Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has put a damning spotlight on ‘fair-weather’ supporters at White Hart Lane.
Slamming supporters for the quiet atmosphere during Spurs’ 1-0 home victory over Hull in which Roberto Soldado scored the winner, AVB praised his players for grabbing all three points “with almost no support” from the terraces. While his comments are unlikely to endear him to the vipers among the Tottenham faithful, his words unfortunately have a harrowing truth about them.
Social networks came alive in the wake of the interview, with fans insisting that paying upwards of £60 gives them a right to be critical of the players. It does, but one has to question the mentality of a ‘fan’ who pays that kind of money to go to a football match and be negative for ninety minutes.
I was one of the few fans who stayed until the end of the 3-0 drubbing at the hands of West Ham, and refuse to leave any match early regardless of the score line. Perhaps I’m being unfair and the other 30,000 who left had all mistakenly bought tickets for the early train home.
White Hart Lane, or any other Premier League ground can be a fortress and at times this season, the atmosphere has been intimidating. Against Norwich and Hull, however, the ground has been distinctly flat.
AVB has been given a hammering for criticizing his own supporters, but the Portuguese boss has every right to despair. This is the man who takes responsibility for the team, win or lose, so he can also voice an opinion when the same fans who slam his tactics week in, week out, have nothing but negative views on his side.
Although Spurs have climbed to fourth in the Premier League table, Villas-Boas has come under fire for negative tactics. The words of Danny Blanchflower have, at times, echoed around the Lane: “The game is about glory. It’s about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom.”
Admittedly, players are being paid hundreds of thousands a week to be ‘professional’ footballers and their performances should not be reliant on fans who are paying their hard-earned money to see them play. And yet, fans know they have the potential to be a 12th man – the mind boggles as to why they would not live up to that.
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