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Atmosphere at the Mansfield Game

I've joined this forum to work out what is going on with some of the fans at this club.
I only get to northern away games due to working and living up in Yorkshire but used to go to most home games up until about 2006-7.

First home game for me this season, and I've got to say I'm shocked and surprised at how much the atmosphere has changed.
Rather than chanting and getting behind the players, we have resorted to hurling abuse at players and even developed factions within our own home end!?
Gone are the days of witty chanting and Chairboy barmy army chants ad infinitum and we now just seen intent on getting on the players backs.

Completely agree that the style of play needs to change; after ten minutes, it was clear the size of the Mansfield defence that long balls were not going to work, our success looked like coming from running at them, but to resort to mud slinging and verbally abusing players, come on we are better than that.

There is a club down the m40 wearing yellow and blue where you are more than at home with that type of behaviour.

I certainly shall not be making the 3 hour drive down any time soon if this is what is has come to.

Comments

  • I was going to post something similar along the lines of how the atmosphere amongst the fans a the ground has become noticeably more demoralised and frustrated. I get the impression the lack of imagination in the tactics that seem to rely far too much on humping it long to Akinfenwa have a very large part to play in this. This has been building for sometime now, the atmosphere at the end of last season felt like it was going in this direction, but never quite got that extreme.
    From the perspective of someone who has paid £15-£22 to watch that 'brand' of football, I could well imagine if they don't come back for a long time.
    The last time I can remember such exasperation was at the end of Sanchez's reign, when things went from stale to sour all too quickly.

    On top of this, we now have the frankly depressing situation where there are rumour, conjecture and wild extrapolations as to whether an incident did or did not occur outside a Tesco somewhere in the town, and what the alleged victim may or may not have said to the alleged assailant, who happens to be one of our best players.

  • Couldn't agree more ReadingMarginalista.

    Maybe I have been spoilt growing up with the likes of Sean Devine, Steve Brown and Richard Harris... But even then we went through some awful spells. Can't remember anywhere near the amount of abuse directed at our own than what I saw yesterday.

    We risk alienating and losing the best players (of which Pierre is definitely one them) with this abuse and whilst we need to show our frustration at the style of play, doing it at fans' forums and evenings where Ainsworth is in attendance is surely much more effective.

    Having said all this, we somehow are still 4 points off the playoffs with 5 games to go; you'd think we were being relegated from the football league!

  • The atmosphere is very different to 10 years ago I think yesterday was particularly bad as we've subject to weeks and weeks of dire football and it's frustrated a lot of people into silence or unfortunately abuse towards our players. Also what on earth is the left side right side divide about behind the goal we all support the same team! Player chants seem to have gone out the window as well with only a few players having their names sung before kick off and players who have been here all season who don't have a song yet like gape and blackman I know a few have tried to start some for them but no one seems to be interested in joining in

  • @YorkshireWanderer
    Maybe I have been spoilt growing up with the likes of Sean Devine, Steve Brown and Richard Harris... But even then we went through some awful spells. Can't remember anywhere near the amount of abuse directed at our own than what I saw yesterday.

    The last time I can remember such vitriolic abuse meted out to our own players was, as it happens, Richard Harris copping dogs abuse along with fellow scapegoat Andy Thomson. I don't understand that sort of reaction to a problem to goes far beyond one individual player (such as Will de Havilland who seems to be have become the drone army's latest target), though unfortunately it seems to happen at desperate times where fans are too timid to let their views known to the people in charge but quite happy to kick down.

  • @YorkshireWanderer I feel sorry for you travelling from Yorkshire for that yesterday. I agree with your post though, the atmosphere was flat yesterday as it is at the majority of home games these days. An element of blame has to lie with the manager and players for this. The dross that is served up is hardly entertaining and doesn't exactly get the crowd on their feet.

  • The atmosphere was rather damp yesterday, though, for me personally, I found myself in lethargic Bank Holiday mood, as well as being a bit fatalistic after the last couple of months' results, rather than anything especially worrying for the long term.

    The only abuse I heard on the terrace toward the team (standing on the right side) was directed at Jakubiak at the end and even Luke seemed to be on board with that!

  • Yes the collective reaction in the terrace to Jakubiak's cowardice resembled a rabies outbreak

  • Would be interesting to see it again.
    In real time it looked like all he needed to do was jump forward and he'd have made decent contact and might have scored.

    But instead he sort of half leapt forward, twizzled and ended up facing the other way. Very bizarre.

  • He bottled it sadly

  • I'm sure the official match report said the goal wouldn't have counted as the referee blew for a free kick. Not that it changes my opinion of that being the biggest bottle job I've witnessed on a football pitch!

  • I think the free kick came after the missed header when Weston tried to slide in but instead accidentally kick the defender that cleared the ball.

    I can only assume he thought he'd leave it as he thought it was on its way in.

    In terms of atmosphere i totally agree; also don't get to many games. I heard far too many f's, b's and c's directed at our players to make me want to go again.

    I regards to the style of football I think we all need some perspective. It's been a very long season. Lots more cup games (6 more than normal). The squad is tired and most playing with knocks they are having to manage. Kashket admitted last night he's far from fit but playing as he is being asked to. Gareth also fully admitted that players such as Gape are very tired - it is his first season on men's football, we must not forget.

    The squad look low on confidence as they are panicking and just hitting hopeful balls to Akinfenwa (who must of played more minutes this season than the last four combined) instead of looking for better options. Then hearing continual abuse from the terrace can't help.

  • I really do struggle with all this 'we're tired' business..... they play competitive football for 90 minutes a week, sometimes 180 !! That's not even a mornings work ! They don't train every day either so get plenty of rest, more I'd say than a normal working person.

    Just a thought, maybe if Ainsworth actually got them to pass the ball to each other they wouldn't run around as much and wouldn't be so tired !?

  • Have you ever played a sport for season at a decent standard? If so you'd understand the physical and mental tolls it can have on your body.

  • It was desperately flat. I think a lot of supporters are jaded by what feels like quite repetitious football, a reluctance to change plan (or lack of a plan to change to), and the fact that this is leading to a season very comparable to the last one. That general sense of it all being a bit predictable has taken some of the excitement away.

    We've also been poor for some time at home. I don't have hard evidence but I'm fairly confident we are heading for our fourth or fifth consecutive season where our home form has been below average or below average (I.e we end the season with a home record no better than 13th in the league). I believe even in the play off season our record at AP was mediocre.

    Until Christmas we were doing a good job of addressing that. But even when we were winning at home it was normally only by a single goal.

  • An altogether getting too familiar poor (from our point of view) early goal and very late subs poured some cold water on my enthusiasm it has to be said...

  • Friday was a key fixture on a Bank Holiday with kid a quid incentives and the initial push for season tickets. The level of excitement showed by the crowd should be a big worry for Andrew Howard if not Gareth Ainsworth. Each home game is a trial of attritional football with hope if nicking the goal before conceding it.
    I still say the narrow bouncy pitch doesn't help. I've never followed the logic of bringing in the touch lines. Maybe the crowd need to lead the way and support whatever but it is tough these days. Does the guy still carry the drum up Hillbottom Road, not drum during the game and then carry it all the way back?

  • Fairly confident but wrong, Glenartico.

    14/15 we had the 11th best record at home, the best record away. last season 12th at home, 14th away. This season 10th at home (to date) 15th away.

    For several seasons now, home advantage has been very limited accross the bottom division. Last season 18 more home wins than away (less than one per club on average) this season 15.

  • Don't get to more than 8-10 games a season now but Friday was the worst atmosphere I've known at AP for some time. Rightly or wrongly, there seems to be a general feeling that we've got a squad that could, and arguably should, be doing better, even if we're not THAT far away from the play-offs. That's led to a lot of frustration, coupled with the reasons put forward above.

  • @DevC said:
    Fairly confident but wrong, Glenartico.

    14/15 we had the 11th best record at home, the best record away. last season 12th at home, 14th away. This season 10th at home (to date) 15th away.

    For several seasons now, home advantage has been very limited accross the bottom division. Last season 18 more home wins than away (less than one per club on average) this season 15.

    Thanks for the numbers, Dev. That disproves my theory somewhat.

    Although along with the point you make about the relative lack of home advantage across the league (I wasn't aware of that, so thanks again) it does imply we haven't been picking up as many results at AP as we might have historically experienced.

    As an aside, that decline in the proportion of home wins strikes me as slightly depressing for every team. It means far fewer people are actually getting to see their team win!

  • Just a comment to the left side right side thing mentioned above. Lived on the terrace when we first moved to AP and that banter was a standard back then, all good humoured but ever present.

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