William Taylor gives us his view on the reaction of fans to defeats so early in the season.
Ipswich Town’s defeat to Peterborough on Saturday was probably one of the most embarrassing moments as a Blues fan in some time. In what was quite possibly one of the worst defensive performances since the 9-0 defeat to Manchester United, Town crumbled to a 7-1 thrashing.
However, having supported them all my life, there was nothing more embarrassing than some of the chanting by a small section of the club’s fans at the game.
It was an issue that Liz Edwards, chairwoman of the Supporters Club raised a few weeks ago – and in doing so, she became the victim of verbal abuse on Saturday.
In truth, however, that was pretty harmless, with fans merely having a laugh about the comments she made – I can understand that. Albeit pretty spiteful and inconsiderate, that chant was not detrimental to the team, and is, thus, not what bothers me most.
When the ‘fans’ turned on their own players, though; that was utterly disgraceful, and completely unforgiveable. The language used in the chant is too obnoxious for me to quote here, but essentially is involved the fans making it quite clear how bad they thought the defending of their team was.
I’m sorry, but if anyone thinks that is going to make the team play better – or indeed want to play at all – they must be unbelievably deluded. And it is not the first time a small section of Ipswich Town supporters have acted so mindlessly. Last season, when losing at home to Barnsley, they proceeded to cheer the visitors’ every touch of the ball.
Indeed, almost every time the side are losing at half-time in a home game, the players leave to a chorus of boos. None of the most successful clubs we see playing at the moment have to put up with that.
Of course there is the not inconsiderable argument that these are all very highly paid young-men, and they should be able to take a bit of stick.
These people pay their money week in week out, buy Cheap boots for new season for their kids who have just seen their heroes play and, according to a BBC survey at least, have to put up with paying the most amount for a cup of tea in English football.
Perhaps, but I would not be surprised if one day soon, a player simply walked off the pitch and refused to play for the club again, because of the fans. I totally understand the frustration of Ipswich Town supporters right now. The football in the last three games has been so poor, it hardly seems real.
It quite possibly cannot get any worse than back-to-back thrashings at the hands of two promoted sides, but you have to wonder what role the fans have played in that.
There is nothing wrong with creating a hostile atmosphere at a football stadium – although there are better ways of doing it – look at Stoke. Booing the every touch of an opposing team might be one thing – even the referee if you really must. Directing abuse at the travelling supporters could be another, but please Ipswich fans, give your own players a break.
Promotion will never happen until the fans are totally behind their side