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A wise lesson from twitter: turning against Arsenal does not help Arsenal

By Walter Broeckx

This week we had another “twitter takeover” from Arsenal. And one question got my attention and the response also was a very important one.

The question was asked by Anthony Field @antfield10 and was: how does the crowd moaning at you affect your confidence. The question was asked at Andrey Arshavin.

I think the question asked by Anthony Field will have been a result from the crowd booing when he came on as a substitute against Manchester United and replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain. Now of course people can claim all they want that the booing was not aimed at Arshavin but at Wenger for his substitution. And some who booed said that they had every right to boo because they pay their money and blah blah blah….

Of course when you pay your money you can express yourself in any way you want as long as you stay within the laws of the country. I am a full advocate of the freedom of speech so I really have not problem with people who express themselves.

But when you are an Arsenal supporter in the Emirates you can go for the: “I have paid so you entertain me and if I see something I don’t like from my team:  I will boo you”

I have always said that this was not what a supporter should do. You can be unhappy about the game, about a player. But if you want the club and the team to do well you must do your best to support the whole team and every player on and off the pitch.

Later in the pub, on the bus, on the underground you can say what you want about each player and how bad they are, were and never will be any good at all. If that makes you feel better, go ahead. But please don’t do it during a game. I have said it before and I will repeat it again: not during a game.

Because this is what Andrey Arsehavin answered: “The crowd has influence on any player and I am no exception”.

So for those who can’t understand it: Your booing has a bad influence on the players!

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It is absolutely vital that all our supporters try to understand that and let it sink through their brains so they can reach the conclusion: If I want my team to do well, I got to support them. Even when I think the manager makes a mistake, even when I think a player has been shit, even when I think the player going off should have stayed on. We don’t know why some substitutions are made and we don’t know how they will affect the game.

But what we do know thanks to Arshavin,  is that when you boo against our own team it has a bad affect on the team. When the team feels that the supporters turn against them the team will suffer.

And if you are a real and true supporter the only thing you want at the end of the game is to get a good result. The players on the field are responsible for this for the largest part of course. But is you, me and all the others in the stand who also have our own responsibility. We ought to support the team no matter what and no matter what happens. Turning against the team will not help them as Arshavin tells us.

So once again I plea to all our Gooners to support our players and our club and our whole team on and off the field during a game. After the game you can express your grief. You can come on here if you really feel the need to, (but there are other websites where you feel happier maybe when it comes to being unhappy) and tell what you felt went wrong. Or how it should have been done. If possible in a positive way and not turning in to calling names of our own players (to do that go to other sites).

Thanks to this twitter take over and the great and smart question asked by Anthony Field I got confirmation on how booing your own players or team has a bad influence on the team. Keep this in mind next time you go to a game. And just as the players give your 200% to support them and our colours. Like I said the players on the field have to do the job but by supporting them you will help them.

And don’t we all want our Arsenal to have a good result in the games? So, just support. Leave the moaning and booing for another moment in time.

Anthony Field ‏@antfield10

@Arsenal how does the crowd moaning at you affect your confidence? #TwitterTakeover

Andrey says: “The crowd has influence on any player and I am no exception” #TwitterTakeover


38 comments to A wise lesson from twitter: turning against Arsenal does not help Arsenal

  • All Arshavin said was that booing has an influence. You have only concentrated on bad influence here and completely forgot that it could have a positive influence too! Fans boo players over prolonged ineptitude and not just a one off perfomance

  • ARSENAL 13

    freedom of speech???….rather lack of it may be. I stand against the boo boys. What ever they think of its influence.

    We complain about players not giving their 100%….BUT are we????…

  • nicky

    I can’t imagine booing having a positive influence on any player.
    Walter has said what many dedicated supporters of Arsenal have felt for some considerable time…..there is a hard core of attenders (I won’t call them supporters) at the Emirates, who delight in booing at the slightest opportunity. Usually, though, at selected players like Denilson, Eboue, Arshavin and Walcott.
    Fools that they are, they cannot appreciate the damage this does to the player concerned as well as to the team as a whole.
    It has been said that Arsenal supporters are the most fickle in the land. If that is so, it is about time this was corrected.
    As Walter says, keep criticism for the post-match discussion, NOT during the game.
    Every player selected by Arsene Wenger to wear the shirt is entitled to 100% support at all times. Boo the opposition, the ref, even Arsene himself, but NOT the team.

  • Shard


    Fans boo players over prolonged PERCEIVED ineptitude..

    And this is the sort of argument I find infuriating. The negative nellies will always use this flaw in logic. Anything I do, no matter how much potential it has to cause harm, I do only for the good of the club I love.

    If the player can’t deal with the continuing abuse, it just proves the nasty opinions right. If the player manages to get over the abuse and somehow improve his form, it was because he listened to the dissenting fans and took it on board, hence proving them right again.

    How very convenient. None of which addresses the potential harm it can do to a player, and consequently to the club.

  • Stuart

    The mindset behind ‘I have paid my money so am entitled to boo’ is one that baffles me.

    Why does paying money give you the right to boo over another persons right to enjoy the game in comfortable surroundings. It’s purely a sign of madness in my opinion to spend money on something you don’t like. Would you pay a builder to renovate your house if you knew in advance that you wouldn’t be happy with the work they would do? If yes, you are definitely crazy.

    You are not a supporter if you boo, no matter how much you disapprove.

  • Ong Bing

    Well said Arsenal 13, well said.
    We always forgot ourself.

    Like now, our team now surrounding with positive, lets keep that. Hope lady luck in our side this season, and we will win somethingsss. Not only Carling Cup I or FA Cup I meant 🙂

  • Stuart

    What the brainless idiots who boo are not considering is the negative impact they are having on the whole team and manager. In their mind, they are booing the player but the whole squad can hear it and it will put them off too. I’m not surprised everyone wants out.

  • Arvind

    Pulis said of the Luiz lunge: “It’s a dreadful challenge and I think David would be the first one to say he’s very, very lucky to stay on the pitch – very.” Asked if it would have been a red card had Luiz been a Stoke player, Pulis said: “Now you said that, not me. Make sure the FA know it was you.”

    Ah yes…but Ryan Shawcross is a lovely lad who would never make a rash challenge..ever.

  • Arvind

    There’s not much I can add about booing. It makes no sense and I’ve said it many times here. But of course, football is an ’emotional sport’ so fans have a ‘right’ to ‘vent their rage’. Never mind whether that fcks things up even more…lets moan and vent.

  • To pay dose not mean should boo players while there are interteaining you, for me it may look modern slavery, you pay for booing someone, if you were in his shoes, would you feel happy? for sure if supporting goooners in bottom of you heart do after games.

  • Matt Clarke

    The flaw in your reasoning, as I see it, is that the player in question is worthy of our support.
    That is, that he is actually trying his best for us.
    I suggest, from the evidence of his play, that he is not.
    I know that will be unpopular, but please look at his performances and argue it out.

  • robl

    @ Arvind, come on time to move on, if we don’t drop the Shawcross thing then Stoke never will. Life isn’t fair but it’s time to biry it.

  • WalterBroeckx

    So Matt,
    a player coming on even before doing anything wrong that day can be booed?

    The main thing I think about is: does booing a player/manager/the whole team helps the team during a game?

  • Matt Clarke

    Put that simply, No.
    Not on that day, not for that match.
    But … somehow the discontent has to be aired.

  • Stuart

    Booing is foolish and not constructive full stop!

  • Florian


    Discontent to what?

  • Matt Clarke

    To his past performances…games where he has seemed to pass more to the opposition than to his own team.

  • Matt Clarke

    I agree. I would not boo. I just wanted to open the discussion to see what might be the reasons for the booing.

  • bjtgooner

    I agree totally that booing our players is totally destructive to the team and should never ever be contemplated. I suspect that the small number of boneheads that do this are following the lead of a smaller number of cunning anti Arsenal attendees. The club would be better without these ringleaders.

  • bjtgooner


    Many thanks for the term – “attendee”.

  • EIE

    Shit players don’t get booed, just the ones that don’t put a shift in like the lazy counts Bendtner & Arshavin; also the ones that milk the crowd to hide they’re shit like Eboue & Walcott, all you new moral supporters make me sick, bet you all wear a football shirt and have twitter accounts, where did it all go wrong?

  • Adam

    To Boo, Is to display displeasure at someone.
    boo is a term that is derived from the French word “beau” meaning beautiful. In 18th century England it meant an admirer, usually male. It made it’s way into Afro-Caribbean language perhaps through the French colonisation of some Caribbean islands.
    Boo, A loud, abrupt yell, meant to frighten someone.
    Boo, Boyfriend or girlfriend. Term of endearment.
    Boo, Is a hamster who serves as the animal companion of the berserk ranger Minsc from the Baldur’s Gate series of computer games. Minsc claims Boo is a miniature giant space hamster.
    Boo, Slang term for Marijuana hailing from the late sixties.
    Next time you hear someone Boo an Arsenal player they are probably secretly in love with them and want to take them home to sit around listening to jazz whilst smoking dope. But watch out for that space hamster.
    You really couldn’t make this stuff up?
    The one positive to come out of this is, I promise to stop heckling comedians.

  • Adam

    With regards to Stoke football club. Im not remotely impressed with this club or it’s peoples mentality but we do have a Stoke born boy as assistant manager, which posses a conundrum for me. Hate Stoke but like Steve Bould? Do I support Mr Bould in everything he does for Arsenal whilst slagging off his home town?

  • Mick Singfield

    This site has previously poured scorn on those who complained about the 61/2% ticket price increase, those proposing to demonstrate or stay away, you opposed the AST questioning the clubs intentions at the last AGM. You pour scorn on those who complain on the internet-referring to them as “retards” or “idiots”.

    You appear to be opposed to any public expression of unhappiness by supporters.

    You have only put one side of the argument here.

    Does not complaining publicly mean that players or team performances improve?

    I put it to you that if supporters did not complain at all as your site suggests, after balancing the books by selling its best players most years, the club would be less inclined to make the efforts necessary to improve the quality of its playing personnel.

    Whilst singling out individual players is not ok-complaining about quality from time to time serves a necessary function-just as it is in any other area of life. If I pay the highest ticket prices in the EPL why should I receive poor quality?

  • Jones

    Contrary to what you wrote on booing affecting a player..Yes, it has both the negative and positive effect, sometimes we boo our ex player and they end up scoring against us, and playing very well…One thing about booing is testing the mental strength of a player, some player come on the pitch to correct your perception about the..Real Madrid, Barcelona, Every other big teams in the world have fans who boo there under performing players. why you think there’s going to be an exception in the emirate…hello!! this is a football match and loyalty doesnt exist anymore!

  • nicky

    The trouble is that unfortunately there are more than one of these creeps, so the word is “attenders”.

  • Stuart

    You can’t deny that booing one player is heard by the whole team and has an effect on everyone. They are only human after all.

    If you boo, you are contributing to the problem, there are other ways of showing your displeasure. As I said, Brainless Idiots!

  • DocBrody

    The argument that “I have a right to boo because I paid for these seats.” is analogous to saying “I have the right to shoot myself in the foot because I paid for this gun.”

    You have a right to boo whether you’ve paid for your seats or not… because we live in a free country. I suppose the same goes for shooting oneself in the foot. That doesn’t make it a good idea.

  • Pete

    Interview with Ian Wright…

    I challenge you not to blub – what a tough life!

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    My distaste for fair weather supporters aside, very few people respond positively to criticism from people supposedly on their side. There’s a whole body of research which demonstrates that positive support generally gets better performance out of people. Those rare people who don’t respond negatively to criticism also don’t really respond to encouragement either.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Mick I can accept you being completely unhappy with the way the club is being ran. But why on earth do we have to take that out on the players on the field? Does this help the team during a game? Will it make the players play better?

  • WalterBroeckx


    yes booing can have a reverse effect when it comes from the other supporters on a player. But don’t you think most players are smart enough to know who is booing them?

  • Mick Singfield

    Walter You have no right to assume that I am completely unhappy with the way the club is being run from my comments- no I am completely unhappy with your and this sites implacable opposition to football consumers-supporters- publicly expressing their disagreements or frustrations in any form or forum what so ever.
    Booing your own team is usually counterproductive- but very occasionally- like a managers bollocking it may have a useful function. Thankfully recently, performances of the team do not call for that kind of response at all. Usually fans are too quick to judge players- either positively or negatively.

    Given that I have already stated that singling out individuals is not ok- I see no reason to repeat that.

  • LRV

    @DocBrody (at 2:33 am), It is not often that I do, but I agree completely with your comment there.

  • WalterBroeckx

    You are correct. I should have written it in another way. I didn’t want to put words in your mouth. Or didn’t meant to do it.

  • DocBrody

    @ Mick,

    You say “I am completely unhappy with your and this sites implacable opposition to football consumers-supporters- publicly expressing their disagreements or frustrations in any form or forum what so ever.”

    But isn’t the point of this piece that fans can express their disagreements in EVERY form or forum, EXCEPT by booing in the stadium.

    He even writes (3rd paragraph from the end):

    “After the game you can express your grief. You can come on here if you really feel the need to, (but there are other websites where you feel happier maybe when it comes to being unhappy) and tell what you felt went wrong.”

    How is that implacable opposition to publicly expressing disagreements or frustrations?

  • Domhuaille MacMathghamhna

    My experience, as a retired psychologist and referee, as well as current and past research, supports the following regarding verbal displays of displeasure directed at an individual, based on perceived or real under-performance at a task:

    1)There is no such a thing as a ¨positive¨effect on the targeted individual(s). Their reaction to this abuse is initially very negative and almost universally counter-productive.
    2)Some individuals can psychologically shut out such abuse and as many referees have learned to do, continue to perform regardless of others’ opinions and behaviour but most cannot.
    3)There is a cumulative effect noted in research when someone is abused by their ¨supporters¨. It is called a learned response and is often very negative and profound. The targeted player will want to avoid further abuse and will therefore hesitate where normally they would play with a certain confidence and abandon, thus reducing their effectiveness and exacerbating their proneness to errors, etc.
    4)Those who maintain that abusing a player verbally can lead to an improvement in performance eventually, need simply remember their own childhood experiences when being negatively and continuously criticized….no good came of that for sure!

    I have seen players’ reactions to being booed by their own supporters and it is never a positive contribution to their well-being. When it is the adversaries’ supporters doing the booing, that is another story entirely.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    You put it far more eloquently than I did. Unfortunately there are far too many people who indulge in counter-productive behaviour for no reason other than short term gains.