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Shameless Defence Of Chelsea’s Drogba… But What About Rooney’s Fan Relations?

“Die die, Rooney Rooney, die!” sing the Everton fans whenever they face Wayne Rooney, their former hero. Rooney doesn’t stick his fingers up at them, swear at them, or respond in a negative way. Instead, he celebrates ecstatically when we score and kisses our badge. All a bit of harmless banter, with Rooney returning the stick the Everton fans dish out, but not in crude or vile ways. He’s taking the piss out of them, knowing that the sight of him showing allegiance to us, after his ‘Once a blue, always a blue’ t-shirt when he was a kid, will drive them bonkers. Should the fault lie with Rooney, or with the nutcase scousers who can’t be held accountable for their actions because a former player’s lips come in to contact with our crest? The answer is all too obvious.

Yet that bitter scouse bastard Phil Thompson claimed Rooney should have seen a straight red for his actions, showing sympathy to his blue counterparts.

For those of you who watched Spurs thrash Liverpool during the week, you will have seen Thompson’s post match commentary. He wanted to highlight how Liverpool were robbed after not being awarded a penalty. Replays showed the Spurs’ defender got a toe to the ball, but Thompson hilariously claimed ‘Yeh, there was contact on the ball… but I’ve seen them given!’ His word shouldn’t be taken as gospel, with his love for the bitters blinding him in to complete idiocy, but he wasn’t alone with his opinion of Rooney a few weeks earlier.

The Daily Mail claimed ‘he was subdued and eventually withdrawn in semi-disgrace to howls of derision shortly after provoking his former fans by kissing the badge of his current club.’

The Guardian referred to his ‘lack of discipline’. The Mirror called it ‘mindless badge-kissing’ and insisted ‘he is 23 now and old enough not to act in such an immature way.’

When Rooney returned to Goodison Park for the first team since signing for United, coins, a mobile and a bottle were thrown on to the pitch by the irate home support. This seemed to pass people by, seemingly quite acceptable behaviour from a set of fans confronted with their ‘Judas’.

Yet when Didier Drogba reacts to abuse from Burnley fans by sticking his finger up at them and lobbing a coin in to the crowd, he’s not the bad guy at all.

“I have met Didier Drogba and he is a terrific guy,” said Harry Redknapp. “I’m sure it’s the kind of thing that when he woke the next morning he would have deeply regretted it. Fans should not be throwing coins in the first place. A linesman got badly cut when he was hit by a coin up at Villa and it made a real mess of his head. He could have lost an eye.”

What about the innocent person in the crowd who Drogba threw the coin at? Could he or she not have lost an eye too? But that’s alright, because some yob amongst the thousands of Burnley fans threw one first, so they all deserve to have shit chucked at them, right?

“People also have got to stop throwing things on the pitch,” said Lampard. “I was around Didier at the time and I don’t know how many coins there were around. We’ve seen referees getting hit, too, so I think people have to take responsibility as a group. Didier has to take responsibility as an individual. I hope he doesn’t get banned, but it’s up to The FA, who are investigating it.”

Of course, if John Terry can rugby tackle an opponent and face no punishment whatsoever, not even a yellow card, then why should Drogba be punished for this?

Even Wenger is at it, painting a picture of a player I cannot associate with Drogba, showing understanding as to why the player behaved in the way he did.

“He will be punished but he is a fair player,” said Wenger. “People who insult from the stands or throw things are not punished. They need to be isolated because they can injure people on the pitch. Drogba has been targeted many times and perhaps he’s more sensitive at the moment and that explains his response.”

Former rentboy, Tony Cascarino, wrote for The Times, claiming our attentions should be directed at the fans and away from Drogba.

All the talk is about how long Didier Drogba’s ban should be and that’s taking the focus away from the person who started the whole thing – the fan who threw the coin at him.
Drogba is not a popular player. He’s done and said some daft things, but he wasn’t trying to wind up the Burnley fans – he scored and in the adrenalin rush that followed he probably didn’t realise where he was celebrating. He’s got a big ego, so he’s not the kind of character to laugh off having something chucked at him, spoiling his moment of glory. He reacted because he felt insulted.
Drogba must be held accountable, but he’s not the main villain here. Stop fans abusing players and you stop the problem of players being pushed past breaking point.

I’m sure it will come as a shock that Ian Wright, the man who said it was alright for Steven Gerrard to dive, believes Drogba is being unfairly painted as the bad guy in this situation.

“Didier Drogba could have been blinded or even killed by the Burnley morons who pelted him with coins the other night,” he starts with, ignoring the obvious fact that, equally, Drogba could have ‘blinded or even killed’ someone in the crowd after he threw the coin back. He confirms his stupidity later on, when referring to an incident involving a fan and himself when playing against Oldham. “As I was walking down the tunnel this bloke ran up to me and spat in my face. Disgusting. And my immediate response was to spit back at him. The entire episode was captured on video. Yet the FA still charged me with misconduct and warned me about my future behaviour.”  So, it’s disgusting for a fan to spit in Wright’s face, but acceptable for Wright to then spit in the fan’s face, and should go unpunished by the FA? What??

I wish people would make up their minds though because I’m very confused. I thought professional football players were supposed to be role models, paid hundreds of thousands of pounds a week to behave in a way that sets an example to other people. Gary Neville was a very naughty boy for celebrating in front of the Liverpool fans, who’d been chanting about him shagging him mum and singing their usual Munich songs all game. He was inciting them, not by sticking up his finger or behaving in a similarly disgusting manner, rather by proudly displaying the badge of his beloved team. However, this was in the direction of mere football fans, not expected to be held accountable for what they do. The responsibility is on the footballers.

Rooney is an idol to kids all over the country, he should behave in a mature and responsible way. Kissing the badge of his current club, where he has won two league titles and European Cup by the age of 22, is terribly petulant and unnecessary. The fact the FA had to confirm that no action would be taken over Rooney for kissing our badge only indicates what a fuss had been made. Afterall, how often do the FA have to release statements assuring people that nothing will be done over a certain incident in a game, whether it be a supposed red card challenge or altercation between players? Rarely, if ever. However, as the Everton fans sung about him dying, he didn’t respond by swearing at them or behaving in a similarly disgusting manner, rather by kissing the badge of his team.

Yet Didier Drogba sticks his finger up at opposing fans, a crowd containing children and innocent bystanders, and throws a coin at them indiscriminately, and the fans are the ones to blame? It’s ludicrous. Whilst of course not suggesting the fan was right to throw something on to the pitch, I can’t understand why Drogba is getting slaps on the back here. Had he taken some kid’s eye out, it would be a different story, however because that didn’t happen, we should offer up our sympathy to the odious twat. This is of course the same player who slapped Nemanja Vidic in the European Cup final, then revealed in his autobiography he wished he’d punched him!

As the Burnley fans reacted angrily to Drogba’s celebration, throwing a coin at him, he responded by sticking his finger up at them and behaving in a similarly disgusting manner, throwing the coin back at them.

So, what have we learnt? Responding to songs about your death by kissing the badge is bad. Blame the player, not the fans. Responding to songs about the deaths of 23 innocent people by holding up your badge is bad. Blame the player, not the fans. Responding to one fan throwing a coin at you by throwing that coin back aimlessly in to a crowd of innocent men, women a children is actually kind of alright. Blame the fans, not the player.

But of course, the treatment of players and clubs in the press in England is totally fair and equal, and as United fans we’re just too sensitive…


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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21 Comments

  1. james f says:

    It’s time the world opened their eyes. The way Chelsea players behave, sooner or later all ABUs will become ABCs!

  2. RJ says:

    Scathing. But I must say that I agree with every word.

  3. Its in my blood says:

    Absolutely spot on! We’ve had to endure this hypocritical bollocks for years! Remember that fat, greedy, almost medal-less Geordie bastard Shearer kicking someone in the head?(was it Lennon?) It was a shameful act. From what i can remember Shearer whined he’d refuse to play for England and the whole affair was allowed to fizzle quietly away.The great British press, commentators etc just allowed it to happen. Sadly Scott, we grow up knowing its different rules for us. Kissing the badge is surely the most heinous of crimes….

  4. Ben Dover says:

    But then again… this is happening all to often: there is not the same punishment for the same offence. This regards Drogba vs. Keano statements, Cantona attack vs. Drogba attack (yeah, i think drogba will get 9 months out, yeah right!).

    My point is that there is too much about football today which can effect a teams chance of glory, that depends all too much of other factors than which is the best team. Like f.ex. suspensions, penalties given etc etc.

  5. King Eric says:

    Spot on! Any respect i did have for Ian Wright dissapeared a long time ago, on his london based sport talk show the man can barely string a sentence together. Complete bias and hypocrisy

  6. gotta hate tiny tears says:

    cantona kicked a fella who deserved it

    that coin could of hit anyone

  7. we won it first. says:

    where’s his 8 months?
    from what i hear the maximum he’ll get is 3 games.
    pathetic.

  8. Sam says:

    your spot on about the media treatment of it, the pundit’s (who keano wouldn’t trust to walk his dog!) has been defending drogba. Something does have to be done about fans throwing things onto the pitch, our lads have had to put up with it. It shows what a shit hole stamford bridge is that they can’t identify the fan who threw it. they wouldn’t have that problem at old trafford with all the bloody camera’s.

  9. Just1n says:

    I don’t know what the big deal is guys. Drogba overreacted , fair enough. Besides innocent bystanders getting hit with the coin he tossed, if he had hit the guilty idiot who threw him then that is ok in my book. Like when Cantona kung fu kicked that dick head all those years ago. Players are human and should not be expected to remain angelic in the face of serious insult and derogatory statements.

  10. Its in my blood says:

    Sam, i think the cameras HAVE identified who threw the coins.They daren’t release the footage. Peter Kenyon, you’re a wanker!

  11. THIS_IS_MANCHESTER says:

    i really cannot understand why rival players get away with so much, many will say i am biased but it just seems that the fa and people in the game turns a blind eye to other teams but has their good eye turned always to united. rooney reacted by kissing the badge of his new club to incite his old club – i will say that it was wrong but he was only showing them that while he was once a blue he’s now loyal to the red of united.

    drogba physically attacked someone, he threw a coin back into the crowd but as a player surely he should have learnt how to phase the crowd out and play your own game. but instead lets blame the fans because they started it first, which makes me think in rooneys case rooney was blamed even tho it is quite clear the fans started it. what a world like refereeing decisions theres no consistency anywhere!

  12. Kings says:

    Double standards

  13. mauly says:

    They say the fool in the stands that threw the coin should be banned for life from all footy grounds… I say ban the fool on the pitch..

  14. TonyBee says:

    Fuck em all….. should have chucked a fucking gallon of pigshit at Drogba the cheating diving petulant cunt….. and made sure Fatso (this losers medal is for you mummy) was standing next to him with the backstabber Terry not far away.

  15. swifters says:

    imagine if rooney dashed a coin back into the crowdm, nevermind kissing the badge on his shirt… ther would be fuckin uproar… the FA are a joke. seems its one rule for one, one rule for the rest of em. sort it out!

  16. OTRed says:

    To be honest, I’m not even surprised that he got off lightly, i was actually surprised by the fact that he even got punished at all

  17. DanS says:

    One rule for us, one rule for them. End of.

    Give Drog a three match ban and move on. I’d also fine Burnley – not directly their fault but they need to do more on who they give tickets too.

    Bored with hearing about this now.

  18. Red-Manc says:

    Rooney is english and played for UNITED therefore anything he does the media jump on the bandwagon with there ABU lies and over reaction.

    Personally neither Cantona Rooney Drogba should ever be slated when they react to fans neither should any player for that matter. If a fan throws a coin at a player why cant that player throw it back? if fans are chanting for you to die and calling you a wanker why cant you harmlessly kiss your badge? and if a fan shouts racist abuse at you why cant you kung fu kick him then punch him in the face ;) haha Cantona, Legend ;)

    Nah in all seriousness what comes around goes around and dickhead fans that throw things/ be racist etc they deserve to have them thrown back at them its only fair. If you dont want a coin chucked back at you dont throw it in the first place, if you dont like your ex players to wind you up then dont wind them up in the first place.

    but the way the FA/Fifa acted towards cantona/rooney and other players under the rules drogba should be fined and banned.

  19. UnitedOnFire says:

    Harry Redknapp on coin throwers : “They should be banned for life from football grounds because there is no place for them in football.”

    Harry Redknapp on a coin thrower : “I have met Didier Drogba and he is a terrific guy, I’m sure it’s the kind of thing that when he woke the next morning he would have deeply regretted.”

    But Harry, there is no place in football for Drogba. That’s what you said. Why is it okay for Drogba to throw coins and not others ? Because he wasn’t the first ? It was retaliation? Sorry, two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Never mind, Rooney, just imagine if it was Ronaldo?
    Actually, I couldn’t imagine Ronaldo doing such a thing, unlike that Chelsea thug

  20. ManchesterMonkey says:

    Blood is boiling!!

  21. suhayl says:

    mauly and unitedonfire = spot on spot on guys

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