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Its Time To Support - Wigan Athletic

Can you just imagine it, you`re sat in the cinema watching Braveheart, the Scottish army is on the field at Stirling but there`s trouble in the ranks, the rabble of soldiers are dissenting the reasons for fighting against the English, they are ready to turn their backs on their leaders and leave the battlefield.

Just as they are starting to turn six or seven horsemen come from over a hill and ride through to the front, its William Wallace, nah says one Wallace is 7 feet tall, aye says Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, aye he is and if Wallace was here he`d consume the English with bolts of lightening from his eyes and thunderbolts from his arse, I am William WallaceÖpicture it?

Just as the tension is starting to grip and the excitement is tingling Mel Gibson drops his Scottish accent and bellows the corniest `Freedom` you are ever likely to hear, to your surprise the members of the audience start to boo, someone near you screams 'get off Gibson, you`re crap`, and the barracking continues throughout the rest of the movie, embarrassing or what?

Take it up a level and imagine you are in a theatre watching a play, the same thing happens there, how would that affect the actors, would it spur them on to, pardon the pun, `get their act together` or would it truly ruin their performance and lead to the booers and jeerers no doubt being evicted from the premises.

Why should they be evicted, they have paid their money and surely should be allowed to vent their feelings towards someone whose confidence is shot to pieces?

A ridiculous notion I hope you agree, booing and jeering and snarling abuse at performers just because they drop a line or mis-quote a passage or fumble an accent isn`t acceptable for lots of reasons, so why do people feel its acceptable at a football game?

Last week before the Latics Stoke game, as the Wigan Athletic team was being read out there were boos when Jason Scotlands name was announced, a ball hadn`t been kicked and one of our own players who`s confidence is rattled to start with was booed by his own supporters.

Throughout the game I noticed people jumping from their seats when a ball was mis-controlled or possession lost or a chance missed, they were spitting venomous insults at the players, the strongest language being used, this wasn`t good natured or funny as so often it has been in the past this was vile, abusive anger directed at our own players.

This behaviour of our fans hasn`t been isolated to the Stoke game, its something that`s been occurring for most of the season, I find it pretty disturbing, I see dads with their young children sat beside them stand up and start to gesticulate towards a particular Latics player, hurling a tirade of gross insults, what a great example of how to be a caring human being they are setting.

Don`t give me they are passionate about the Latics, if they are passionate then they`d get behind the team instead of making bad situations worse, don`t tell me that they have paid their money and are entitled to show dissatisfaction, I have also paid my money and I don`t want to be spat upon when over active mouths cant control the venom or get continually bumped as angry arm waving men jump from their seats.

Something as happened at the Latics this season, something that I find quite embarrassing if the truth be told.

We are changing from a club, and by that I mean the supporters, from a club that could laugh at its self, a club that had no airs or graces, no pretence, no concern of what others thought of us, we knew what the rough times were because we`ve been there and lived them, but we are seeming to forget these qualities.

Now we are growing into Premier League supporters, we want it easy, when the going gets tough we`ll get off, we want players with flair and skill but also they have to get stuck in like an old centre-half, have the work rate of a steam locomotive and have their heart and soul in the club, it aint going to happen and it never did, we should appreciate what we are, we are Wigan Athletic, a small club in the biggest league in the world and its fantastic to be here.

To stay here we need to stay together, be supportive not destructive, it is without doubt that the team is going through a rough patch and we are definitely flirting with relegation, the last thing that the players need is the supporters to be on their backs.

Certain clubs are noted for the passion of their support and this is highlighted through desperate times, Manchester City are one and at the moment Portsmouth fans are like a beacon as to what it means to support your club through thick and thin.

To be totally corny myself and getting back to Braveheart, Mel Gibson at the scene described above when the Scottish army was about to run away at Stirling said 'you may run, but years from now what would you give for just one chance to come back to this day`

Wednesdays visit of Bolton to the DW Stadium is a massive game for the Latics and the players will need the supporters to play their part and get behind the team, lets make a difference and leave the ranting and booing behind on the message boards.

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The Journalist

Writer: Barry Worthington Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday February 16 2010

Time: 9:42AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
A big game on Wednesday, bring it on
Report Abuse
16/02/2010 09:49:00

how do we support a team with a manager who only wish to use his cronies
Report Abuse
16/02/2010 10:22:00

Most of our fans are morons.
Report Abuse
16/02/2010 10:41:00

Good article, booing mistakes is pointless (literally there will be no points).
Report Abuse
16/02/2010 10:42:00

I cant answer that for you lakaria, but the players have enough to cope with on the field without the supporters behaving like they do...its not the fact that the fans get downhearted or frustrated but the sheer venom and abuse that gets hurled at certain players that bothers me, why cant we leave all that to the message boards and at least whilst we are at the games get behind them and show encouragement, surely the fans have their part to play as well
Report Abuse
16/02/2010 11:19:00

Lakaria, that's a riddiculous comment and proves this article is spot on. I suppose his cronies are Scotland and Gomez who were both top players in the championship last season. They became his 'cronies' by performing for him on the pitch. Both had been dropped after failing to live up to expectations. He decided to start Scotland and then came the abuse. I'm ashamed to be a Wiganer sometimes....
Report Abuse
16/02/2010 13:24:00

Venom and abuse have no place, report the moronss far as who are hurling it. However, it can be frustrating to see the continual selection of Scotland who, at half way through the season has yet to score a league goal. As far as Gomez is concerned, he is much to slow. I have had bottles of milk that have turned quicker than he does. If these two coninue to play we will definately go down. The simple fact is, to stay up we need points and to get points we need goals and neither of these two are likely to get them. The game tomorrow is a must win game, lose this one and even at this stage I doubt whether we could recover.
Standish mon
Report Abuse
16/02/2010 15:39:00

I thought I was the lone voice in the West Stand, great article ! Some folk need to look up the word SUPPORTERS in the dictionary.
Report Abuse
16/02/2010 17:54:00

Great article, I thought I was the lone voice in the Springfield Stand, some folk need to look up the word SUPPORTERS in the dictionary.
Report Abuse
16/02/2010 17:56:00

Standish, it can be frustrating, but that's no reason to boo them. By all means boo players who have screwed the club over but neither of these guys have. Neither have yet been a success but I honestly think we play our best football when Scotland is up front. If he could get a goal or two he'd be a very decent player for us. I'm not convinced that Gomez wont come good either but I certainly wouldnt play him ahead of Watson.
Report Abuse
17/02/2010 00:07:00

I can't agree with all you say here, anyone who knows me knows I am not a venomous person for a start, but I will defend the right of booing ,booing has always been in our culture. If you take away the rights to vent emotion, you will end up with no one at a football match in the future. We boo when our players are sent off, and we boo the referee clearly can't do his job. We boo when oposing fans have a go at our players and we defend then when they should be defended. You can't pick and choose when people should and shouldn't boo. Political correctness has taken over the whole country. We are a borderline Police State already. Freedoms beings slashed by a Government obsessed with taking freedom away. The day you take away the right for people to vent their feelings is the day of the slippery slope to no fans at football clubs at all and I think I speak for the majority of supporters. Incidentally, we have players at Wigan who will earn more than our fans can earn in ten life times. Very often they play with no passion or commitment. If performers or any type whether they be Actor on a stage, a comedian, or musical band, a cook that canít cook, or a plumber that leaves you with leaky pipes everywhere, believe me they will get booed. Wigan fans won't boo when it's clear the players are trying their best, regardless of the result and some of these Wigan players should be ashamed at their own performances, and should take a good look at themselves. At least, in your comparison, the Scottish tried their best to beat the English and fought with a passion, they lost of course in the end, and Iím sure there were a few Scottish booís at the English when they lost the fight, and to be expected. As for only being Wigan Athletic, a small club, what's that got to do with it? Not everyone likes the way these players perform, at times. Indeed if they played for Manchester UTD, they would get booed out of Manchester, never mind off the pitch at Wigan, because at times they are plain lazy and play with no passion. It has never been easy to be a Premiership supporter, and we didn't expect it to be easy. You only have to ask the Bolton, Blackburn, Fulham, West Brom, and Sheffield UTN. Derby etc supporters to name but a few whether it was easy or not. Every fan who has a season ticket knows this. But as fare paying supporters we expect the players to show they care about this Great Club of ours and try their hardest. Dave Whelan will expect the same. He may be too old to boo, but he must be very annoyed when he has to pay a player 30k/ that week for not trying. We the supporters want them to try their best for 90 mins. We want them to come off that field and say, I gave my all for Wigan today no matter what, If they do that much, there will be no boo's. Some of these players need a reality check. We have fans who struggle to pay to watch them perform, and if we the fans did our jobs like they do at times then the word sacked comes to mind. I do believe these players owe it to the fans to give it their all and stop expects to be wrapped up in cotton wool, like over paid spoilt brats all the time. If you donít like what I say, then tough. Itís a hard world out there for many millions of people, I will have my say as long as this system we have in place allows me the freedom to do.
Report Abuse
17/02/2010 09:09:00

The only time that booing is mentioned in the article was the fact Scotland got booed BEFORE the game and I fervently disagree with you, booing in my humble opinion is destructive and shows how fickle our supporters are but even though it makes me cringe if people want to boo let them, they have paid their money, I too have paid mine and I wont boo because I go to support the team at the game, the abuse that gets shouted at the players from our own supporters is both a disgrace and disgusting....by the way you dont speak for the majority of our supporters and neither do I, we speak for our selves as we see it and in our opinion, some people will agree with all you say, some a little and others none of what you say, the same goes for my article....does it really matter what they earn? Well it does if you're Pompey I suppose but I remember a quote 'if you pay peanuts...' We play a certain style, that style dictates at what pace we play, not the player, the boss as already said he'll bring in the players who will.....last week against Stoke a guy sat at the back of me screamed 'get off Scotland you're crap, you fat f****** w*****, you couldnt score in a brothel, get back to Swansea you f****** t***'...very constructive, and he should be allowed to bellow this because he's paid his money? If this is the way forward for football spectating then I might just take to watching another sport, I can see the 1970's and 80's recurring at this rate.
Report Abuse
17/02/2010 11:04:00

Excellent article!
Report Abuse
17/02/2010 11:48:00

In this case I would hazard a guess and say the Majority of supporters were booing when Scotland came on. I don't speak for them. They spoke for themselves, and they have spoke before and will do again. It is their right, and you should NOT take that away, whether you like it or not. There are reasons for this. They also booed when Gomez came on. His work ethic is awful, and since he came it has got worse. He is lazy and in all honesty, Swansea wouldn't have him back. I didn't boo, but I believe that supporters have that RIGHT. It does matter what they players earn. They are paid to perform and they are on fantastic wages, to the point if disgusting, but that's another matter, they are lucky to be earning wages doing what they love to do. Millions of people have no choice in the matter. I won't be pinned down here by what you heard from a single supporter behind you, and I donít agree with that, but that is one fan. And I think supporters who have a need to support in that way maybe need to be sat with supporters who maybe have the same need to vent their feelings in that way. I will not argue for or against. We do need a family stand, and thatís normal at most clubs. Can we stick with one subject matter and separate the too. There are many supporters who booed, in fact the majority, I do believe. Many this season have left before the game ends on a number of occasions, we have been that bad.. I don't. I stay till the bitter end, but I defend the right of those people to do so. Like I said, I won't be pinned down by generalisations. Please don't tell me you want to stop swearing either. I have a witness who will tell you I used the word's "*****e ref" A woman in front of me told me not to swear with her children there! I'm not having it. They sit there like morons and never speak or say a word in support of the Latics, and sometimes donít even bother to turn up. Indeed all 4 of them sit there like zombies. That is their right, but donít tell me I have to do the same. I enjoy my football. If you want to turn football into Church yards, then ban swearing too. You will end up with no fans at football. Swearing has always been the case at football matches. It is a game of passion, and you have to accept the fact that swearing is part of it. The ones that get abusive need help. But booing is nothing to do with that.
Report Abuse
17/02/2010 12:32:00

By the way Baz.. I know you love your football. No need to go to such extreme's changing to another sport (hope it's not Rugby), though I like an occasional Rugby game, and I want our Rugby team to also be successful, if thatís allowed. But you know what the East stand is like. There are many decent people in the East Stand. I understand it is somewhat quieter in the West Stand, too quiet for some people who I know want to move to the East Stand but every man to their own. As the saying goes over there, don't wake me up!! But they are quieter fans, and I respect that. They should and do respect the fact that we in the East are rowdier. Maybe it's a good idea for fans to find their own level in this regard, but watching another sport is a bit extreme, and I will stick my neck out here again, I think you donít mean it. The biggest advantage is you'd be going to the Springfield Park Stand. Now that can't be a bad thing. And Don's over there too :) and in that view it has a draw for me. I wish our Stand was the Springfield park Stand, but that decision was not mine.
Report Abuse
17/02/2010 12:53:00

There isnt just one fan screaming abuse, that was one example, there are many, I dont care what anyone says but calling one of your own players the names that Scotland gets called isnt supporting, I dont like Gomez, I think he's absolute poop but at the ground I would scream at him, I'd encourage him and when he flops I sigh I dont start to boo at the top of my voice and scream obsenities because the next time he's on the ball I dont want him to be frightened to death of my reaction...the subject matter of this thread was about fans hurling abuse at players, not booing and definitely not wages..if you cant be passionate without swearing then theres something wrong...the old bastion of football grounds being a male domain was left firmly behind in the past, these kids are our future supporters....we have suffered from fans leaving early since Springfield Park days, it happens at lots of clubs, again its something that I dont understand but people have their reasons...I wont get into the East West thing, basically because its bollox, grown men screaming obscenities at football players is wrong, if it wasnt so offensive it'd be quite hillarious to watch them make fools of themselves....all this article is saying and everyone else gets it is, lets get behind the lads instead of screaming ****e at them, nothing to do with booing, leaving early, swearing where you sit, players wages etc, etc, etc, but about getting behind the team and if thats too much to want when we are approaching the biggest game of our season to date then maybe the screamers are watching the wrong sport?
Report Abuse
17/02/2010 13:20:00

Well, most people were I am swear occasionally but not all the time. I'm not far from you but I don't hear what you do, and It would not be nice I agree. But I don't want swearing or booing banned. If we start banning it will go the other way and we will end up like the song says. "It's just like being in church" and we don't want that either. I do think the guy that screams like you say, needs help. There were cries from the crowd to Gomez when he'd been on the pitch 5 mins and he was so far behind the pace of the game against Stoke, and his tacking was nonexistent. His passing was all over the show. If he can't play in front of a crowd with expectation, from a substitution, then he should find another job or go down a level or two were he can get away with that standard. Scotland does at least try, but try as he might, he isn't good enough, and it's mad to keep playing him, with Moses and Moreno on the bench. Your right. This is a game we need to win. We need the fans to make a noise, and I donít mean snoring. To me itís a 6 pointer, and itís a must win game or we are in serious trouble. I hope that the Manager and players understand what the club needs and what the fans want, 110 percent, to try your hardest, to play with a passion for a Great Club and great supporters. They will not get booed. They will be applauded no matter what the result if each and every one of these players gives their all. It isnít too much to ask. If they donít and continue in the same manner, be of no doubt we will not survive. Now is the time. Comon the Blues
Report Abuse
17/02/2010 13:55:00

C'mon the blues, lets get the win
Report Abuse
17/02/2010 15:13:00


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