If there’s one thing I hate more than watching Pompey lose, it’s watching Pompey win in front of the disrespectful minority.
Yesterday’s 2-0 win was a big, big result in our hunt for a top-three spot. Matt Clarke’s header in the second minute looked to set a free-scoring tone for the match but fans waited 90 minutes for Kal Naismith to secure all three points.
It was a bright start from Paul Cook’s side but characteristically of Pompey this year (and probably last year), we made hard work of it.
But that’s football. Stanley set their stall out and were hard to break down. But despite playing well, a minority of Fratton Park felt the need to show their disdain – booing and jeering the players.
Why? Why the absolute f**k is that necessary?
It’s a trait of modern football – and modern Pompey – that leaves a sour taste in my mouth and makes me wonder whether attending myself is worthwhile. I – like many – look forward to a Saturday afternoon as I look to cheer Pompey on.
Some, though, seem to bottle up their frustrations over the week and take it out on the players, irrespective of performance or result.
Granted – there were some frustrations in yesterday’s game. A few misplaced passes, Forde taking a while to release the ball, not enough quality into the final third. That’s football.
But to sit amongst fans who boo when we misplace a pass, or cheer when Gary Roberts is taken off (much like Michael Smith in recent weeks) is absolutely abysmal from a powerful and important fan base.
Players and managers join our proud club in every attempt to make us better. To get us up the divisions and get us back where we belong. But what message are we sending to those people when we create a couldron of nerves each home game?
Visiting teams almost get a free pass. They know that, if they can hold on to a draw for the first half an hour, fans will get impatient as if they’ve paid their money, so they’re entitled to see a goal, or entitled to see us dominate every week.
League Two (and League One) are notoriously physical leagues and tough to get out of. So even if we can get up, brace yourselves for more of the same. It’s disappointing that a small section of our fanbase feel we’re entitled to go up without conceding a goal.
If I was a player, I’d be appalled. I feel sorry for players like Smith, Roberts and Kal Naismith, who’ve all been subjected to abuse at Fratton Park.
After Naismith scored yesterday, he cupped his ear as he ran past the North Stand. Good on the lad. I hope the idiots who gave him stick ate a nice wedge of humble pie.
Footballers and managers get paid really well. Don’t get me wrong. And as managers in any profession, you’re paid to deliver. But if I walked into work tomorrow and got berated, shouted and sworn at for not delivering my best work, that’s deemed totally unacceptable.
Why is football any different? Why are we entitled to do that? We’re not.
Calm the f**k down or get the f**k out.
Photo: LMS Magazine