Should Arsenal fans show more compassion when criticising players?

Criticism of players although deserved at times, SHOULD be worded better!

With mental health so apparent right now and with players not knowing when their end in football will come, should we be more careful of the way we word our criticism?

Players go out every week and sometimes give their all, yet there are times when they don’t, and this is where frustration and criticism come to the forefront for fans.

So as hard as it may be to watch as an Arsenal fan and see players underperforming when we know they can do better, and sometimes as much as they deserve it, there are ways around criticism that can make it seem less harsh and attacking.

We know that footballers and their playing career do not last forever. Once a player hits 30 they’ve got at the most three or four years more, depending on the player and their health of course, before they have to retire, or choose to retire as their body cannot handle it anymore.

And there’s a big difference of football being taken away from players because they have come to the end of their career where their body cannot handle it anymore, and football being taken away from them because they have suffered a career ending injury at a young age or early stage in their career.

This is the most awful and heart-breaking thing that can ever happen to a player, and I’m speaking from experience of someone who used to play football and had to give it up, not through choice but due to getting a serious injury.

So put yourself in their shoes and imagine you’re a professional footballer, you work so hard from a very young age, your forced to move away from your family and have made many sacrifices to gt to where you are today, then one day you have a game and get seriously injured. It’s one that you can’t come back from but if you do, you’ll never be the same again. You then come to the realisation that you must give up your passion in life and all your hard work that you have given everything to achieve, because you’re injured and can no longer play.

For some people that’s a heartbreak in itself and is the end of life as they know it. For some people this messes them up physically and mentally and stays with them forever, and criticism does the same.

It is easy for us to write articles on players’ performances and analyse from afar, but they never fully know when their last game will be. And believe me as an ex-footballer, nobody is as critical on a performance, as a footballer is of themselves.

So what I’m trying to say is, sudden injuries just goes to show that playing careers are unpredictable and do not last forever. Sometimes the harsh criticism of players, although at times and in some cases for some is deserved, can affect them mentally, more than we may think and maybe we should be less attacking and more productive, with positive criticism of things they can try and improve on and do slightly better, rather than trying to bombard them with negatives each time they have a poor performance.

I have been guilty of criticising many players but I welcome criticism myself. Constructive criticism is acceptable if it is not rude or overstepping the mark. But when it oversteps, that’s when people should stop and think!

One minute as a footballer you think you’ve got your whole life ahead of you in your playing career and that you have many years to come, and the next minute you could be lying in the treatment room with an injury that has left you seriously injured and potentially out for a very long time or even forever.

As we have seen over the years, many Arsenal players have unfortunately had long-term injuries but luckily for them they have come back. This can be down to many things: the mental health of a player themselves, the success of an operation and the amazing physio, rehab and recovery teams around them.

However, some players are not so lucky to have the most modern technology and help available. And some, as per myself, suffer career ending injuries that no matter what you do you just cannot come back from.

One player that comes to mind for me with regards to injuries is Eduardo Da Silva, who suffered an unfortunate leg break in 2008 against Birmingham, and upon return for me, was never the same again, and I am sure he had his fair share of criticism which would have impacted him mentally too.

So, think about it the next time you’re sitting at a game and criticising a player for not running fast enough, not scoring or at fault for conceding, because you never know what is going on mentally with them and you never know from one minute to the next what is going to happen and when or how their career will end.

As with anything in life, football is unpredictable and although it can be argued that footballers have chosen their career, nobody can be prepared for a potentially life changing injury as these things are not planned, so let’s not be as harsh or critical on players, at least not in the bitter or angrily attacking way.

Footballers are only human at the end of the day and nobody deserves to have a career ending injury no matter who they play for!

Shenel Osman


Tags careers injuries


  1. It’s part of being a celebrity in any walk of life unfortunately.

    If they don’t want to deal with the pressure/expectation they are more than welcome to hang up their boots, forego their massive salaries and get a “normal” day job.

  2. The good criticism comes with suggestion(s), to improve a player, a manager or someone else

    If a “criticism” comes with personal bias, name-calling, derogatory comments and condemnation, it’s no longer a criticism

  3. Hate me if you wish. But if I had the salaries of these guys, I won’t mind the criticism, especially considering that they give almost NOTHING tangible back to society, bar a precious few. Humongous salaries come with humongous expectations. Moreover, it’s a job and they sell their services to the highest bidder anyway. Sorry for your injury Shenel

    1. most of the time that would be true dgr8xt but some of the commentary goes way too far and it often gets multiple rehits and replys.

      Resiliency varies so much from person to person that what roles off your back throws me for a loop.

      Think of some of the commentary directed at Marcus Rashford over the school lunch issue – personally I am with him but it is absolutely okay to disagree with his stand – but not when the commentary leaves the issue and becomes overly personal.

      By social media standards this is a pretty decent place for commentary and disagreement but sometimes people get really worked up and the fur starts flying. I suspect most of us regret the behaviour after the fact – and we would not have gotten nearly as far if in person.

  4. NO……..Arsenal fans are doing just fine…..Arsenal fans criticize for player performance…..and they can….they do it well….and players know the fans expectations………..!

    1. DK the word “compassion” has many nuanced meanings and – as you know nothing about me – I would be grateful if you withdraw the comment above, as it shows your lack of knowledge of how I live my life and much else about me besides, that you cannot possibly know.
      I know merely that you do not care for me but otherwise I know nothing about you and I would never write such a post to you as you have done to me.

      1. Lol
        Good one jon ,when cornered act the victim ,a simple question offered to you to your daily barrage of our players when you call out fans so often for very same thing if they speak out of line regarding our manager .
        You can not have it both ways mate it was a simple article question which I thought you would be best to answer .

        1. DK your clear vendeta against me reveals so much more about the sort of person you are than you ever realise!
          Look, there was absolutely no proper reason for your first post on here about me.
          As I have never been one who is unable to defend myself against unwarranted or unnecessary attack on my character – about which you, never having met me or spoken to me, know absolutely nothing – I will always defend my character from know nothing and unfair attacks by such as you DK.
          So do please cease this childish vendetta AND ACT AS AN ADULT SHOULD ACT.

          1. Ok jon
            You call it a vendetta !
            How about your constant call outs about Me Reggie , logic HH and anyone else who dares have a different of opinion that does not toe your line buddy ,let’s face it you have unprecedented aura about you that your never wrong .
            Facts :
            I’m negative about Arteta
            Your negative about 6-7 players that currently play for us .
            So how does that make me less of a supporter than anyone else which you constantly spew out than you ?
            Now if I’m not mistaken both manager and players are payed employees of the club so please tell me what makes a fan and what makes a supporter and this is something that you continually talk about .
            You also talk about history not being important when we had the invincible article but we saw over the past week your push to have a manager from the 1930s as our best manager ever when fans were talking about Wenger as our best ever .
            Contradicting yourself at every turn buddy .

            1. DK, you and I are on different planets where recollection of past events is concerned. You are deliberately taking some of my comments out of context and choosing to mislead other Gooners and that is out of order.

              I will therefore have no further discussion directly with you as its a waste of my time and my intellect.

              I will however always be myself and will take no notice of any of the constant drivel – untrue drivel too- that you use about my posts.

              Easy for any one to leave out context and so misrepresent comments! You are something of an expert at that, my devious friend.

              So no more direct conversation from me to you.

              But I reserve the right, if I so choose, to play you at your own devious underhand game and see how you like it. You are not an honourable Gooner.

              1. Swerve the questions put to you and come back with some complete and utter nonsense hoping for the best .
                Classic jonny boy .
                I’m so glad that you have come to the same crossroads that I came to 6 months ago regarding Not wanting to interact with you , just remember to leave my name out of any of your silly future posts then buddy we will be all good .

                1. I expected him to pull the “no conversation with you ever again” when you cornered him with his never ending contradictions. That Chapman and history doesn’t matter was a good one.

                  Being negative towards a coach is miles better than being negative towards half the squad while giving never ending sermons about true support.

                  1. Plus ‘taken out of context’ HH! 😆 Lost count the amount of times that line has been used!

                    Good for you, Dan Kit 👍

  5. We probably should be more compassionate but it is unlikely. Sports fans have always been pretty hard on our heroes or the equivalent villains. I do think that social media has further eroded social niceties and makes it really easy to totally unload on people.

    We really should be thinking that we are speaking directly to somebody as we type. I try to do that (but sometimes fail…)

  6. I agree about being compassionate, specially when I remember injuries to Eduardo, Ramsey and Diabe. After all, footballers are humans and the fact that they are paid handsomely is because world over, football is the most popular sport and the TV money is huge, which is not their doing. Another thing is that they overcome so much stiff competition to get to where they have gotten to so probably they deserve their money due to their sheer hard work and talent. The money factor aside, humanely speaking, criticism should be moderated and the abuse some footballers receive on social media is uncalled for, uncouth and irrational. There should be some moderation and the tolerance and patience level must be raised.

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