I was listening to the radio a couple of weeks ago and Brian Moore (ex England Rugby Union Captain) was talking about the booing of Rafa at the Bridge.
He used a phrase “You cannot compartmentalise your support”. What he meant by this was that players pick up on atmospheres in the ground and respond to it. It does not matter whether the negativity is anti-Rafa or whatever, the players are affected by it.
Now we don’t have a problem at the moment with bad atmospheres at St James’ Park. Though watch this space. However, I have been reflecting upon that phrase recently. We all support NUFC and this blog is one of the most positive in it’s outlook. That’s why I post here. So I’m not criticising any individuals out there.
I really want to explore the boundary between support and criticism. We all like to think we know best and when things go wrong we all like to express our views on why they have gone wrong and what we should do about it. However, that can tip into dark side negativity which ceases to be helpful.
I know that for me people have to earn my respect before I pay any attention to them. When I used to race motorcycles only those who could ride as well as me, not many, would be listened to. I imagine the players and manager are the same. Now when I said this badly in a post a few weeks back it came across that I was saying that in order to criticise our manager you need to have managed a team in some shape or form. This is nonsense as we have all suffered from bad managers and been helped by good ones so we all know the difference.
So can we compartmentalise our support. We all support NUFC, that’s a given. Do we support the owner. Well probably a lot more now than a few years back. Still a minority want shot of him and many more don’t trust him. On the plus side he has brought financial stability and a vision, or at least a working model, for the business that we all understand.
What about our manager? Despite the respect he gets from his peers, like last years awards, and the respect he has had in working with the new players it seems that he is apparently tactically inept and producing the worst football and results in many a long year. The players also come in for stick, individually and collectively. Williamson has kept the most clean sheets of any defender this season, but he’s still rubbish. etc. There always appears to be a scapegoat in every game. Collectively they don’t have the passion, don’t understand the club etc, however, Yohan Cabaye seems happy to recommend us to Mathieu Debuchy, who was best man at his wedding.
So there must be people out there who support NUFC; but not the owner, manager or players. So what do they support? A concept of what we should be?
Not that I suppose it matters so long as the atmosphere at SJP keeps encouraging the players to perform to their best. And if they don’t, why not? Players, manager, fans? So what is that we support, and whilst in the good times it’s easy to support all aspects of the club, can we do the same when things are not so good. Should we even try to? Does it impact on performances?
So which bits do you support? And does it matter if you don’t support the rest?