Wednesday 16th March 2011
The way those involved in the game have to deal with immediate interviews with passions still running so high is something I have mentioned before. The Kevin Keegan interview from a few years back springs to mind but considering how many players, managers and coaches are faced with interrogation so soon after matches finish, I find it absolutely amazing that such a scene is not witnessed on a regular basis!
This can only be supported I feel by the way we feel as fans in the build up, during and after games. With a number of the accompanying emotions over the last couple of weeks it is this reason alone as to why I have taken a couple of days before compiling my latest thoughts.
The one thing the players rarely get to experience is what it is like to be a travelling fan, the efforts to make the games, the banter between supporters and the whole 'in the stands' scenario.
Having done this week-in week-out for decades now I believe I am in a position to bring up situations that make even me scratch my head.
Our travelling support up at Old Trafford was simply fantastic on one hand but completely mystifying on another. With things not going our way for the fourth time in a couple of weeks the 9,000 Gooners completely outsang our hosts, many of your e-mails confirming we sounded loud and proud on the TV.
My next point is aimed very much at a minority of our great fans. It is not an accusation, just my opinion, but those involved will know if it includes them.
This has arguably been one of the most frustrating and disappointing couple of weeks in our history. Defeats in crucial matches obviously being the No 1 factor but getting so close, some quite dreadful refereeing decisions and yet more lengthy injuries to key players at such important times all make up the overall package.
Deep down we all know we are in this together and we all definitely want the same thing. We all have our own opinions about decisions made on and off the pitch, the way we play and how games progress. All of those have an element of right and wrong. That is what makes the sport we all love so great.
For me however, there is one aspect of the support we give as fans I just do not get. With time running out on Saturday and our exit from the FA Cup looking increasingly likely, there were Gooners around me that started to boo one or two of our players.
I rarely get angry, I'm just not that type of bloke but when I hear that it gets under my skin. Of course I accept the argument that when a fan pays huge amounts of money to attend games he should be able to vent his frustration in the way he sees fit. When we all want the team to win however, I simply do not understand how this helps in any way whatsoever.
Please let me emphasise here that generally the support was magnificent on the day as I mentioned above and these occasions happen rarely. I just wish those of us Gooners who have been guilty of this were to think about if it really helps.
Whatever has happened over the last couple of weeks we head to The Hawthorns on Saturday second in the Premier League and fighting for the title.
As a fan, just like each and every one of you, all I want from the day is three points.
We can help. Of that there is no doubt.
Come on you mighty reds.
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