Thanks for visiting The Men In White. After years of great fun on the Podcast we decided to move on, and this site is now no longer maintained (though feel free to browse!) These days you can find at us our great new UK football website & podcast: Footballing Life so do drop in over there!

Reader’s Letter: Some of the actions by fans at the Burnley match were downright disgusting!

by Guest Post on February 11, 2013

Reader ‘Ytarmy Ytarmy’ shares some strong words of opinion on some behaviour from some of our fans:

I’ve been a Bolton Supporter all my life (well as long as I remember, sitting on the crush barrier in the Great Lever End when I was 6 with my Dad), and I have to say I’m getting very disappointed with our fans at present and after the win versus Burnley I want to air a few of my opinions regarding our fans.

Too many believe the hype that the media/bookies put on our team at the beginning of the season being the best in the division and favourites to bounce straight back. They expect us to play like Barcelona and win 4 – 0 every game, yet when we start to play out from the back and keep possession as we did against Burnley the boos start to ring out and fans bay for the ball to be hoofed up front (worst a few weeks ago now, I think the penny may have dropped that football can at times be played on the green stuff). A lot of fans must have very short memories as it wasn’t long ago we were FIGHTING to get out of this division and into the promised-land that is the Premier League. I’m sure everyone connected with Cardiff will testify that its bloody hard to get promoted from the Championship!

I’ll get to my point, I know football (like lots of other things in life) is about opinions but I think we can all agree we love Bolton Wanderers and want to support them as much as we can. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I leave the Reebok down and dejected and have plenty of time to mull over the game on my drive back to North Wales, but some of the actions by fans at the Burnley match when Dougie made a double (and may I say inspired) substitution were… well, downright disgusting!

Personally I thought the substitutions were bang on. Eagles had looked lost most of the game floating about behind Sordell and having no real impact. OK maybe Sordell was having a tough time on his own up front, and not getting the service, but 2 pairs of fresh legs would inject pace at that time of the game. So to move Eagles out to try and play in his more familiar role whilst taking off an on-loan player: OK he had a half-decent game, but hey someone’s gotta come off!

These subs were greeted with a chorus of “You don’t know what you’re doing” and boos by large sections of muppets in the crowd. 2 blokes in our end nearly came to blows discussing Dougies choice. If we put enough effort into getting behind the team we would have the best fans in football and not a bunch of mindless *%&$%£s (I’m not tarring everyone with the same brush here, but they do tend to get heard a lot!). I’m getting to a point where I’m beginning to despise some of our fans. Lo and behold the 2 subs score the goals and they all forget that 10 minutes earlier he didn’t know what he was doing!! The idiots who boo’ed and sang the song should be ashamed of themselves and next time just think about what impact their actions have on the team and management. I can understand now why Megson used to come out with some of the comments when put under this sort of tirade!

I think Dougie is making good progress now and unless we go on an unbeaten run of 5 games we can basically look at mid-table this season, but I expect next season to be a bumper year. So COYWM!!!!!!

(PS can someone please tell Bogdan to aim for the large rectangular piece of grass when kicking the ball out. 75% of his kicks yesterday must have gone into touch!)

Enjoy this? Spread the word!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

dunc February 11, 2013 at 4:01 pm

We got used to losing most games in the Premiership. It was expected. Even if the team won – it was most times a struggle. So to lose became not so disappointing. However I thought we would win the majority of games this season with a bit of style and panache– how wrong was I . This has been the most disappointing season since I can remember . Also Freedman is very obviously no better than Megson or Coyle.
Also the boos were, I think , because De Ritter had been the most effective attacker.

When Jimmy Philips was in charge at least the team tried. What was wrong with having him as manager – and even finding a place for Super John.


Tony Coffey February 12, 2013 at 9:46 am

‘ve said this on the-wanderer so forgive me if you’ve already read this but I don’t blame the fans for their reaction on Saturday.

Last season despite some ‘rumblings’ the majority of fans remained steadfastly behind Coyle, Gartside and the club. Supporting them in the mistaken belief that we’d get out of the bottom three and maintain our Premier League sponsored by Barclay’s Bank status despite the evidence to the contrary that Coyle actually DIDN’T know what he was doing.

While Blackburn Rovers fans made Steve Kean’s every waking moment a living hell Superwhites did their part to encourage the team and the players on the pitch.

Look where that got us.

Before the season started Phil Gartside said that anything other than promotion was inconceivable. Well, today with only a third of the season remaining we find ourselves closer to League One than the Prem and even a play-off place is almost out of the question.

Is it surprising that fans are ready to explode at the drop of a hat? We’re like beleaguered parents who go crazy in the Supermarket because little Johnny has opened up a tub of yogurt. You see a crazy person going mental at nothing, what you don’t see is the three previous hours of ‘Don’t do that’ that eventually leads to the unfortunate mum or dad losing their patience.

It’s not Freedman’s fault we’re where we are, everyone knows that. It’s just unfortunate that he’s copping for all the earache we’ve bottled up from last season. It has to go somewhere and when fans see another three points disappearing from the Reebok of course it’s going to get tetchy.

And even the so-called ‘mongs’ have a right to shout and scream. We’re always told by Sky, the BBC and the FA that football is about ‘the passion’ yet anyone who’s been to a game over the past ten years will see that ‘passion’ is the last thing you can show.

Football’s about turn up, sit down, sit still, shut up and exit by the gift shop with your ears ringing because some dickheads been walloping a bass drum behind you for two hours or some tit’s been blowing his Flugel Horn down your lughole.

What happened to the days when for 90minutes a week you could go, have a shout at someone infinitely more skilful than you and generally have a good old rant and a rave? If Madonna did it it’d be re-packaged as ‘therapy’ and cost you a fortune but because you do it in a football ground you are labelled a ‘Muppet’.

Football’s not about considered reflection, it’s about being two-faced and quick to make judgements. Pretending to know more than the professionals then back-tracking when proved wrong is what it’s all about. Leave the thinking to the people who are paid to think. If Dougie Freedman wants to say ‘told you so’ after 5 wins in 17 then that’s his prerogative, but if an ESL nutcase wants to call Chris Eagles bone idle then that’s his prerogative too.

Sadly the statics show that for the majority of last season and this the ‘muppets’ have been right.


Geoff TheMenInWhite February 12, 2013 at 10:26 am

‘Thing is… I don’t think there was much “bottling up” going on last season, it was all very much vocalised on a regular basis. Now, by the end fair enough, there has to be a limit to patience & a line drawn somewhere. But that was then & this is now, a different manager & a different project for a different Bolton (as sad as it is: a Bolton in The Championship having to rebuild ourselves it seems).

That regular negative vocalising seems to have become a bit of a (bad) habit. A parent snapping at a kid because they’ve been playing up constantly over & over again is one thing, it’s understandable. Snapping & shouting at a kid every time they do any little thing though is quite simply bad parenting, & really isn’t gonna help the kids behaviour in the future.


Tony Coffey February 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm

I think we are beating ourselves up a bit over this. We’re all trying to find out who’s to blame for the current situation and, at the moment the finger is pointing at the fans.

It’s a game of musical chairs that everyone takes a turn at. Phil Gartside, Owen Coyle, Dougie Freedman, the players and then we’re back to the fans again.

Look, it doesn’t bother me which division Bolton are in, I’ve supported them in the bottom tier before and I’d do it again. My fear though is that if we did go down again would our non-debt/debt/ultra-debt (your choice) mean we still had a team to support?

Plenty of teams bigger than BWFC have slipped through the leagues after falling from the dizzy heights of the top flight. Look at Coventry City, once the very epitome of mid-table comfort they now find themselves chasing the tails of football giants Doncaster Rovers, Yeovill and Bournemouth.

Could the Wanderers survive such a tumble? I think we all know the answer to that.

Because at the end of the day the players will go, Freedman can walk away and that only leaves, me, you and Phil Gartside.

The Reebok is a powder keg at the moment. I wish we could be all singing and all dancing, 100pc behind ‘the lads’ but Bolton fans have ALWAYS been a miserable bunch of so-and-sos and the current situation is only making it worse.

Jesus, if we’re like this after a win how bad can we be if we lose?

I blame Megson.


Geoff TheMenInWhite February 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Yup, we’ve always been a miserable bunch of so-and-sos, my dad’s a perfect example :)
I don’t think I’d point a finger at the fans & blame them for our position… but I certainly don’t think giving in to frustration so easily does us an favours whatsoever.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: