Writer: Stuart Smith
Date:Monday January 14 2008
It didn't take too long long.
'Build us a young team we'll give them time to grow. We'll back them all the way, come thick or thin, through rough and smooth.' they said.
That was when Glenn Hoddle was in charge and the blame for failed promotion was aimed at "over paid, ageing ex Premiership players", supposedly happy to see out their contracts for the minimum of effort, not caring if they win, lose or draw.
I don't believe anyone ever actually said that to Sparky's face mind. Not unless it was from the safety of the South Bank.
Having asked him a contentious question once myself, with no malicious intent I can atest to the fact it wouldn't have gone down too well.
'Give us a manager who understands us. One who talks to the fans with passion, pride and honesty and we'll take him to our hearts as one of our own, and give him time, we're sick of the fast turn around of managers, we need stability!."
That was the cry following the departure of the man who rarely attended club functions, kept the fans at arms length and appeared so aloof it bordererd on narcissism. In fact, maybe it was.
'You dont know what you're doing.'
'There's only one Paul Ince.'
Cheering substitutions, and booing those still on the field.
A grand way of proving you're as good as your word. A grand way indeed.
No one's happy with the current run. No one's ecstatic at the slump in form, but is the best way to see the side through it heaping violent critisism on already pressured shoulders?
Few outside the realm of football fandom would say it is.
But football is about emotions, not logic, and so the vocal dissenters will no doubt get louder before they become any quieter.
To do otherwise is to be labelled a 'happy-clapper', delivered in derision as an insult, as if not flinging vociferous negativity toward the pitch in some way maligns the football credential of being 'a real fan'.
Mick McCarthy's greatest challenge since taking on a job many managers wouldn't entertain outside of a straightjacket isn't to get the 'fans' back onside, no matter how high an opinion the boo boys have of themselves.
It's ignoring them.
Date:Monday January 14 2008
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