Booing in football has become a much talked about issue. The first time it really came to the fore was when England fans booed Frank Lampard when he came on as a substitute for the national side.
At my beloved Watford there are all sorts of arguments amongst the fans about whether booing poor performances adds to the lack of confidence being shown by the players and is a destructive force, or is the absolute right of paying customers who feel they have been let down and demand the right to protest.
On the whole, although I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think I have ever booed a team or team member of a club that I support, I would go to the ends of the earth to defend every fans right to express an opinion. It is an entertainment industry and if the fans feel that the side have let them down by a lack of effort or simply a lack of ability, then if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve paid your money, you have complete freedom to express your displeasure in any legal way you see fit.
Something I read yesterday however, has made me reconsider my position on this issue. Apparently, Ryan Giggs is being booed by a section of the Manchester United crowd. What sort of Manchester United fan would boo Ryan Giggs?
Ryan Giggs told the Sun newspaper, “Getting criticism is part of being a Manchester United player. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t know why I’m singled out. Maybe it’s because I’ve been around so long. But the one person I have to impress is the manager – and while he is picking me, I know I am good enough.”
I find it astonishing that a player, who has achieved so much for his club, been so loyal to his club and conducted himself on and off the pitch with dignity, should be singled out for this sort of treatment by his own teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fans.
Giggs has been a one club man for eighteen years. He has played over seven hundred and fifty games, scoring nearly one hundred and fifty goals. He has won eighteen major honours for and with his club.
He is one of only two players to have scored in every Premier League season since its inception and he is the only player to have found the net in twelve consecutive Champions League campaigns. On six occasions he has been picked by his fellow professionals in the Premier League team of the year, including last season, and he has been inducted into the Premier League team of the decade and the English Football hall of fame.
In the United games I have seen this season, he has been an integral part of the free flowing attacking football that has seen them get to the top of the league again. He may not be quite the player he was a few years ago, but at the age of thirty-four, I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think of too many Premier League managers who wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want him in their side.
I am not a Manchester United fan, so I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know all the ins and outs and goings on at Old Trafford, but I do know that Ryan Giggs is amongst the greatest players to have ever played for the club. He is individually the most successful player they have ever had and he should be guaranteed legendary status at the club.
Along with Paul Scholes, Sir Alex Ferguson rates Ryan Giggs as his best ever player. He has re-invented himself as a player as he has got older, changing from a fast and nippy winger into a clever player who can see a pass and play in a variety of positions. As far as I can see, he has never let Manchester United down and continues to be an essential part of their successful squad.
Can any Manchester United fans explain to me why they think that booing Ryan Giggs shows them to be anything other than ignorant? Can anyone explain why on earth they think that booing a man who has done more for the club than almost any individual in its history, is a justifiable action to take?
If there are genuine reasons then I will gladly take back what I have said and stand corrected, but if it is simply that he is not quite performing at the astonishingly high levels and standards he has set for himself over the last eighteen years, then I hold the boo boys in contempt, as should the rest of the United fans. Get behind Giggsy and express your displeasure at the so called fans who are booing this iconic representation of the most successful period in your clubÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s history.
I will always maintain and defend the paying fans right to protest, but this is just going too far. If the United boo boys want to pop along to Vicarage Road IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll show them something that may just deserve to be booed. If they hate him that much, then there will always be a place for Ryan Giggs at Watford!
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