To boo or not to boo, that is the question. I’ve been racking the old mind-hole for any recollection of one of our own being booed by the Bridge faithful. Answers on a postcard. I can happily say I’ve never done it and even more happily say I never will. Let’s face it, booing your own player, the very fella running around sweating in the name of our beloved shirt, is just stupid. Is a cacophony of boos every time he touches the ball going to instil the confidence, courage and inspiration he needs to be less crap? No, it’s not. So let’s say a sarcastic well done to all the moronic England ‘fans’ who booed Ashley Cole last week.
Now a groan is all right. It goes without saying, literally, that whenever there’s a misplaced pass or wayward cross (thanks for memories Jesper Gronkjaer and Shauny Wright) an involuntary groan can escape. A sigh of exasperation perhaps. Or lots of swearing. Inventive swearing, that is both personal and deeply insulting. But never a collective boo. Boos for individual players are only ever reserved for a poor managerial substitution. Let’s say the said player is having a blinder and the boss inexplicably takes him for a lesser talented water carrier (a procedure otherwise known as Joecoleism), then the result is a round of cat calls for the coach. And rightly so. Although this often leaves me in a strange situation where I want to applaud the player’s heroic performance coming off but yet also voice disapprove with the substitution. Confused, I end up doing nothing but staring aimlessly at my feet.
The boos for Ashley Cole sounded particularly pathetic on Chelsea fans ears and not just because we’re completely biased. Yes, it was a daft mistake but it’s probably the only foot he’s put wrong all season. At least he showed some passion in tracking back which can more of said of Captain Rio, happy to stand still and point the finger. It was a nothing goal in a nothing game. Yet the grief came from a jealous, repressed space in the pit of the stomach of some England fans. His missus has been taken to the nations hearts and he’s the panto villain. He’s still fondly hated for taking more money and a better job (imagine?!) and being an arse with the ref who looks like a bird-man. By the way, he’s also probably the best leftback on planet football at the minute. Next time he’s at the Bridge let’s give him a cheer every time he touches the ball, he deserves it to be fair.
This season Cole and Bosingwa have been a revelation and made the difference to this Chelsea team. The Brazilian style fullbacks-as-wingers philosophy has seen the attacking potential increase three fold and it’s been really great to watch. The demolition of Villa was dream footy and the momentum is now starting to build. Yet for once, the international break seemed to have come at quite a decent time. With many a player nursing long term or niggling injuries it should have provided a respite for some much needed recuperation. The likes of Alex, Joe Cole, Anelka and Deco should have had the time to get quality treatment at Cobham and hopefully be match fit for the coming weeks ahead. Instead the injury curse has yet to pass with yet more niggling injuries reported with Ballack, Cech, Bosingwa, Terry and Ashley all now doubtful for Saturday.
With Essien’s lengthy injury happening in a Ghana shirt the internationals haven’t been kind to us this season. It’s frustrating for us fans as our superstars turn out for a fixture you couldn’t care less about and they come back crocked. These players our out there giving their all for their home nations, risking injury for their clubs. It’s just embarrassing when that respect isn’t shown and must make players like Cole must wonder why they bother. Let’s hope we can field an eleven strong enough to take the three points at the Riverside.