Great own goals of our time: booing your own players

disapproving postscript to the satisfying result against Birmingham City, and it’s aimed at the hard of thinking fans who decided the best response to Daryl Murphy coming on as a late substitute was to boo him.

What is it about a small number of supporters, and Emmanuel Eboué and Emmanuel Adebayor would confirm the habit is not restricted to Sunderland, that makes them want to jeer a member of their own team? What do they honestly believe is likely to be the effect on his performance and therefore, possibly, the result?

Last night, the game was pretty much beyond doubt when Murphy was sent on for the final 10 minutes. Even so, it seems indefensible to me that a man wearing our red and white stripes should be a target for boo boys (and maybe boo girls) also wearing red and white.

Murphy, pictured below by Peadar O’Sullivan, has done very little for the club of late and does not convince many fans that he is good enough for the Premier League.

Yet only a couple of years ago – in the Premier – he scored one goal (Wigan at home) that was was arguably our best of the season and another, against Boro, that ensured our survival. He is not a footballer without ability, however disappointing his subsequent form has been, and would probably have done a good job for Roy Keane had the Ipswich deal gone through.
Similar considerations apply to Paul McShane, who was booed by a few oafs even before he’d kicked the ball on returnign from a loan spell at Hull. And I remember one Sunderland fan, in the away end at Charlton some years ago, saying how pleased he was to have arrived after a goal by Kevin Kilbane because he couldn’t have faced having to cheer him.

We pay good money for our season tickets, club merchandise and matchday travel and are entitled to hold and express strong views about how the club is run and how the team performs.

Most fans, not necessarily the loudest fans, can see that barracking one of their own players is a little like scoring a deliberate own goal. This is what Claire, a subscriber to the Blackcats list, said about last night: ”

I did give Murphy a lot of encouragement as he came on for the last ten minutes, just to fight back at those who were booing him. Aaaaargh! I know he’s not exactly brilliant, or even good or anything, but there’s no point booing a player as he comes on the pitch!!!!!!!!! Anyway, I thought he did ok.

If Claire’s counter-offensive made even one idiot reconsider his reaction to Murphy’s appearance, Sunderland fans generally should be grateful to her.

Colin Randall

9 thoughts on “Great own goals of our time: booing your own players”

  1. David Hardy was Oster not ousted because of an unsavoury accidental incident that should never have happened between two ‘alleged’ grown men;

    BANG, thudsquish, ‘Ouch!, bullseye John, oh I can’t judge distance anymore guess my footballing days are over:(‘

    ‘Err sorry Mark mate, oops, now what was the chances of that happening. Maybe playing with guns was a bad idea in retrospect though. Plus they don’t seem to have much effect on Jellyfish and how do we know it was the one that got Hooolio anyway’

  2. Replace ‘get a life’ with ‘Haway man’, err sorry the larger was talking. I only take issue with you on this one point apart from that great site and a great read, GOOD STUFF. An astute edit BTW 😉

  3. Get a life, the poor lad would have to take a hit on 14K a week, he should already be a millionaire. For you to defend someone on outrageous wages who does not deserve it is downright offensive in my book!!

    The lad is meant to be a footballer not a fund manager. What next, we sack the football at Sunderland and all get together every other Saturday and decide what to invest in or maybe do a bit of asset stripping?

    * This comment has been edited slightly by moderator

  4. It’s a short career. Surely a player has a right to earn as much money as he can even if it means upsetting the punters. How many of us would switch jobs and take a pay cut if we were earning well. Sometimes we forget that players are human. Turner looked tired on Saturday, probably due to the stresses of moving house etc. We need to bear this in mind before making knee jerk statements – not that yours are. Some of the stuff I hear at away games makes me doubt the mental state of some of our “fans”

  5. Whilst I find booing unacceptable (I sit in the North stand and heard none last night as he came on). I did however hear the cheers as he rode two challenges (unfortunately so did he and it seemed to spur him on to take on the whole Brum eleven, with predictable consequences). However I am getting side tracked, Murphy has made a rod for his own back by showing more love for money than playing first team football. This is no excuse for booing one of our lads, this is NEVER acceptable, none the less I have NO respect for Murphy. He was told by SB to look elsewhere for games but he’s clinging to his wage packet hoping for a loan deal. Sorry mate, you can’t have your cake and eat it! I think some of the less cerebral supporters share my frustration and vent their ire in a bad way.

    Sadly I think he plans to run his contract out and take my hard earned money that I pay for entrance to the SOL to line his pockets with not a care for his future footballing prospects, a sad day in Sunderland!

    In a way I do feel a bit(a very small bit) sorry for him as it seems we have two Irish lads who were given silly contracts by Roy Keane BUT and it’s a big but Grant and Carlos most likely took a hit in wages to go and play first team football(that was a sacrifice by Grant and not just a financial one), those two have my upmost respect and good wishes(I have a dream of Ipswich beating Newcafuffle in the playoffs).

  6. Thanks Phil. Last time I looked, Shildon – hwere I grew up – was still in County Durham. As is Sunderland in my sometimes reactionary way of looking at things.
    But I’ve lived off and on in France for five years, my wife is French and the site is an offshoot of which I launched while living in Paris.

    Pete Sixsmith is still in Shildon!

  7. I agree completeely. Every time I’ve heard it happen I’ve been stunned by the stupidity of it.

    The SoL used to be a fortress, and that wasn’t because we had amazing players, it was because the fans were 100% behind the team.

    I remember the teamsheets being read out and hearing every single name on the list getting a huge cheer that sounded like we were saying “these are our gladiators and they’re gonna rip the opposition to shreds”.

    I live too far away to attend regularly anymore, but the last few times I’ve been, I have been totally dismayed at the difference – there were one or two cheers, one or two boos, and general indifference to the rest of the teamsheet.

    This isn’t how some of the most passionate fans in the country are supposed to act.

    We used to have a reputation for our noise levels – remember the Roker Roar? (And for a year or two The Wearside Roar?)

    What has happened?

    It’s embarrassing!

    P.S. Great site! I just discovered you a few days ago – are you French? (Salut!)

  8. How can booing our own players help the team as a whole?
    Oster and Whitehead are two more of ours to have been unfairly hounded out of the club.
    Makes me cringe with embarrassment.
    Please stop it!

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