Tuesday, 19 May 2009

True supporters

I read this article on goal.com this morning which pretty much made me want to hit the nearest thing to me. For several reasons. The main one being that THIS is exactly the type of football fan I hate. I don't even see how they have the nerve to call themselves fans. We're all disappointed with the way things have gone this season, but lashing out at the manager is NOT the way to make things better.

"next year you will be in the UEFA Cup, you will play in the UEFA Cup. That is what you have to do, play in the UEFA Cup, you are a UEFA Cup team"
UEFA Cup or Champions League, they are still making some sort of European cup competition. Which, for a team that has had the troubles Valencia have had, is a pretty big achievement. Obviously, I would rather they made the CL. They are a team that deserves to play CL football, and it's not that long ago they were last IN the competition. But still, I'm not likely to complain about the UEFA Cup. It's better than nothing.

I appreciate that fans are growing frustrated with the way the season has turned out, and I'll be the first to admit that when Valencia were top of the table for six of the first eight weeks of La Liga this year, I did not think that come the end of the season, they'd be fighting to hold onto fourth spot. It's not like I thought that they were going to win La Liga either, but things were definitely looking a lot brighter when the season started. Then a rough patch, players not being paid and 2 months of pretty bad results pushed them as low as 8th in the table, but they fought back and they made that fourth spot theirs. For it to be ripped away by a fucking DIVE is not cool. Yes, they didn't play as well as they should have against Atletico. In fact, they played a little bit shit. It was probably the right result and I'm not going to complain about that. But NOBODY can sit there and tell me that the way that result happened was right or fair, because I just won't listen. And I like Atletico, but if they make the CL at the expense of Valencia, on the basis on THAT result, then no, I will not be happy for them, and yes I will be a bitter bitch about it and I have every right to do that, because it's one thing earning your place in the competition. It's totally different when you have it handed to you on a silver platter.

Fans who don't bother supporting the team through thick and thin don't deserve their name as fans. I know that people are frustrated because Valencia deserve better than what they're getting and when it really matters, they're not fighting, but I can't justify the way these fans acted. I don't even want to justify it, it's plain wrong. It's not like them saying all of this is going to change the result. And shouting things like 'you're just a UEFA Cup team' is hardly going to boost the players' confidence at the stage of the season they need it the most. I bet these are the fans that stopped going to games when the team was doing badly. It's the times that the team needs fans' full support that you really get an idea of who is there for the glory and who is there from the heart. I don't claim to be the best fan in the world, but one thing I would never do is turn my back on my team when they need me to support them and show them that people still believe in them when they need it the most.


Sarah said...

Wow. Full rant mode!

Nope Valencia aren't a UEFA Cup team. They've been in two Champions League finals but they lost. Ok, fair enough it wasn't this particular team but, they have shown they are capable of it as a club. They have the resources and the ability. This was (imo still are) the only team to challenge Real Madrid and Barcelona for titles. I wholeheartedly think that Valencia are more than capable of sustaining a title challenge.

Fans who say things like that need to get out. I don't know about you but I just got so angry seeing the Mestalla empty for all the time they were losing at the beginning of the year and as they started winning again, the stadium filled up. I can understand not wanting to spend money on a team who were pretty bad at the turn of the year and especially during a recession, but if you're a true fan as many of those would argue they are, you would go to the ends of the earth to see your team play. Regardless of the crappiness or the premonitions pre-match that you won't win. Its the ups and downs that make football and yep, Valencia have had more downs than ups this season but now is not the time to abandon them.

The 'fans' who fill the Mestalla this month and last were most certainly not there when they were drawing the bottom three teams.

Although La Liga is different to EPL or Serie A or Ligue 1 or MLS respectively, they all share a common trait. When the going gets tough, the manager becomes the scapegoat. It was only a matter of time before Unai started getting flack. Tbh, and correct me if you think I'm wrong, I don't think the majority of Los Che fans ever got over Rafael Benitez leaving.