Opponents clapping Saka? The game is dead – it needs its edge

Against Tottenham in a pre-season friendly, some sections of the Spurs crowd clapped Bukayo Saka onto the pitch.

“Showing their class” was the response on social media.

Nah, not for me. But I will give them the benefit of the doubt as it was a friendly.

Then against Brentford, the Hounslow based club did the same.

Again, I will give them the benefit of the doubt as they are a small club. Basically the Leyton Orient of West London and the majority of fans in the stadium probably did not support Brentford.

During the Manchester United v Leeds United game, it was loud and clear.

“You let your country down” aimed at Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho. And it was glorious.

What differentiates going down the football in comparison to cricket, rugby or any other sport is the rivalry. The edge.

It is like war. You hate your opponent. Boo everything they do whilst cheer your own team.

Their player goes in high on one of yours, you scream for blood. Our player goes in high on one of theirs, he is cheered. A hero.

Without that edge football is no longer enjoyable. You might as well be at the theatre, applauding politely regardless of if the performance is mediocre.

Now there is a fine line when abuse can go too far; but that does not mean there is not space in the game for you to abuse an opponent.

I grew up when David Beckham got dogs abuse for flicking out at Diego Simeone, getting himself sent off and costing us a World Cup.

The abuse he got went too far – with one South London one pub lynching an effigy of him outside.

But we grew from that and a few years later when Wayne Rooney get sent off against Portugal the abuse was not as vicious. Just the booing and “you let your country down”.

Now as I say, there is a line. And Racist and homophobic abuse is clearly the wrong side of the line. As is wishing death on someone, their family or kids. This is appalling behaviour.

But there is certainly space in the game for “you let your country down” and for fans to boo players who missed a penalty or causes us to be knocked out of the World Cup (or in this case the Euros).

Now it might seem odd I am saying this as Saka was one of those who missed a penalty, and would therefore get abuse from opponents.

I just find the clapping of him ludicrous. It is all a bit soft. We do not go to football to hold hands with everyone.

Abuse from opposing fans helps build a player. Makes them mentally stronger. Builds character.

The abuse you get in England is nothing in comparison to what a player receives in Italy or across Eastern Europe. You can not have sports stars wrapped up in cotton wool. They need to be both physically and mentally strong to succeed.

So on Sunday I will raise a smile if Chelsea let Saka know he let the country down. Give him a god boo. But then I will be straight back at them. Backing my player, booing the Chelsea fans booing him. That is football.

Lets stop with all this clapping bollocks.



13 thoughts on “Opponents clapping Saka? The game is dead – it needs its edge

    1. Johnno

      The Millwall fans are anti-racist, that`s why they boo players who kneel in support of racists and applaud players who stand up against it.


      1. F.B.

        I’m thinking you’re probably Millwall Johnno.

        And if you’re not, you should seriously consider it.

        You’ll fit right in…


  1. SM

    I think you completely misunderstand the significance of what clapping Saka means. Racism is bigger than football and finally, fans are realising that there are people out there using Social Media as a platform to anonymously abuse who they like. The fact that our biggest rivals gave Saka a standing ovation transcends football. It’s a sign that people are now willing to push back against these people, regardless of which club they support. Shocking journalism.


  2. Silentstan

    Absolute moronic article. So now showimg some iind of solidarity with a black player against racist abuse is to be frowned upon.
    You must be a real delight to know.
    New low for this blog. Bring back the Neanderthal 70’s eh?


    1. Johnno

      But dont expect the new breed of upper middle class Arsenal fans to agree with you. They`ll probably accuse you of being a closet racist. Fucking wankers wouldn`t have been seen dead at the football before SkySports got involved in it. I remember the cunts sniggering and looking down their snotty noses at football fans back in the 70`s and 80`s.



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