It appears that the main talking point after England’s 5-1 victory over Kazakhstan is not which players were particularly good or bad at Wembley, but more to do with whether it’s right to boo any footballer in a white shirt. The fans have often sought to make individual players a scapegoat if the team is performing badly, and they made their feelings clear after someone’s lapse on Saturday afternoon.
Ashley Cole’s ball into no man’s land mattered not a jot in the end, with England scoring another three at the other end. However, The Guardian are one of many to report the words of stand-in captain Rio Ferdinand, who has been rather critical of the supporters who booed the likeable left-back (!). Perhaps a few Arsenal fans just couldn’t resist giving their former charge a piece of their mind.
‘It’s disappointing when any player makes a mistake,’ said Ferdinand.
‘You want to get behind him and gee him up, so he gets back into it. I hope the people who’ve done that will feel a bit ashamed when they get home think about it. The majority of fans were great and it’s up to us as players to create that relationship again with them by making Wembley a cauldron. It’s up to us a little bit, and the fans to get behind us.’
Ashley Cole has not exactly endeared himself to the general public in recent seasons, especially with some ill-judged comments in his autobiography, where he reveals how sickened he was to hear that Arsenal had refused him an extra £5k a week. It’s entirely possible that many Gunners fans were waiting for the Chelsea full-back to make a mistake, but is the booing justified or totally out of order?