A little message for Mr. Robins


The morning after the night before – rambling thoughts.


There it is.

The paying public part with hard earned cash, week on week. Could their money be better spent? Certainly. Ask their other halves. A new bathroom suite? A new carpet? Decking for the garden? Desperately needed home improvements…

A new car, perhaps? A holiday?

All different ways of having their cash spent, but no – there’s football, isn’t there?

Most people (not all) who have been involved in football from a career point of view know nothing other. Sure, they went to school, and in the main ‘bummed out’. Look at Rooney – ask him to divide 10 by 2 and his face would look like he’d sucked on a lemon.

Great player, as most of them are in their own right, but many of them are immersed in this bubble that’s called the footballing world.

Not their fault, granted; but there are times in life when the paying punters clash with people from ‘the footballing world’. You’ve not been pigeon-holed here by the way, please understand.

You’re saying that the boos are personal against you – they’re not. They’re personal against the players and the manager, not the people. Was an Adkins team ever booed? Yes. Was Wilcox ever booed? Weekly, and won promotion. Was Knill ever booed? Nah, footballing god.

You see, Mark, it’s a pretty miserable place around here. For whatever reason, you’ll rarely see a good atmosphere at Glanford Park. Sure, there are a few hardy souls who hammer the back of the DRE in an attempt to whip one up whilst asking van Veen to believe in their dream, but they’re flogging a dead horse. It’s no Leicester, Palace, Stoke – that’s for sure.

Not to say we’re not happy people. Yes, we can moan with the best of them, some of the dialogue is laughable, but it’s synonymous with most of the ground on match days.

Does this make us bad people? No, it’s just infectious. If we were second in the Premier League, there would be moans. Why aren’t we top? 2-0 down at home to Arsenal at half-time BOOOOOOOOO. Sense of reality? No. But just exactly how it would be. Do I wish it was different? My god, yes. I hate being amongst misery, but as I said, it’s infectious.

Now, last night: That first half was complete and utter tosh. Sorry, It was – as bad as I’ve ever seen. At half-time we were lucky not to be 3-0 down and out of the cup. Should we have cheered and clapped the lads off? Of course not. Boos rang sporadically around the ground – do I agree with it? No. But that’s the paying customer’s right.

If you go out for a steak and ask for well done but end up with a plate of blood, you’ll be spitting feathers. Are you annoyed with Mr.Rogers, the chef? No, at that point you’re fuming with the waitress, the cooks and Mr. Rogers. Do you really hate them all? No. Would they take it personally? Perhaps on their first day in the job…

This was League One against League Two. A reason for being a whole division apart, on our home turf with a big juicy carrot dangling in front of us.

Did it look that way? No. It looked like Orient were hell bent on grabbing the said carrot, but to us it looked like the rotten peach was a more attractive proposition – a metaphorical term for Millwall away. No offence, Millwall.

Now, to accuse the boo-boys of aiming their half-time vitriol at you as a person, Mark, is wrong. Yes, you’re a human being, but a whole lifetime in football should have developed a thicker skin, which no doubt you have.

Do you honestly think that back in the day when you went to take a throw-in at Maine Road that City fans genuinely wanted to rip your throat out? No. I’m sure you laughed off any criticism as being part of the game.

I’m not likening the scenario there to the one at Scunny, after all, we’re all in this together; but it’s just a way of trying to explain that nothing is personal.

There could have been a fella booing you at half time and losing his false teeth in a rant, but you bump into him in Tesco an hour after the game and his attitude would have been all the more different.

It’s not personal.

The trouble is, this was supposed to be OUR year. The chairman promised big things in the summer. A play-off push. A new ground. It’s a bit like promising your son a new bike for Christmas only for them to open a set of crayons – even that child is going to be pissed off with his parents.

Frustration has to be understood. The season has been ridiculous. In the main, it’s been poor. Glimpses of promise, granted, but more often than not the fans have been severely underwhelmed.

We’re human beings, we’re not robots. You show me any fan in the world of any sport that would be satisfied paying their hard earned money in exchange for non-entertainment. You’ll struggle.

Scunthorpe 0 Bradford 2. Scunthorpe 0 Peterborough 4. Scunthorpe 0 Leyton Orient 0 (H/T) – and could have easily been out of the cup. No reasons whatsoever for being upbeat at that moment in time.

The minority booed – but you heard it. 100 people at a gathering – 1 ‘boo’ – you hear it. Don’t take it personally.

Whatever happened in that second period last night worked a treat. Was it your half-time team talk? Was it the players pulling their fingers out of their arses? Was it in response to the boos and two fingers up to the perpetrators? Either way, it culminated in a round of applause at the final whistle Рeven from the boo boys. Was that personal? You, and the players, were gods.

All we as fans want is a bit of passion and commitment and a degree of entertainment. We want to see exciting wingers beating their man and whipping in dangerous crosses for Steve Torpey to attack with all his might. We don’t particularly want to see eight passes across the back four that culminates in a big lump upfield once we’ve been put under pressure, time and time again.

I know you came here with a big reputation and a whopping salary, but we’re a small club. Engage with the fans, you’ll be surprised what a difference it can make. Applaud them prior to kick off and get them on side – don’t give reasons for ‘hate’.

As I said earlier, we’re all in this together. Make us feel like we’re all in it together, it can be done – and I don’t just mean the obligatory ‘the fans were superb’ comments in the post-match interview, a personal touch goes a long way – even in football.

Too much to ask? Give the fans some of that, Mark, and all will be well.

Chin up.


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Written by Matt Blanchard

Part of the team since 2007, before becoming editor in 2013. Undertaken the role of match summariser during Scunthorpe United live match commentaries for BBC Radio Humberside. Seasonal contributor to football titles FourFourTwo and When Saturday Comes and a finalist at the Football Blogging Awards in 2014.

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