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Booooooooooo!


ChrisVillan
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Villa fans are getting slaughtered in the press this week after "booing" Gabriel Agbonlahor. Why am I not surprised that we're the evil ones when it happens all over the country every week (and we didn't even do it)?

It's Tuesday, and Aston Villa supporters are still public enemy number one. On Sunday afternoon, boos rang around Villa Park when Zat Knight was sacrificed to bring on John Carew on the hour. Then, as Gabriel Agbonlahor was replaced by Nathan Delfouneso, ironic cheers met his exit.

Firstly, I'd like to clear a couple of things up. Nobody, to my ears, booed either Knight or, as widely reported by the London-centric bullshit merchants in the press, Agbonlahor.

The boos when Knight was substituted were not aimed at Knight (or Carew), but at the strange decision to sacrifice a centre half - at least that's my interpretation. Moving James Milner to right back, Luke Young to centre back and Nigel Reo-Coker to left back is bizarre. Playing hoofball to Carew and Heskey, the man who should have gone off (not a reflection on him, just a tactical change I would have favoured) is suicidal. The decision was booed, not the player.

The Agbonlahor situation was unsavoury, but it wasn't nearly what the media has made of it. The ironic cheers (not boos, last time I checked) were not helpful and will have done little to encourage a player clearly struggling for form. But again, they weren't aimed at him. From where I was sitting, they appeared to be directed squarely at Martin O'Neill, an expression of surprise and relief that one of his favourites is replaceable after all.

Neither incident was pleasant or necessary, but both were understandable and the reaction to Agbonlahor's substitution has been widely mis-reported.

Unsurprisingly, Villa supporters as a whole are being lambasted - two days later! - for "booing" a young local lad. Simply not the case. But what irritates me so much about the reporting of this incident is not the inaccuracy, but the longevity and the ferocity. While Villa fans are being burnt at the stake for having the audacity to express our displeasure at our manager - a possibility not even floated by the nasty rags that have reported this - plenty of other clubs have booed this season and been criticised only in passing.

Chelsea, still hanging by a thread in a fight for the title, have had fans boo their team. Arsenal fans treat individual players absolutely shockingly, booing Emmanuel Eboue regularly and slating Nicklas Bendtner. But with a press corps desperately keen to maintain the "Big Four" - and completely London-biased - it gets little exposure. However, when there are mid-choke murmurs of discontent at Villa, the newspapers go for the jugular.

Booing individual players is just wrong, and in truth it's been a long old while since it's happened at Villa. Yet when there is a sniff, it stays in the news for days.

There was no booing of individual players at all, though the manager got a bit for taking Knight off. And all the patronising crap we hear from national hacks blabbering on about how we should be grateful the little old Villa are in the top five is starting to make me feel physically sick. The "Big Four" is a closed shop, and has the newspapers, SKY and, of course, each other, on its side. So the closer we get, the more the media will jump on every negative it can.

Let's hope we need to get used to it.

ChrisVillan

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Can't argue with any of that Chris. Well said.

i can.

some of it is accurate, some of it is both paranoid and incorrect, imo.

Arse fans got it in the neck big time for booing E"booo"e. The media lambasted them for several days.

Maybe because we/you concentrate on Villa, we choose not to pay so much attention to it, but they got a lot of grief for their treatment of E"boooo"e.

Also, the reaction to the cheering of the subbing of Gabby should be partly laid at MON's doorstep, and not just the press, who may simply have picked up on MON's quotes and run with it.

MON has said our cheering/booing call it what you will was aimed at gabby and was wrong. So the media pick up on this, and take it further.

In fact, what you and many others know is that the cheering was more aimed at MON finally subbing an underperforming player, one who seemingly never gets subbed.

MON could have taken some of the flak off Gabby and realise the ironic cheering was aimed at him, but he didn't do that. Maybe he didn't realise.

But i just don't get all the paranioa. We've had great press all season, IMO, and many pundits have beens saying how great it would be for Villa or someone to break into the sky 4.

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OK fair point about MO'N. Not so sure about the Aersenal fans, though. There was a lot of media coverage, sure, but it was to my ears as much about "why" not just "that's wrong".

In general, there's maybe a wider point, or couple of points. One is generational - my anecdotal evidence is that the booers are the younger fans - maybe teenagers and early 20s - people who have grown up in a world where they can get most stuff instantly, on credit, over the web, or on demand TV and so on. There is not the same level of patience with "slow" things.

When you couple that with the second point - the cost of going to the game you end up with people who have paid large sums who didn't get what they wanted. Regardless of whose "fault" that was, they feel they have a right to express their disappointment/disapproval vociferously.

I personally think it's the height of stupidity, ignorance and contemptibility to behave in that way. But my "values" are different (not better) than theirs. They presumably think people like me are equally stupid for not wanting to let the team/manager/player know that "it's not good enough, do better, try harder" (to paraphrase).

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Also, the reaction to the cheering of the subbing of Gabby should be partly laid at MON's doorstep, and not just the press, who may simply have picked up on MON's quotes and run with it.

MON has said our cheering/booing call it what you will was aimed at gabby and was wrong. So the media pick up on this, and take it further.

In fact, what you and many others know is that the cheering was more aimed at MON finally subbing an underperforming player, one who seemingly never gets subbed.

MON could have taken some of the flak off Gabby and realise the ironic cheering was aimed at him, but he didn't do that. Maybe he didn't realise.

Agree with the MON stuff.

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The things is Pete, the cheering/jeering of a substitution goes on at all clubs that are going through a lull/having a bad patch.

I've seen it at Villa before, and i've seen/heard it at other clubs as well.

Manager X has a "favourite son" who seemingly gets picked come what may, is almost undroppable. That player plays poorly for a number of games, games whihc the team loses, and the fans are rightly baffled that the manager seemingly cannot or won't sub or bench that player.

When the manager finally takes the player off, the fans have no other way of venting their frsutration at the manager than ironic cheers.

they simply have no other way of letting the manager know that he should have done that several weeks ago.

Unfortunately, it is indirectly a criticism of a player most of us appreciate and rate, who is just going through a really bad patch of form/is knackered.

But i think it is to be expected that the fans communicate their frustration to the manager. I'm pretty sure it happens at every club, without exception.

I'm just quite surprised MON has chosen to see it as a slight on gabby, rather than on himself .....

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Agreed Jon.

Isn't part of that Chris's point though - it goes on everywhere, yet at Villa it's more of a story?

Talk to fans of Liverpool who generally don't rate, say, Lucas, or Man U fans who didn't like O'shea and so on...as you say.

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Agreed Jon.

Isn't part of that Chris's point though - it goes on everywhere, yet at Villa it's more of a story?

well, i'd guess it wouldn't be such a story if we were languishing in mid table :winkold:

we've had increased media coverage this season, quite rightly, and mostly really positive.

Now that things have started to go a little bit south, we're getting a bit of bad coverage.

C'est la vie .....

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A million per cent spot on the mark mate!!! We didnt even boo gabby!!!!!! like u said it was ironic cheers that martin's irreplacable was being subbed! and why take zat knight off and like u say, and put milner bloody right back and reo-coker left back?!!! madness in my eyes!

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There is nothing wrong with the whole thing!! Footballers get payed more money in a week than many earn in year to play a sport which most of us would love to play for that much money.They get treated like gods and are idols to many of us.

And this is why It is with in those fans rights who have payed the over priced ticket to watch the game after earning the money from what would be classed as a proper job to boo those players.

if the players in front of them are not performing well enough maybe it wont help the player being booed for there confidence but fans are frustrated and have the right to show this!!

The amount of time the managers are sacked for a team under performing when maybe its just the players are the ones to blame and there not getting the sack.footballers are protected way to much and fans deserve to show their feelings.

and yes im sure when gabby scores a hat trick against Liverpool we will all love him again but thats football fans and that is their right!!

come on the villa and come on gabby get back on form!!

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I think we all need to calm down a little here. Whether some Villa fans booed Gabby or not really shouldn't matter. If they did then they have the right to show their displeasure with either Gabby, or Martin O'Neill, because they pay good money to be entertained by the Villa players and Manager who they trust in making the right decisions for the club, on and indeed of the field!

Gabby has been fantastic for two thirds of the season and has ran himself into the ground for our team. MON should have purchased another striker in January as cover for Gabby in the same way he purchased Heskey for Carew. The fact he did not, has had repercussions for the team and indeed Gabby. Gabby should have been rested long before the Spurs game.

Also, before we all get ourselves into a real tizz, don't be surprised if we take at least a point against Liverpool and a further three against Everton when we revert back to the tried and trusted 4-5-1 system which had given us so much success! No, i haven't forgotten about Man U, but they are unlikely to play as badly again, as they did against Liverpool, so we could be in for the usual tough afternoon at Old Trafford?

However, once the aforementioned games are over, please everyone take a long look at our remaining games. Everyone of them are certainly winable and if we find ourselves three or four points behind Arsenal, remember, Arsenal still have to play Chelsea!

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I find the recent reports in the press so condisending. Its as if we should be thanking our lucky stars we're not fighting relegation and that a top 10 finish is the height of ambition for any villa fan. How dare we threaten the sacred big four?

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I'm just quite surprised MON has chosen to see it as a slight on gabby, rather than on himself .....

That is a bang on reply Jon and I don't understand why MON does not realise it was aimed at him. By having a go at the fans is he not doing exactly the same thing as the fans making there feelings known...?

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First post on here as an exile from the Mail Forum which has become a personal slanging match between posters.

A big thanks to Chris for precisely confirming what I thought about the 'booing' (aka ironic cheers). Gabby has been very poor for game after game recently and yet it took 80 minutes for him to be saved further embarrassment by MON. It was obvious that Gabby was not going to score. My count was one shot directly at the keeper in the full 80 minutes. Big John should have been on at half time with the Fonz giving them a full half to get something back.

As for the Knight substitution I am still scratching my head on how we ended up playing three of the back four out of position. Still let just move on..... :)

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On Sunday afternoon, boos rang around Villa Park when Zat Knight was sacrificed to bring on John Carew on the hour.

I wasn't there of course, but has anyone considered that maybe they were chanting "Careeeeeew" in appreciation of Big John? Seems a pretty common thing for fans to do for players with an "ooooo" sound to their name.

To repeat what I said in an earlier thread, I simply don't understand all the outrage over fans booing players, including your own. Not saying it's right or wrong, better or worse, but these things are just par for the course in New York sports (baseball, basketball, US football, whatever). Guess it's just a cultural thing.

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On Sunday afternoon, boos rang around Villa Park when Zat Knight was sacrificed to bring on John Carew on the hour.

I wasn't there of course, but has anyone considered that maybe they were chanting "Careeeeeew" in appreciation of Big John? Seems a pretty common thing for fans to do for players with an "ooooo" sound to their name.

It wasn't that mate, it really wasn't.

i'm with you, in general, about the booing thing though.

booing and cheering are just different sides of the same coin, for me, and you can't really expect one without the other, especially when results take a downturn

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