Proper Football fans?

Proper Football fans?

Proper Football Fans?


I attended my first football match when I was four years old: Stoke City vs. Cambridge United. I didn’t leave the game early and I have sworn to myself over the years that I never would.

Last weekend however, I did, for the first time, leave a football game early. Not five or even ten minutes early but a whole half an hour early after watching my team – I had spent £90 on tickets and travel to visit on my own – concede their fifth goal against average opposition. I know it was wrong. A ‘real’ fan, as I have been continually been reminded by ‘armchair football fans’,  who probably couldn’t tell me what the inside of their own team’s ground looked like, let alone any away grounds,  that I shouldn’t have left. I was angry, very angry at having spent hard-earned money to watch a performance like that. Barton is paid £80,000 a week to stroll around the pitch, still dreaming of playing for England. Let me tell you something, he will never play for England again. Fact!

I could talk about how we were unlucky or how good Fulham were and rightly deserved to put six, yes 6 past us, and they could have had even more. But I’m not, I’m going to use this article to discuss what a ‘real’ football fan is.

What is a real football fan? Is there an answer to that question? I have been criticised for failing to be one in the last couple of days. I love football, always have and always will. I love the banter between fans but when somebody criticises me for leaving Craven Cottage when we were  5-0 down, after I’ve wasted the best part of 18 hour’s work on tickets and travel, and they have spent their match-day checking BBC Sport or Sky Sports News and showing a half smile because their ‘team’ aren’t doing as poorly as mine, the hypocrisy is too much to handle.  And then to mock me for deciding that I’ve had enough of seeing my team play worse than the days they were in Division 3?!

I know football is expensive but ‘fans’ shouldn’t make snide remarks at me for leaving a game early when, as soon as I get home, I will be spending more of my hard earned money on tickets for Tottenham away and Stoke away on top of the money already spent on a Season Ticket. I know I should be grateful that my team are playing in the top league and you should always support your team through thick and thin. I supported them in the lower divisions and will support them if they are relegated at the end of this season. On Sunday, I didn’t boo or slate the players. I sang all the chants and acted as if we were 5 up rather than 5 down as did all the QPR faithful, whom I must add were superb on Sunday.

I was disappointed with how we played, the attitude, the effort of our players and it was frustrating watching £25,000 a week+ players put in a fraction of the effort that the QPR fans were putting into the game. £50 to the players is a lot less than £50 to us – the REAL fans.

I have to hand it to Fulham though, they took an early lead and played very well. They saw the gaps in the QPR defence and took advantage and very quickly put the game out of sight. They had 22 attempts, 10 of which were on target and could have found the net. Fulham passed well, completing 81% of their 434 passes which continuously penetrated Rangers’ defence and led to a few well taken goals. Andy Johnson had to be man of the match with his hat trick following a good midweek performance in Europe. He had 4 attempts, 3 of which were on target and the net. He completed 71% of his 24 passes and led the line in a Fulham attack that looked like threatening Paddy Kenny’s goal whenever they were on the ball.

Sunday was a blip in QPR’s bid for survival. I’m sure Warnock will have a few strong words with his players and if fans see another performance as abysmal as thi, I, amongst others will be asking questions about the attitude of some of the top players at QPR. A silver-lining on Sunday was seeing Jamie Mackie back on the field of play after 9 months out. His attitude has never and I doubt will ever be questioned. After the performance of some of QPR’s players on Sunday he may gainst all odds literally walk straight back into the first team. I am sure that the QPR faithful would be delighted to see this.