Why do Arsenal fans feel the need to abuse our own players?

Stop booing our own by Dan Smith

Over at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea fans gave their players a standing ovation for their effort, despite yet seeing a home win this season. Yet just across London some gooners had spent the afternoon booing their own players.
Xhaka’s substitution was cheered by a section of our fan base. The same ones who verbally abused Mustafi during pre-season. It’s the type of modern-day fan we have which we used to associate Chelsea supporters of having. We used to pride ourselves on having class, of doing things the right way.

If nothing else, it’s self-defeating to be wanting an individual to do the best for your passion, be on their back all the time, then wondering why their confidence is so low?

I think we have our best chance in years of winning at Old Trafford next week, but we are more likely to do that with a confident Xhaka trying a Hollywood pass, rather than playing it safe due to fear of ridicule.

With so much youth hoping to break through, what environment do you want them to develop in? One where you are supported 100 per cent so are free to express yourselves, instead of living in fear of being mocked, so play within themselves?

I’m hoping Mustafi gets a fair reception if he starts in the League Cup this week. While he and Ozil haven’t been featuring in the Prem, the mantle of scapegoat has gone to Xhaka. Verbal abuse has extended to his family and being threatened outside the stadium. It affected him so much that when celebrating goals last Thursday, he did the ssshing gesture to his own fans.

Remember our proud values and pride of doing things the right way? Here’s our captain taunting his own fans, tired of the abuse he’s been getting. Some will say they are entitled to their opinion, especially if they are paying to watch the team. Yet it’s funny how it’s the same names targeted and many other average talents who escape any blame.

To me it’s a generation thing. I don’t remember growing up feeling the need to hound one of my own out of the team, Yet in 2019 we are all free to debate, able to share an opinion around the world within seconds. Some for the sake of views / subscribers have their own agendas…

So, if your off to the Forest tie, I hope you get behind Ozil and Mustafi. If not, don’t ask the likes of Koscielny for respect when he leaves.

Respect works both ways…

Dan Smith

40 Comments

  1. Drew SA says:

    A generation thing? Ok old man,if we outplayed Liverpool and lost, trust me we would not boo. If Messi kept getting red carded every 2 games, the Barca fans would Boooooooooo. If you rubbish, we boooo simple, I’m glad Emery heard the boooooooooo

    1. Akan says:

      Let me tell you what’s abuse. Having to pay for watching that no good useless lazy ass excuse for a football player Xhaka week in week out wreck my team. Oh don’t forget he is getting around 100,000 pounds per WEEK, for stinking the place out and gifting opportunities to our opponents He is a waste of money and time,, and I will continue to booooo until he’s gone. Trust me Booing cannot make him perform any worse than he already does. I mean how can you have a captain. A CAPTAIN who admitted to being scared and frightened of the team at the bottom of the league? It simply cannot be any more demeaning for our club. He was speaking for himself though. I hope I’ve been abusive enough for him to leave right away or turn him into a world-class player,, just kidding that can’t happen

      1. Ddog says:

        So if you earn a lot of money, you warrant abuse from thousands of people!? I call myself a socialist but I still don’t agree with that. I don’t think booing the team when they’ve been really poor is too bad, I mean Real and Barca do it, in fact loads of teams do it. However, picking on individual players feels quite wrong indeed. Xhaka clearly isn’t lazy, he’s a fighter, he’s just not a great football player. But that’s not his fault. He’s doing his best, and we ought to be more empathetic. and yes you pay money and you are angry when we loose, but in any other context having 80,000 people, surrounding you and abusing you, would constitute psychological torture. Personally, I admire they way these athletes handle it. I know I couldn’t, not even for a 100,000 grand a week.

  2. Dickens says:

    I guess since xhaka Is currently an arsenal player, its better to get behind him, give him the moral support till when he’ll depart. As of now we better back him, its for the sake of the team.

    1. kenyanfan says:

      The boos and abuse are justified. It’s a sign of frustration. It’s not necessarily meant to hurt the players but to pass a message to the coach that this player is not good enough to start. It was done to Mustafi and the message was passed and it should be done to pass a message about Xhaka because that’s the only option there is.
      Wenger had to be booked for the management to part ways with him. That’s how it works at Arsenal. Hard way the only way here

      1. Alex says:

        Tell them no fan that hates xhaka but fans are not happy with his display not only this season but in all seasons he has at arsenal but the problem is he was overrated by wenger and emery just inherited that do fans are trying to push emery to make the right decisions like that he made to substitute him the game came to parl

  3. TG says:

    I feel the same as the article. It’s not about whether the player does or doesn’t deserve it… it’s just stupid because it undermines the players confidence. It’s also going to undermine our ability in the transfer market – (some) players won’t want to come to a club with a bad atmosphere.

    We’re there to support. Sometimes in the stands there are people who complain the whole time, picking players up on every mistake. Seriously, if you have such a bad time, maybe you should find another hobby?

  4. Dan kit says:

    I usually agree with your articles Dan ..but not this one .
    The reason Chelsea fans got behind their team was because the way they took it to the champions of Europe,they showed passion and fighting spirit and all with a new and young manager ..
    Now compare that to when we played Liverpool ,we just rolled over and let them pound us .
    Against villa the fans had every right to complain,we were at home against a promoted side and it was embarrassing once again .
    When a footballer is getting payed on average in this league 80k per week and they are making mistakes week after week the fans have every right to boo ,and this isn’t a new issue this as been going on for years be it at arsenal or any other top teams ,you can’t expect fans that work all week to speak what little money they have to be disappointed every time they turn up on match days ,the last time I watched Arsenal cost me and my 2 kids around 400 quid ,for travel ,tickets ,food and drink .
    I haven’t been for 6 years and have spent my money buying season tickets to watch Hereford (my local team)and that 400 quid covers me for the whole season watching them ,and when you watch lower league players you understand the passion they have to try and get themselves seen ,Rarely have I been to a match and heard the crowd boo a player because they understand what they are playing for .
    My point being is fans expect top teams and players to show some fight and if they don’t booing is their release ,it’s better than them throwing coins and bottles like they do in other country’s

    1. Viju Jacob says:

      Dan Kit, I hear ya about most things you have said, but is booing and abusing the answer? I think not and I’m sure you do too, since most times I noticed we are on the same page.
      I agree with you about the way Chelsea played against Liverpool vs how our team played which was all down to Emery, and even then he doesn’t deserve to be booed/abused.
      My two cents.

      1. Dan kit says:

        I hear you ,I’m not saying it’s right but fans that pay so much money to watch them perform so crap week in week out ,for me it’s their release .
        If players don’t want to be booed they have to pull their fingers out their asses and show the fans their money’s worth .
        I’m a builder and if I do shoddy work my customers ain’t goin to boo me they are going to tell me to fck off and then In turn gives me a bad name ,so I work to the highest standards that I can and that’s what fans expect from our players .
        Maybe the booing should be aimed towards management because the players don’t seem to be improving and that comes down to one person .

    2. Mikey says:

      I totally agree with your statement. We have had average players at Arsenal for several years and the last management and board didn’t care as long as we got in the champions league. Now we haven’t made it all the questions are being asked. We need some quality home grown and some top quality purchase to take us to the next level. We are Arsenal who’s fans pay the most for tickets time to start buying what we deserve. Give the manager time to assemble the squad he wants and success will come.

    3. Watman88 says:

      I agree with Dan Kit on this, I went to the game at the weekend with my father to watch the team I’ve followed all my life. We are not members as I sometimes work and or are busy with my family at most weekends, I also don’t live in London so just the return train will cost you 50 quid each every time you go to watch. We got tickets on the door and luckily (or so they said) the only tickets that were left cost £143 each, did seem strange as when your in the stadium you see plenty on empty seats. But hey ho we was there so I wasn’t going back without watching the game.
      So to say I expected a bit of performance was an understatement, Xhaka is on more money a week then most people earn a year so for him to get a bit of stick on the field for not doing his job properly is surely expected by him when he took this high pressure job as a top footballer for a top club?
      In any normal job where you worked for a company and you wasn’t keeping up with the work load or making mistakes or just in general not doing your job right, your boss isn’t going to keep patting you on the back and saying keep your chin up you’ll come through he’s Going to give you a telling of and tell you to do better. Now you can get upset and think everyone’s against you or you can DO better and try harder train harder.
      Xhaka’s style of play is not good enough for the premier league he’s not quick enough and he makes too many mistakes, if you watch him live you will see how much he just stands around waiting for the ball so he can occasionally do a good pass.
      I don’t agree with all the abuse outside of the game and on the internet or directed towards his family of course that’s out of order and there’s no need for it, it is only a game at the end of the day. But when a working man or woman saves up good money to go and watch a game for a top club you want to see a bit of effort and maybe not the same mistakes every game, at least put a shift in. It breaks me when players come on as sub for the last quarter of the game and they still don’t look like they can or can be bothered to run around and make a bit of effort. You don’t have to be talented to run your heart out, I don’t mind paying for that.
      So if people want to voice their opinion in the stadium I think they’ve paid for the right to. And like I say not abuse or threats or insults just opinions like you don’t think he’s doing his job properly.

      1. Dan kit says:

        Exactly watman ,if I went now with both of my kids the train alone would cost me 170 quid for the 3 of us .
        Obviously driving is an option but the faff of going down 3 motorways On a Saturday would never be an option .
        The money that some family’s put towards football they should be getting something in return .so if they wanna boo I’m not going to tell them they are wrong ,at the end of the day they are fans but they are also customers in my book .

    4. Ibrahim says:

      Good we now need Toreira In our midfield

  5. Viju Jacob says:

    Thanks for writing this piece, Dan, and you have your answer right there in the first comment. This entitled lot think it is their right to demean our players as though they own them. That it goes against our Club’s ethos means pipsqueak to them, as I had encountered when condemning Mustafi being abused outside our stadium on his way home. You don’t like, don’t watch and if you watch don’t demean. There are enough forums to express ones’ opinions and even that can be done without resorting to abuse and ridicule. I do call Emery Tinkerman at times and I must stop that now. Critiquing a game and the performances need not get personal or someday soon we may have another Cantonafu kick on display.

  6. John0711 says:

    Fans dont abuse players just the ones who dont give everything/anything eg XHAKA

    I predict either Xhaka will be dropped or Emery will be sacked

  7. If the Chelsea fans went for 15 years without winning the league, am pretty sure you’d feel the frustration in the air. Just look at Man u, been about 5 or 6 years and it’s already a toxic hellhole at OT. Pogba is a virus, Martial is lazy, Ole is a fraud, Woodward is the devil incarnate..?? Young, Valencia, Lukaku and Smalling were their scapegoats before they were replaced and pretty soon it’s going to be Rashford and Mata. All that negativity because of 6 years of failure…so how about Arsenal fans? After years of seeing the same nonsense you tend to be quite negative about everything!

  8. AndersS says:

    Agree. It is totally detrimental to getting the best possible performance.

  9. gazzap says:

    You’re wrong. the fans have been very patient with Xhaka. he has been putting in sub-standard performances for a long time and costing us points. If Emery continues to pick him in a key position it is hurting the club. This is the only way to communicate with Emery that Xhaka is not up to it. Emery had his chances to notice himself but has not done so. The fans pay a lot of money and have a right to voice their opinions on terrible decisions like this.

  10. Truth says:

    Abuse is one thing to criticize another.

    Me saying I don’t think Xhaka should start or Luiz or Sokratis, does that equate to abuse?

    I agree that there is no reason to get personal with players. But to think a player is not very useful or doesn’t make an effort or makes very poor decisions or tackles like my grandmother or should never start again is not abuse in my book

  11. Tom says:

    New Club Captain?
    My prediction on tonight is Rob Holding will Start and be made Captain.
    I wouldn’t be too surprise if he is made our Club Captain thereafter.

    Just my opinion, I haven’t spoken to Unai or have a crystal ball.

    Regarding Abuse
    Regarding slagging off our players, it’s an age old event. Freedom of speech but it is a shame that people dont realise that it actually is not healthy nor helpful for our Team.
    I have already said we should look to make Xhaka a squad player but I wont boo him on matchday, that’s just me personally.

    Most of the time, players are trying their best and their best can only improve when they are encouraged. It’s a fact. It goes the same for you and me. Food for thought!

  12. GunnerDev says:

    I think the boo’s are simply thought patience running out. If fan s cant see change or effort they will will voice there option via booing. Just like the case with wenger and mastafi, both had ample time and no change made until fans made sure of it.

  13. ThirdManJW says:

    There’s a big difference between booing, and verbally abusing a player. I have no problem with the booing, as it’s actually an extremely important tool for the fans to express their feelings about towards player(s)/manager/board.

    In regards to Xhaka, this guy has been playing consistently for over 3 years, and consistently fails. So the fans have finally had enough of it!

    What I do not like is verbal abuse, especially personal abuse, but fans do have the right to say how they feel, especially given how much they paying to be in the stadium.

  14. IBRAHIM says:

    Yes booing is bad but Emery maybe has failed to pick the correct team.give chambers a chance,give toreira,give ozil a chance and see if we won’t atleast be good

  15. Break-on-through says:

    I think social media has a lot to do with it, or it could be the millennials generation. The old Arsenal you would never get this, I’ve never seen it nor heard of it at Arsenal.

    Here we are each season with a section of the fanbase exploring ways to improve on the Arsenal atmosphere, how can you do that with clowns like this on board.

  16. Nitsram says:

    100% agree with you on this. While watching the team play lets get behind them- there’s a reason the supporters are called the 12th man. You can see that the booing is getting to all the players, not just the ones being booed (they are colleagues and often friends after all). Auba is a great example of this, he’s always trying to gee the crowd up and get them on side.
    Worse still were the comments on here about AMN after his red on Sunday- people saying that they hope he’s broken his leg etc. Maybe they were using hyperbole and exaggerating, but that is just disgraceful and these people simply aren’t real fans as far as I’m concerned.

  17. RSH says:

    We’re losing our patience a bit. The majority fans had stuck firmly behind Wenger and any team he put out even when we weren’t winning anything. Things began to turn during his last couple of seasons because it was getting ridiculous, and now we are witnessing even more ridiculous performances from so-called professionals. Maybe it is fair to call out us fans, but by & large, the fanbase HAS always stuck by the players, and club, through all the batterings, lack of investment, and bottling. Now that the style of football is even dire to watch makes it harder to just accept poor players like Xhaka.

    1. ken1945 says:

      RSH< this can't be happening!!
      yet again I agree completely with your post and what's more your observations on Wenger especially.

      The difference now is, in my opinion, we have invested heavily in excellent new players,that should see the team performing better than they are.

      The frustrations are when we see our club being shown up by teams like Watford and Villa by tactics and team selections.

      DREW SA, the "old school" reference saw us oldies following the club despite their position, winning trophies, or style of play…it was because of what The Arsenal Football Club represented when I first went in the 1950's, through to today and how the club's ethos has seen it grow into the present day giant ii is now.
      I don't expect you to understand why we followed the club then, or why we supported the players, because today is all about everything being instant or now now now – supporting The Arsenal then was a long term investment.
      Your correct about evolution and one day you will probably be just as cynical as I am about younger fans inability to understand The Arsenal way…I hope you live long enough to witness it!!!

      By the way, I always applaud a player wearing the Arsenal shirt off the pitch and then gripe about him on places like this…old fashioned maybe, but I'm happy to do it while you can carry on showing your support for the club in the way you think is beneficial – despite your ridiculous age related comments.

      1. Andrew Elder says:

        With you all the way Ken.
        Booing and abusing your own players is like an act of self harm and has the reverse effect on the confidence of the players.

  18. Drew SA says:

    These comments from the “old school” are ridiculous. Are we watching arsenal of 1970 or 2019? The old arsenal, What’s that supposed to mean? There is this thing called evolution, the fans evolve and so has football. You want me to clap Xhaka off next time??😂

    1. Nitsram says:

      Yes, we do

  19. Frédéric slimane says:

    Spot on article!even some the comments are making the point for you!👍👍👍

    1. Buteo says:

      Totally agreed!
      Booing is good for nothing

  20. Coldzero says:

    It is disgusting the level of abuse some of them get. The irony being as bad as they might be playing that game, they are still leagues ahead in the level of football skill compared to the fans abusing them.

  21. Victor Dagba says:

    People saddled with the responsibility of identifying talent should also take some stick in their abysmal performances. Xhaka has been around for a while now but am not sure he is any better than he was at Basel. Our scouting system should be overhauled to make sure that genuine natural talent with room for improvement are recruited. We don’t buy elite players so money must be spent wisely to acquire players that will develop quickly. The football world is no longer patient,the players have to hit the ground running.

  22. Grandad says:

    The frustration of fans really should be aimed at the person who selects players who week in week out perform poorly.

    1. Daulat says:

      Exactly.

  23. Peter says:

    Sometimes writers tend to hide the truth or refuse to make enough research before they make their points. They do this most times in order to make the readers buy their opinions or points.
    You painted Chelsea fans as if they live in the garden of Eden when it comes dealing with their fans. These same Chelsea fans you’re were painting good booed Jorginho under Sarri at Europa League against Malmo. They also booed Fernando Torres on his 100th games for them. It is a way of communicating with a player that fans need more from him. We also work in various organizations, the boss will not keep pampering you for your recurrent mistakes. Fans are part of the people contributing to his wages so their feelings must be shown if things are not done right. Do I need to add to my points that Arsenal fans are one of the most Patient fans in EPL. Do you need to be remembered how many players that fans had been given enough time hoping they will improve. Your house help could not be spoiling your electronics all in the name of keeping the rooms. I know you will be forced to question him.

  24. Daulat says:

    I agree with the article. If anything, if the fans are so fed up with Xhaka, they should take it up to the manager, not the player. Xhaka has not picked himself in the team, it’s Unai. And before it was Wenger. So if you have problem with that, you should in no way whatsoever abuse the player. Is this too hard to grasp? The thing is Unai says he’s getting what he wants out of Xhaka and so picks him every game. So why abuse Xhaka? If you have problems with Xhaka playing every game, take it to the manager, boo him if you want. Not the players. They don’t pick themselves. Abusing the players, on and off the stadium, that just reeks of entitled, self-obsessed and immature behavior, and the kind of fans who indulge in such mannerisms should look at their lives in earnest because mainstream psychology suggests that such behaviors usually are a tell-tale signs of very low self-esteem. Just because these players entertain you, bring you that much needed self-importance just because you associate yourself with the club and its glory and importance doesn’t mean you own the players or they should be subjects to your abuse. Just grow up and get a life.

  25. I think it’s more of an ironic cheer for Emery but not sure if he grasps English sarcasm yet.
    Bit harsh on Xhaka I dont think hes lazy or doesnt try hes just not good enough and rash unfortunately.
    Emery needs to pick a captain and VC soon that should be interesting.
    And none of this 5 captains as I want to tinker with my side continuously as I’ve now idea the best 11!!

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