Boo boys don't make sense but Micho must ignore them

Justin Shonga scored Orlando Pirates' consolation goal in Guinea on Saturday.
Justin Shonga scored Orlando Pirates' consolation goal in Guinea on Saturday.
Image: Samuel Shivambu / BackpagePix

A coach worth his salt does not concern himself with boo boys.

And the quicker Orlando Pirates coach Milutin "Micho" Sredojevic learns that football supporters are their own worst enemies, the better.

A player not at his best on any day is booed as supporters demand a substitution by rolling their wrists, as it's often seen during matches.

The same scenes played themselves out during Pirates' midweek 2-0 Absa Premiership victory over Black Leopards. The unruly supporters called for one of the Bucs' best strikers, Justin Shonga, to be substituted.

The same treatment of boos and jeers was meted out to forward Thamsanqa Gabuza by a section of supporters in the 1-0 away win to Bidvest Wits last week.

Instead of rooting for their team and singing on top of their voices so as to cause confusion and bewilderment to the opponents as the 12th man, their boos at times work the other way around, to the benefit of their opponents.

There is arguably no such thing as a rational football supporter because past glories are quickly forgotten, just a in the case of Shonga.

It does not happen only at Bucs games, but ask the Kaizer Chiefs bench and coach Ernst Middendorp, who at times has to preoccupy himself with the mundane issue of boo boys instead of concentrating on how his players perform.

Ex-Chiefs striker Kingston Nkhatha would attest to having a torrid time with the boo boys. He was usually on the receiving end of it, leading to former coach Stuart Baxter threatening to quit if fans don't stop dissing the player, who eventually joined SuperSport United.

It is high time SA football supporters took the giant leap to modern times by accepting, as fanatic fans, that a player has his good and bad days.

Any one supporter who still thinks booing will make a player better, they must think twice. They are psychologically destroying the very person they would be enthusing about once they have regained form. This backward mentality is destroying the football spirit.

Who knows better but the coach if one of their players is not performing at his best?

It's not the duty of the supporters to tell the coach what to do. That's why at times they are called tacticians - they have the best knowledge what to do when situations don't work in their favour.

Sredojevic should not have even responded to Shonga's critics by rebuking them in the media. That could make the player's situation more difficult. True supporters need to understand that players need that lift, not to be put down.

I have every respect for supporters who pay their hard earn money - in these tough economic times - to release the tension after a week of working hard. But not hooligans.

Pirates are gaining points at the moment. They are perched at the summit of the league log - and Shonga has played a key role in this progress.

So to the Bucs fans, desist from putting undue presssure on the players, and to Sredojevic stop concerning yourself with what is happening in the stands.

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