Let’s get straight to the point, shall we? I was one of the fans booing the loudest on Saturday afternoon when Emmanuel Eboue tackled Kolo Toure so that he could pass the ball directly to a Wigan player and I will defend my right to do so no matter what the sanctimonious idiots in the media and on certain websites and message boards say or think.
When I got home having seen one of the most abject and pathetic displays of football from an individual Arsenal player in my entire life, I find that almost the entire world thinks that no “proper” Arsenal fan should have booed Emmanuel Eboue for doing what he did and in fact most people feel sorry for him because “he was tired and playing out of position”!
I do not feel sorry for Emmanuel Eboue – I feel sorry for the legions of proper Arsenal fans who, like me, have been paying money year in, year out to go and watch us play for most of their lives and taken the lows so they can enjoy the highs of supporting a football club. I feel sorry for them because Eboue let us down yesterday. Regardless of whether he was out of position or unfit, no player deserves to take the adulation and admiration of the fans when they play well if they don’t expect to get verbally abused when they make a mistake (no, SEVERAL mistakes!) as bad as that. You play well, you get cheered – you play embarrassingly badly, you get booed. Its as simple as that.
Radio 5 described the incident with Toure this morning like this:-
he came on, playing out of position, having not played for 4 or 5 weeks, gave the ball away and was roundly booed by some of the Arsenal fans
Conveniently forgetting to mention 2 things – firstly, that he has been nothing but absolute tripe for us for the last 2 or 3 years and in actual fact the best thing he has ever done for us (winning the free kick that led to Sol’s goal in the Champions League final) was a DIVE! Secondly, he TACKLED HIS OWN PLAYER, seconds after being frantically urged by that player to make a run so he could pass to him! And we, the fans, are supposed to quietly applaud and say “well, at least he tried” ?! Nonsense.
The stadium was like a morgue yesterday, from start to finish – the goal included. More than half the stadium consisted of tourists or first (and possibly only!) timers who weren’t at all interested in watching the football or being passionate about their team – and that includes the Wigan fans who pathetically couldn’t even half fill their allocation for a 3pm Saturday kick off. There were 2 “supporters” in front of us who arrived half an hour late for the match and the first thing they did when they arrived was to go and get a hotdog.
In my opinion, it is THESE people who are NOT the proper fans – not people like me who, having been going to Arsenal for 25 years and being forced watch this overpaid waste of space try to play football, happens to have a vocal opinion when he tackles his own team mate near the end of a game in which we’re struggling to hang on to a slender lead.
If the wider football community want to take passionate people like me out of the game then so be it. But I would much rather listen to some atmosphere at a football match than a load of executives quietly munching on their hotdogs muttering under their breath.