Friday, 30 March 2007


If I hear another moron call for 'passion' - on the part of England/Charlton players/fans - something/someone is going to go through the window. Passion is easy. What is really missed by England now and by Charlton earlier this season is character: the character to drive a team playing without confidence, the character to seek the ball and try something not obvious at the risk of howls of derision from supporters geared up to boo every mistake, and the character to drive criticism back down people's throats with performances, not words.

One reason I did not renew my Charlton season ticket for this season was that I was increasingly alienated by other supporters. Booing and over-the-top criticism during the game was becoming increasingly prevalent and the attitude of some supporters was summed up by their not bothering to wait for the end of the final home game to pay some tribute to Curbs. There is an active role for supporters: to try to unsettle the opposition players if at all possible (singing etc, not trying to thump them), and to try to help our team play better (through actual support when things are not going well). Booing during a game is only (possibly) acceptable if players are not trying (I was at the Sheff Utd away game and some were at the very least hiding). Booing every mistake is not showing 'passion', it's actually showing indifference.

Of course it's a chicken-and-egg situation between fans and players. But if it isn't working on the pitch the supporters can help - and vice versa. Fortunately for Charlton the manager now seems to have the trust and backing of players and fans and there is a 'virtuous circle' of support and performance. May it prove to be enough.

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