We’re supposed to be ’supporters’

December 8th, 2008 03:06pm

Arsenal 1 – 0 Wigan (Adebayor 16)

There’s been a lot of debate already about the ‘Eboooing’ incident.  It is a debate I have not been part of, and I have to say, feel loathe to wade into.  I find the whole thing utterly distasteful.-

For me, there is no debate. The reaction of the fans when Eboue’s number was held up was, in my view, appalling. -对我来说,没有什么可以争论的。 球迷对埃布伊被换下的这种反应,在我看来,相当震惊。

I was not sat in my usual seat, and was instead ensconsed with the players’ families and friends. I was as shocked as them by the reaction, and as the ironic cheers turned to hateful boos I found myself stood there, open-mouthed, looking round at what suddenly felt like 60,000 strangers-我没有坐在我平常的位置,而是与一些球员的家属和朋友坐在一起。我和他们一样,简直被惊呆了,当嘲讽的“欢呼”被充满仇恨的嘘声代替时,我目瞪口呆地站在那里,环顾四周,突然觉得那是60,000个陌生的人.

We don’t need to go over Eboue’s faults.  I’ve done that myself enough times. 我们不需要在谈埃布伊的过错,我自己就谈得够多的了。球迷们都不怎么喜欢他,因为.. The guy is not well-liked by Arsenal fans, and his theatrics and apparent laziness have made him somewhat of a joke figure among the crowd. The recent “We’ve only come to see Eboue” chant is a light-hearted attempt at alleviating frustration with a player who has thus far failed to fulfill his undoubted potential.

But there are mitigating circumstances.  It’s not the first time Eboue has ever played on the left, but it can’t be more than the third.  Some have said, “Well, that doesn’t affect much”, but I don’t neccessarily agree.  If you are predominantly right-footed, playing from the left shifts your entire body position in relation the ball.  Some players are happier this way: Henry, Pires etc.  But if you’re not used to it, it can offset your balance and spatial awareness.  For anyone who doubts this, compare performances by William Gallas when playing as the left-sided centre-back and the right.

Granted, a very good footballer would be able to shift position without thinking.  But Eboue is not a very good footballer.  And that is not his fault.  It is not his fault that Arsene chose to bring an unfit, out-of-form, and ultimately not-very-good player on in an alien position.

I know many will disagree and feel booing such a poor performance is justified.  I don’t.  In the stadium I am incredibly positive, even about the players who I freely criticise on this blog.  That’s because I cannot see how booing a player helps anybody.我知道许多球迷觉得表现很差的球员被嘘是活该。但我不这么认为。在球场上,我总是极端正面,既是对那些我经常在这个博客上毫不留情地批评过的球员。这是因为,我看不出嘘一个球员,会对任何人有所帮助。

If this was a team full of hardened veterans, I would consider it more acceptable.  But this team so plainly lacks character that a boo is far more likely to frighten them than inspire them.  -如果一个球队都是些脸皮厚的家伙,可能这种做法还可以容忍。但我们这个球队中缺乏个性的不少,嘘不会给他们鼓励和刺激,反倒可能会吓着他们。The fans are victimising certain players – in some ways Eboue I can understand, but the fact that a player as inexperienced as Nicklas Bendtner was booed when his name was read out before the game is shocking.而且球迷是只针对某些球员-对埃布伊在有些方面倒还可以理解,但对本特纳这么一个没有经验的球员,在比赛之前,念到他的名字时就开始嘘,真让人震惊。(注:难怪大本越踢越差!)

We are supposed to be ’supporters’.  What kind of support is that?我们应该是“支持者”吧,但这又算是什么支持呢?

When do the players play well?  When the crowd are raucous and behind them- think of this season’s Man Utd game.  When a kid like Jack Wilshere or Aaron Ramsey hears the treatment meted out to Eboue, can you imagine the mental pressure that applies, and the degree to which they must fear the consequences of any mistake?

Arsene actually bringing off Eboue potentially sets a worrying precedent.  The fans demanded Gallas out, and Arsene concurred.  The fans demanded Eboue off, and Arsene concurred.  I have no doubt that the manager is his own man, but there is nothing more dangerous than a club where the fans have the illusion of power – see Newcastle United.  I dread to think what happens to the next player who has a bad game – he’ll be booed until withdrawal.

It’s impossible to really guage the effects of the incident until a way into the future.  If Eboue’s and the team’s performances suddenly pick up, then those who booed will, I’m sure, feel justified.

The only positive aspect of the whole pullava is that Arsene stepped up and pulled Eboue off.  As with stripping Gallas of the captaincy, it displayed the ruthlessness that has marked Arsene’s most successful moments as Arsenal manager.  It’s certainly a good sign ahead of January, when he will have to be equally ruthless in the restructuring of his squad.

But the boos followed that decision.  Arsene knew Eboue had to come off.  He didn’t need to be told having already decided to withdraw him.-嘘(和“欢呼”)是发生在换人之后,温格已经知道必须将他换下来,他并不需要我们再去告诉他。

Eboue is expected to play in Portugal on Wednesday night.  I know the travelling fans will back him as they would any other player.

Anyway, it’s easy to forget, but we actually won the game.  I’m angry that all this has taken the focus away from a third win in three games with Cesc as captain.  It wasn’t our prettiest performance but a neat Adebayor finish was enough to see off a very solid Wigan outfit.  Johan Djourou continued his good form in defence, whilst Alex Song had one of his better games in midfield – something I didn’t neccessarily realise about Song is that he’s quite good in the air, and he even beat the towering Emile Heskey to a few long-balls.

This piece has been a right old ramble.  I haven’t enjoyed writing it, because I’m not particularly proud to be associated with many of the goings-on it discusses.

What happened on Saturday didn’t feel very Arsenal.  I can only hope it’s part of the cathartic healing process that might just turn our season around.周六发生的事,真的感觉很不像阿森纳(注:图雷也这么说)。我只是希望这是一种释放过程,也许可以从此后扭转我们的这个赛季。

Whether the same will ever happen for Tomas Rosicky, seems unlikely.



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