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Football fans' hostility towards professionals is decaying the sport's image

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As Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers continues to defend himself against the "hysteria" of a merciless campaign, throughout which the club's fans have tried to get him sacked, he finds himself in high-profile company.

Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who recently conceded four goals against Tottenham, was abused by his own supporters on his birthday. While some City supporters stood up for the former Malaga stopper, others made jokes at his expense and called for the club to axe him.

The culture of fans making scapegoats out of players and staff at their own clubs is, unfortunately, becoming increasingly widespread in modern football, and it is far from the only form of overly-aggressive behaviour that has plagued the game in recent times.

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Few showed this more than the Chelsea fans who booed Anton Ferdinand and Wayne Bridge for daring to fall out with John Terry, even though the rows developed amid allegations that their captain had racially abused the former and had an affair with the latter's ex-girlfriend.

With social media allowing fans to customise their feeds in a way that leads to them see only posts from those who support the same club as them, mob mentality is becoming increasingly prevalent.

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Just ask Alan Pardew, who steered Newcastle to fifth place in 2011/12, but was backed into a corner by the club's fans after a difficult spell and joined Crystal Palace in January.

Pardew lifted Palace out of the relegation zone and finished tenth last season, whilst Newcastle had to wait until the final day of the season to seal survival. Pardew's new club already sit nine points above the Tyneside club just seven games into the new campaign.

If Liverpool are able to seal the signature of Jurgen Klopp, then it is highly unlikely that they will suffer the same fate as Newcastle. The Anfield faithful pay exorbitant fees for tickets and the club's loyal supporters have every right to voice their opinions.

However, they would be best advised not to hinder the progress of a team currently under a manager who nearly won them the 2013/14 Premier League title. At the very least, Rodgers deserves their respect.

Football fans all over the globe should learn a lesson from the plight of Newcastle United - there is more to supporting a club than attacking those whom 'the mob' perceive to be hinderances.

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Football

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