you get the picture?

At the game against Chelsea, the numpty who sits a few rows behind me shouted 'Hibbert, you're effing shite'. Anyone spot the deliberate mistake? Yes, Hibbo wasn't even playing, yet this guy launched a tirade of abuse at the lad shortly after Chelsea scored. Like it was HIS fault. This man spends most of the game, every game in fact, abusing all the team, one after another but his particular favourites are Hibbo, Jags, Nuno and Cahill. These players can do nothing right, nothing at all. Even Mikel is a lazy fucker according to him.

Am I missing something? Do people think it's okay to be abusive to players? "I pay my money and I'm entitled to an opinion"? Well, yes, but money does not give anyone the right to be abusive. Have an opinion and express it but constantly calling someone a 'useless fucking twat' hardly constitutes constructive criticism. or will help a player raise his game.

Perhaps I'm just a bit naive and old fashioned, I'm there to support the players, no matter whether they are at their best or not. Once they walk onto that pitch they have my total and unconditional support. As long as a player is putting his best effort into his game, I can't expect anymore.

Why do we assume that a player like Hibbert can play like the best right back in the league? He can't but he does give his heart and soul to his team. If DM selects him to play, regardless of what the 40,000 experts (us) might think, surely we should support him and the rest of those players who are going about their job to the best of their abilities.

Does anyone seriously believe that Hibbo, Nuno and the others could play much better than they do, that they deliberately miss a tackle or misplace a pass? Once they're out there, they know better than anyone else whether they're having a 'mare or not and screaming at them will not make them perform any better. For 90 minutes they should have our support. Moan about it afterwards but not during the match, it just doesn't make any sense to reduce a player's confidence even more.

I know people have their favourites who can do no wrong and those who can do no right, however well they play, but there must be a point where objectivity should kick in and recognition that everyone has strengths and weaknesses in their game.

As for the bloke and his 'everyone is effing shite', well, I have to wonder what enjoyment he gets from coming to the match because he seems to be totally frustrated by everything he sees. I'm really glad I didn't sit near him when we were fighting relagation a few years ago ? bet he was a right bundle of laughs then!

He pays his money, yes, but he's one hard to please young man and perhaps I'm just a sentimental old woman who feels for those lads being given a torrid time by some foul mouths at the ground.

Anyway, this time last week we were all buzzing ready for the Chelsea game and by goodness we rocked the old lady to her foundations on the night. Disappointed of course but we have another important game in two days time and we need to get behind the lads again, I don't believe we will be able to recreate the same atmosphere but we should give it a bloody good go. That night I was proud (as always) to be an Everton supporter. I was proud of my team, my fellow supporters at GP, well almost all of them and happy to be a part of all that is Everton. Come on you Blues we can do this!

Reader Comments

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Lynn Thorne
1   Posted 28/01/2008 at 15:38:17

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You have very eloquently written what I feel but would struggle to say so well. Yes, we pay our money and are entitled to our own opinions, but it is wearing when you have someone like that close by. Last Wednesday night there was almost a fight in front of us in the Paddock, as towards the end of the game, a man in front saw fit to start abusing Moyes. Many people asked him nicely to get behind the team and he came out with a tirade even I was embarrassed about and I have been going for a long time and heard plenty.
My son and I moved seats this season - we used to sit right by the away fans. That wasn’t why we moved though - it was a couple of lads behind who were filled with vitriol, and voiced it, about most playerrs in turn - their favourite Boo boy was Osman - although AJ was once called a baldy, lazy, fat c**t.
Michael Hunt
2   Posted 28/01/2008 at 16:41:44

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’Fans’ abusing and calling players (or anyone else really) c**ts is letting the players and fans down. Lue, Lynn and everyone else deserve better as well as the players. I believe all fans want the best of their players and most seek to give positive encouragement to this end. It is counter productive for negative criticism to be directed at any player from their own fans. As it is counter productive (the only ’benefit’ I see is the venting a spleen to make ourselves feel better), all it really does is help the opposition. When home fans turn against the home players all it does is encourage the away side more. This seems obvious, but obviously not given the abuse hurled at some of our own. Getting behind the lads is going to help us into CL qualification season. Getting on players backs is not. I know what I want, COYB!
Rob Jones
3   Posted 28/01/2008 at 17:12:04

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You?ve put what I think in a nutshell, I wouldn?t mind if it was constructive criticism but I?ve had people behind, in front and by my side shouting tyrants of abuse at the players week-in, week-out, even when Ossie scored his wonder goal someone shouted "It's about time you did something you useless piece of shite!"
It's fans like them that we need to be getting out of the game, I don?t mind them voicing their opinions but ffs some of the stuff that's shouted out is just pointless.
Paul McCann
4   Posted 28/01/2008 at 17:22:38

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Well said Lou. I think we can all accept someone shouting something stupid now and again out of pure frustration when the red mist decends, but some of the abuse [usually directed at the same few players], is unrelenting and uncalled for. You’re right, the vast majority of the time these players are doing everything they can for the team and the club. Trouble is most people wouldn’t feel comfortable [or safe] telling the offending supporters to give it a rest. I know I don’t, and I’m a big bloke. Maybe your post will make a few people stop and think [if they reed it]. Thanks anyway.
Ed Fitzgerald
5   Posted 28/01/2008 at 17:44:23

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Whilst I agree with the sentiment of the piece some people are always going to moan and sometimes it is born out of frustration. People are entitled to vent their their spleen and I would not want to advocate a new kind of happy-clappy Evertonian who can never utter a negative word about the players, management or leadership of the club.

What is far more disturbing is the number of morons who still get away with racist and other biogoted comments about our own players, the opposition and their fans.
Suprise Suprise this normally happens when things are going against us.
Colin Jones
6   Posted 28/01/2008 at 18:09:56

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Direct abuse of players - intended for them to hear is not on, just like shouting abuse at someone in the street isn’t on. I don’t mind if someone abuses a player directly from the top balcony though, as the angry person and everyone else can clearly see the player cannot hear them. However if someone wants to criticise a player whilst in the stands then that’s fine with me. Football serves as a useful primal-scream type therapy for a lot of frustration that people feel.
David Barks
7   Posted 28/01/2008 at 18:19:23

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Well written piece and I completely agree with you. Seeing faults and talking about them, discussing the shortcomings or what needs to improve is fine. The problem is with the type of "supporter" that you discuss, who just curse the players and manager at the first chance. The language that some choose to use is disgraceful and we could do without it.
John Kelly
8   Posted 28/01/2008 at 17:12:46

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Never a truer word was said in both Lou Lynnes and Michaels posts.
Love them or hate them we all have our favourite players and unfortunately a few have their own personal whipping boys.
But when they cross that white line with the Everton shirt on they deserve all the support we as fans can give them.
To all the boo boys out there do you honestly think a player will play better if when he makes a mistake he is absolutely slaughtered for it?
would suggest that getting the abuse that some of our players get actually makes them more nervous and likely to make more mistakes.
I am not saying dont shout at the players but shout things that encourage the player to perform better and not the hateful personal attacks that some of the less intelligent among us resort to.
Tell you what lets save the abuse for the opposition ang get behind the lads in blue,now wouldnt that be a novelty.
I can honestly say even in the depths of great disapointment and despair I have never ever booed at the blue shirt during or after a game,I just dont think it gets you anywhere..COYB
Pat Whitty
9   Posted 28/01/2008 at 18:52:30

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I couldn?t agree more. The players are human too and should be treated with respect. Well, that is of course apart from Joey Barton.
Keith Magwood
10   Posted 28/01/2008 at 19:33:50

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Unfortunately every team has "supporters " like this and I use "supporter" with the best intentions.Bottom line is that could they do any better and not a very good example if young supporters sitting nearby?
Better to attack the opposition !
Jay Campbell
11   Posted 28/01/2008 at 19:59:20

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There’s a shock drunk knobheads at the match.

They might as well stay in the house coz they are no help to the fuckin team acting like that.
Huw Owen
12   Posted 28/01/2008 at 19:53:28

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A rather wishful remedy to the likes of "effing-shite man" would be to discover his place of work (or his local benefit office) and to gather around him and to fire off regular expletives at him. Nothing, I’m sure, would help to reinforce his role within his place of employment more than a rousing chorus of "You’re shit, and you know you are"!
Shaun Sparke
13   Posted 28/01/2008 at 20:15:23

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Oh dear oh dear what is the world coming to? Hate to throw a spanner in the works, but whilst I can’t condone the moronic abuse that is directed towards certain players. I cant for the life of me see exactly what the problem is here. Ok, little children go to the match and maybe some people should be more considerate in venting their anger and frustration within earshot of these little angles, but come on guys this is football we are talking about not a vicars tea party.

I have been going to the game since I was a small lad and have heard plenty of abuse directed towards the referee, opposing teams and wait for it, even our own team. If fans want to have a go then that is up to them. Yes we are there to offer our support and some of us do it in rather peculiar ways, but who am I to tell Joe big gob to shut up. He has paid the same money as me and is entitled to vent his frustrations without fear of castigation. Ok there are certain lines that shouldn’t be crossed, but for gods sake lets not get all hysterical about this. The passion of the game has been eroded enough by the clueless people at the FA without us starting to censor ourselves.

I am not advocating a free for all where anything goes, but football is an emotional game and we as people all handle emotions in different ways. We are not robots and just because you might have the self control not to shout at one of our own for yet another misplaced pass it doesnt mean that everybody is going to be able to bite their tongue.

You will find that most of these so called big gobs are also very passionate Evertonians, ok they may not be nice to listen to, but dont let it bother you. I can assure you that if I was on 40k per week then you could call me anything you like as often as you like.
Brian Donnelly
14   Posted 28/01/2008 at 20:16:11

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A good article Lue. We all have our favourites and our whipping boys, but too often some supporters are just waiting for anything resembling a mistake by certain players, so they can vent their hate of that player.

Personally I have never seen the point of outwardly criticizing the player on the field - an inward groan is quite sufficient (Simon Davies was my pet hate). Surely it is more to do with the manager, who picks the team, rather than the player who may just not be good enough. As long as they put the effort in and keep their concentration, I don?t think we can ask much more of the individual player.
Mark Griffiths
15   Posted 28/01/2008 at 21:11:22

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I agree totally, vent your anger and yes there will be swearing, but it needs to be constructive, like "ffs hibbert, take your time" or "Fucking hell, look around you will ya" NOT "you fucking prick, you're are a lazy fucking joke of a shithouse" ... you get the picture and by the way Hibbo was an example not actually what I think of him.

On a lighter note, did anyone see a small article in the Sunday Mirror, it said that a journalist at the Chelsea game heard a fan shout something like, you "Fucking piece of shit, you are a fucking cunt, you twatty little bastard", to which another fan turned around and shouted, "Nan, is that you" ah ha ha ha, classic, we realy do have a great sense of humour in our kneck of the woods don?t we!
Charlie Skinley
16   Posted 28/01/2008 at 21:38:04

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Lue - as always love reading your commets. Totally agree more. I got abit carried away the other week and I came out with a few choice words, the lady who has a season ticket behind me clipped my ear and threatened to tell my mum!

We all get excited and shout things, I was even shouting for Moyes head after the Spurs game last season - an I’m a big Moyes fan. But I hate the singling out of players. Hibbo’s abuse especailly disgusts me. He is Everton through and through and he has been one of our better players recently! But unfortunately once some fans have it in for a player thats it!
Rich Jones
17   Posted 28/01/2008 at 22:06:47

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I?m sorry I?m with Shaun here this is football it's emotional, players are mollycodled enough. If you want etiquette and polite applause, then I suggest the golf club or a rugby union.
Kevin Sparke
18   Posted 28/01/2008 at 22:54:02

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It is annoying when you get a ’professional moaner’ in the seat behind.

A young striker made his home debute and in his nervousness fluffed an easy chance. Mr big gob in the seat behind informed us all that this player was the biggest pile of shit we’d ever signed.

He’d made his position clear and ranted and raved about this player every game for the rest of the season - every mistake he made... gobshite was on him.

Happened the season after... I got fed up picking bits of expelled pie out my hair and moved seats before I lost my rag with him (some had already - but it never stopped him).

About eight years later, I ended up in my old seat and the fella was still at it... same player... YOU’RE SHIT YOU ARE!!! every time he touched the ball

Graeme Sharp was the player

David Barks
19   Posted 28/01/2008 at 22:49:05

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Nobody is asking for football matches to be polite applause. The issue is with supporters yelling and screaming the worst names imaginable at their own players. This does nothing to inspire or help the team you are suppose to be supporting. The only thing it accomplishes is what has already been said, the other team actually gets more motivated as they can hear the fans of the other side turning on their players. Yell, sing, scream for you team to do well, and yell in anger to push the team on. Anybody will respond better after a mistake if 35,000 people are yelling "Come on, you?re better than that" instead of just instantly resorting to "Your?e shite, you cunt, fucking useless". How does that help your team? That?s what we?re asking
Peter Bourke
20   Posted 28/01/2008 at 22:47:45

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Just because someone pays to go to a game does not entitle them to hurl offensive abuse at any they choose. Surely patrons who pay are entitled to watch the game without having to put up with some brain dead moron constantly swearing at their own players.
Support the team as loudly as you want but to get in the gutter and behave like a neanderthal is not a right because you have paid. Weed these low lifes out and bar them. I?m obviously talking about the very worst offenders here, not someone who may get over excited on the odd occassion.
Tony Williams
21   Posted 28/01/2008 at 23:26:08

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I have two such "boo boys" in front of me and I honestly cannot understand why they go the game anymore, as they just don’t seem to enjoy it. Even the Sunderland game was the same.

We were 6-1 up and yet this nugget in front still screams at the lads calling them lazy bastards because one of their players had a little through run!!

What makes it worse is that one of them is a Sunday league ref and you can imagine what bollocks he comes out with.

I am consistently arguing with them over refereeing decisions, as they are so biased it is untrue, which in itself is fair enough but even I can admit when we have committed a foul or are deffinitely offside.
Rob Hollis
22   Posted 28/01/2008 at 23:39:53

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It is not venting anger or frustration that is the problem, more the level of abuse. During McFaddens last game there was a bloke sitting near me WITH HIS TWO CHILDREN who was hurling the worst abuse you could imagine at the player.

The worst example I have ever heard was our wonderful crowd when Rooney came back for his first game. If there was not a police force there then I am sure he would have been lynched. Sadly that night it was more than half the crowd whose behaviour was beyond anything I have ever witnessed.

It is the way things are now though. People never fight outside pubs without knifing or kicking somebody to death. Things have gone weird in this country, there are lots of angry people with no respect for anybody else and football is not immune I am afraid.
Michael Tracey
23   Posted 28/01/2008 at 23:50:31

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Gee I wish I could get paid 15k or more a week and have to put up with some abuse! I think that some people do go over the top but as some have said people get frustrated and Everton is very important to them so they go over the top. Hibbert is crap and not good enough! I suppose its not his fault that the manager continues to play him!
Tony Williams
24   Posted 29/01/2008 at 00:14:36

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"Hibbert is crap and not good enough!"

Compared to who? If you say Neville I would have to disagree as his passes are on par with Rhino’s, the same with his "long" throw ins, just float it up in the air and hope for the best.

At least Hibbert tried to look for Arteta to give the pass not just try and float it forward which inevitably ends up with the opposition getting the ball back.

Hibbert’s distribution may be poor but nowhere near as bad as Neville’s
Peter Bourke
25   Posted 29/01/2008 at 00:37:33

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MT. Its not the point about the players putting up with it. it,s all the other supporters who shouldn?t have to put up with it. I?m sure its water of a ducks back to the players, and having played professional sport myself, you tend to block the crowd out when you are concentrating. When theres a break in play you may hear more of the individual comments, but in general it's just noise.
Mark Burns
26   Posted 29/01/2008 at 06:06:30

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It?s very easy to hurl abuse at players when they are hiding behind rows and rows of supporters. I often wonder if these so called "supporters" would say the same to the player if they met them face to face. It?s also easy to say we can hurl abuse at these guys because they are paid huge sums on money to play football for our team, why? Just because they get paid large sums of money we have the right, nonsense. Players have good days and bad days. Supporters should support the players with constrictive criticism rather than abuse.
Tony Williams
27   Posted 29/01/2008 at 08:56:00

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That’s the problem though Mark, they still do it face to face. Have you seen the video of Ferguson in the bog getting stick about how much he is paid, these shithouses know that unless you are Joey Barton, the professional inside you will not let you twat them.
Kevin Jones
28   Posted 29/01/2008 at 09:05:32

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Likewise I sit in the Upper Bullens and Tony Hibbert gets unmerciful stick. Against Man City he was superb and kept Petrov so quiet I forgot he was on the pitch. No one gets past him easlily and his job first and foremost is to defend, at which he is first class. Each time Mikel Arteta cocks up I say to the Hibbert haters how come your not slagging him off. If he wears an Everton shirt and trying his best support him fullstop.
Lue Glover
29   Posted 29/01/2008 at 11:45:24

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Shaun, I’m as frustrated as the next person at some of the games and I most certainly don’t sit there like it’s a vicars tea party. Likewise I don’t expect people to shout ’hey Tony/Nuno whoever, your passing could do with a bit of work mate’.
Of course it’s an emotional game and as a passionate Evertonian I come away from some games fit to burst with frustration but I am also a person with a degree of dignity and I have respect for other people, that includes players on £40k a week!
I don’t understand why in almost every walk of life we have to drop down to the lowest common denominator and accept whatever behaviour we are presented with.
There is a fine line between voicing an opinion and being just plain abusive, sometimes that line is crossed in spectacular fashion. Passion yes, frustration, some of the time but plain nasty vitriolic abuse, no thanks.

Nick Flack
30   Posted 29/01/2008 at 12:50:57

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Lue, I?m not so sure it?s personal towards Hibbert, as I think it?s just a typical knee jerk comment that so many Evertonians seem to make.

I watched the Chelsea game last week in a local pub and had to listen to to youngish and one not so young blues make the following comments.

"Fuck off Johnson" ""Fucking shite Arteta" and my personal favourite, "Oooh you're fucking shite" aimed at Ossie.

It?s little wonder we only have short highlights on MOTD when the language coming out of the stands is so bad. I always like to listen to Barry Horne try to contain his laughter on the radio while the bloke infront of him is telling some opposing player what for.
Lee Spargo
31   Posted 29/01/2008 at 12:55:50

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I’m sorry Brian Donnelly, but to suggest that the blame lies with the manager when a player is shit rather than the player himself for actually being, well er - shit, is just total nonesense.

Although sometimes I do cringe with some of the things I hear being shouted at times.
Shaun Sparke
32   Posted 29/01/2008 at 13:48:04

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Lue, I accept your point and agree that people should at least try to show a little respect towards their fellow human beings. However, we dont live in a utopian society and sadly some people are always going to express thier frustrations in a way in which you and I would not. The question on whether we should accept this sort of behaviour could be debated forever, but where do you draw the line on what is acceptable and what isnt? Furthermore, who do we appoint to act as our moral conscience. You might not see any harm in calling somebody a fool, but what about a bloody fool? Is that acceptable. If we attempt to go down this particular path then people are always going to disagree. Yes you are right people should behave with a bit of decorum, but life isnt like that, some people are not like that and they will never change. Should we accept this? Now that is a question that can only be answered on an individual basis.
Ian Ankers
33   Posted 29/01/2008 at 17:38:21

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Whilst I personally would never shout any sort of abuse to one of our own from the terraces, I would never either take offence to someone else venting there anger! They’ve paid there hard earned cash to watch the match, if a player looks to be not pulling his wait, then I believe that is as much an insult from the player to the fan as a bit of abuse from the fan to a player!
If you’ve paid 30 odd quid for a ticket to see a match and on that particular day let’s say Osman (a good example) has one of his ’I don’t want to play today’ performances, then thats disrespectful to the paying fan! If someone then decides to shout ’Come on Osman, get your Finger out’ then fair enough (obviously that’s a clean version of what I’ve heard the punters shout to Ossie). On the same day, I may feel Osmans doing ok, but again, its all about opinion and while some may not agree with the hurling of abuse, I don’t think its anyone right to deny a paying fan his freedom of speech (within reason). Football’s football, we all know what to expect when we go to the match and I’m sure so do the players. And then there’s that old "If I could get 30 grand a week to be shouted at by a few fans, then I’d jump at the chance" chestnut!
Footballer’s are protected enough, without us worring about hurting there feelings! Whilst I’ll always support anyone wearing the blue shirt 100%, I’m also not going to lose sleep over them having there pride or feelings knocked from time to time, especially if its well warranted!

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