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To Boo Or Not To Boo?

To Boo Or Not To Boo?

I've long suspected, since the outset of this sorry little saga I've never thought Adebayor would leave. I still don't. I don't think his will has ever been to move, simply to squeeze a larger wage packet out of the club. He has undoubtedly been very stupid, had he had a quiet word with Le Boss and asked for improved terms, he probably would have got them. Now he has destroyed all good will he had earned with supporters and taken himself out of the reckoning for a pay rise. The advice he received was stultifyingly poor. Wenger has merely been able to place an astronomical transfer fee on his head, if someone pays it, we win. If, as looks likely, they don't, Wenger can turn to Adebayor and say, 'no other club agrees with your estimation of your worth, why should we?'

I hope Adebayor does stay, we have haemorraghed too much of our playing staff already, and Adebayor is instrumental to the way we play. The extra dimension he gives us is not easily replaceable, there aren't many strikers of his ilk exist on the current market. The big question we are met with should he stay at Arsenal, is how should we, the supporters react to him? The better part of me thinks we should not boo himunder any circumstances, it's not worth it and would be detrimental to the team. Adebayor does not appear to have fallen out with any players, I cannot imagine his presence compromising team spirit. But as supporters we can create disharmony by radiating negative vibes. After all, if Adebayor bags himself another thirty goals and shoots us to the title next year, will his current indiscretion not be forgiven?The difficulty Adebayor has made for himself is that if he misses a chance (and it doesn't happen as often as most pruport), he has made an chuffing great rod for his back. Players that demand six figure weekly salaries find their mistakes tend to be magnified and not forgiven quite so easily. Rightly so too.

But then dear reader, there's this other part of me. The mephistopholes on my shoulder appealing to my vagabond tendencies. He makes my blood rise and nurtures the hooligan element of rogue neurons in my brain, like little kittens that become fat, domesticated cats with a catflap, free to wander in and out of my conscience as soon as it's feeding time. Villa fans booed Gareth Barry this week in a friendly with Walsall. A United supporting friend tells me United fans have been singing anti-Ronaldo songs in their pre season tour of South Africa. At Barnet last week, anti Adebayor songs permeated the soft Hertfordshire air and turned it blue. This summer has been peculiar in that fans who usually delight in one another's misery have found a kind of kinship. I've not heard any Arsenal fans celebrate the potential departure of United's star turn, nor have I heard United fans will our top scorer to flee to pastures new. There is a groundswell of collusive disillusion. Maybe it is time that we supporters stood up, even if to the detriment of our own teams, stood up and let these self obsessed fuckwits know that we won't bend over and plead, 'please sir, can I have some more?' Maybe it's time we showed this shower of self important tossers that it is the shirt we worship and not the corporate graffiti that adorns it either. It's the badge and not these bling encrusted wank stains. Maybe it's time we let them feel the full force of our vitriol?

There would be some who would contend that we should simply stop attending matches, buying merchandise and lining these peoples pockets. But I respectfully retort 'bollocks!' I was an Arsenal fan before Adebayor arrived and I'll be an Arsenal fan long after he's begun to enjoy that retirement fund he's so hellbent on swelling. This is my house, I was in it long before every single member of our squad was and I'll be chowing down on satan's portion with Grandma's false teeth before I let them oust me from it. As long as we continue to let van Persie question our wage structure from the comfort of his treatment table, Fabregas take a flight to Madrid every time he wants better wages and Adebayor mouth off like a pissed up tramp without retort we just vindicate them don't we? Maybe revolt is what is needed. I'm not one of these supporters that habitually rips into my own players, far from it, I consider it a neglible practise. I'd rather vent my week's pent up frustrations at a bewildered little man in black or any opposition player with the temerity to venture into the Arsenal half. But good only ever comes from social disquiet. Has football reached the stage where we should simply rise up against the egos?

I'm conflicted. In reality, silence is the most perfect expression of scorn. I probably cannot bring myself to jeer Adebayor, but I don't think I'll be affording him the privilege of singing his name. He obviously cannot handle that sort of acclaim, using it to lubricate his inflated ego. So like a sullen headmaster, I'll confiscate it until he knows how to use it properly. Besides which, I can hardly envisage a big clamour to stretch our vocal chords in his honour. Like I said at the outset, if he bangs in 30+ and we win the league, his malaise will quickly be forgotten. But he certainly won't ever enjoy the sort of popularity he earned himself last season. Ever.LD

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Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Thursday July 24 2008
Time: 10:16PM


Nice passionate and thoughtful piece. How should we react knowing that Ade was/is prepared to take a short term view of the club? Simply by taking a short term view of him I guess. No matter how important a player becomes to the club there comes a point when he becomes less important if not even unimportant. It happened to Henry, Wright, Bergkamp and many others over many years. If Adebayor is still with us and is doing the business on the pitch then he deserves respect for that if not love and admiration. Vieira happily flirted with Real and ManU over 2 or 3 seasons while still warranting his place in the team. He supposedly urged Cashley Cole in a text message to demand £80K a week from the club. We can still look back and appreciate the good things he did on the pitch. In the end that is all that really matters. Save the passion for the club - the individuals will often let you down.
24/07/2008 22:33:00
"He makes my blood rise and nurtures the hooligan element of rogue neurons in my brain, like little kittens that become fat, domesticated cats with a catflap, free to wander in and out of my conscience as soon as it's feeding time." -- LD, what the hell are you doing on this blog, you should be writing professionally, ffs! If VA were otherwise a crap blog, I'd keep returning just for your writing! :-D Anyway, while I understand the downside to booing or jeering our players (something I usually don't believe in doing, even against Eboue's antics), I think there comes a time when players (and sometimes managers) need to know that being a football player is not like being a movie or TV star. Being a football player means that every week when you go out and perform, you are surrounded by thousands of your fans---live and in person. Fans who pay close attention to the team you play for, to your performances week in and week out, to your conduct on and off the pitch. It means that (unlike movie or TV stars) every week you are confronted with people whose reactions to your conduct and performance you can't ever get away from. It's all right there in your face. It's a kind of democracy that other celebrities don't experience. It therefore means that you will experience directly the consequences of your performance, your conduct, your loyalty and dedication, and professionalism. You can't get away from it. Regardless of what I or anyone else believe, Ade won't escape it, it's inevitable: he will be booed. Whether that's "good" or "bad" is really irrelevant because no one can stop it. If he changes his attitude and amazes everyone with tons of goals, it will eventually stop. But he'll have to buckle down and deal with it, and get past it. He'll have to grow the hell up. Players who behave like Barry, Cronaldo and Ade have to know that there are consequences to their petulant, spoiled brat behavior -- and that they can't take the fans for granted. Let them show how strong and professional they are to deal with it. I personally would love it if fans just kept silent when Ade scores, no applause, nothing. I plan on visiting the Emirates twice next season (and maybe 1 away game). If Ade's there and he scores, I won't boo him, I just won't react at all to him.
24/07/2008 22:49:00
Word, Dutch. Word.
24/07/2008 22:56:00
What Dave said.
24/07/2008 23:20:00
"It's the badge and not these bling encrusted ***** stains." CLASSIC! Hah!! Well-said LD!
25/07/2008 00:45:00
I never get the point of booing your own player. Its not like they are going to perform better for us if we boo them. And ultimatly we want to see our team succeed.
25/07/2008 00:45:00
we should not boo our own players, EVER. As for ade's demands of matching henry's paycheque, well thats a two way street, the club and fans can expect him to match henry's performance on the pitch. if and when he delivers that then he can claim his rightfull remuneration.
25/07/2008 01:41:00
the best thing to do is just not singing his name for some time till he starts banging in lots of goals again. the main problem we have is that we do not have a consistent goal scorer othan than Ade. RvP missed too many games, Eduardo was out for months, Bendtner needs more experience and doesn't seem to have good relationship with other players (based on the celebration after he scored). until then, we are stucked with relying on Ade for goals. honestly, in many games last season, he performed like Andy Cole, too many missed chances. with the whole team feeding him chance after chance, i was not entirely surprised that he scored that many goals. but at least he scored in important games.
25/07/2008 03:20:00
and no booing please. it sounds and looks so ugly and stupid when you boo your own players. we will be the laughing stock for other teams. save the energy to cheer for the team. we need your support more than ever now.
25/07/2008 03:23:00
Well said LD. To boo him would be like making him not welcome and to support would be a big blow to your conscience. So keeping silent could be the best option here.
25/07/2008 03:35:00
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