Justifying the booing of ‘pantomime villain’ Harry Maguire…

Date published: Thursday 31st March 2022 5:16 - Editor F365

Harry Maguire in action for England.

The Mailbox brings the backlash to the booing backlash. If Harry Maguire doesn’t like it, he could always become a prison officer…

Get your views in to theeditor@football365.com


Pantomime villain
So much hand wringing over a few boos. It amazes me that so many people in this country get all twisted out of shape whenever there is any booing at football grounds. In this country of all places, the home of the Pantomime (I’m not aware of it’s history, so happy to stand corrected if it was imported). I have relatives from overseas who I took to a Panto, and they loved it ,and commented on how they’d never been to anything like it, and neither had I until I lived here. Do all the people squeezing every last drop of outrage over the boos forget what the entire audience is expected to do at a Panto? We cheer the hero, and boo/laugh at the villain. How is the connection to Panto not immediately visible in the way audiences at footy matches behave(especially given the not too dissimilar traditional class/economic demographics included)? One main difference is obviously that in footy the particular villain may be less obvious(and some of those selected for the role done so for less than commendable reasons), but let’s be honest, the media have been casting Slabhead in the dunce role for months before the match in question, so some minor jeering is not really THAT unsurprising. Let’s not get our collective knickers so in a twist every time a footy audience(or part of it) decide to treat the occasion as the overblown, comedy soap opera that we all know it ultimately is.
Rob, AFC


…Maybe the fans booing Maguire are actually fans of England, and want to see them do well? And perhaps they worry that the current form of Maguire might be a hindrance to that at the upcoming WC?

Harry Maguire has absolutely been a very good player for England for a number of years now. But he is clearly playing pretty badly for his club side at the moment. This is something that your own site are quite happy to write articles about.
It isn’t unreasonable to think that this club form might be carried over to England matches, and could ultimately ending up costing England in Qatar.
Maguire hasn’t made any major errors for England, but then he generally plays against lower quality teams. Manchester United are currently 6th in the Premier League, so at a very similar level in the English football pyramid to where the national team sit (current FIFA ranking of 5th). In WC qualifying, England faced Poland (28), Hungary (41), Albania (65), Andorra (155) and San Marino (210 and dead last!).
The equivalently ranked teams in English football would be QPR, Reading, AFC Wimbledon and then 2 non-league teams. If he played against that kind of level for United all the time, Maguire would probably also perform well. Because he wouldn’t be tested. The trouble comes when he plays against the likes of Liverpool or Manchester City (think France or Brazil in international terms).

Sadly, like many England managers before him, Southgate seems unwilling to drop certain players. So the fans (who pay to attend) are well within their rights to make their feelings heard.

England aren’t unique in abuse problem; football culture is toxic


Try working in a prison, Harry
I read your article on abuse in football and was prompted to write in by the line about standing behind someone whilst they do their job and offer abuse and ‘advice’ daily.

In my job I am subject to abuse, advice and threats daily. I’m a prison officer and routinely walk into a place where dangerous men (and women) are locked up and if verbal abuse is the worst that happens to me it’s a good day.

I’ve been punched, kicked, head butted, spat on, had unknown liquids thrown in my face and I’ve been threatened with bladed weapons (thankfully never slashed, but it happens). I’ve been told all varieties of swear words, in all manner of creative variations. As well as the implied threats, I know where you live, I know where your kids go to school etc.

None of this is reported in the press because it’s not sexy and nobody cares what happens in a prison. Even during Covid we had arguments in shops and hotels because nobody believed we were key workers.

So why am I linking this to booing in football? Because there is simply no other way for fans to get across to players how they are feeling about their performances. Players are more than happy to lap up the applause when they are playing well. Not so when they are not playing well.

This is literally their profession. If I went into work and didn’t do my job people die or dangerous men (and women) escape. Men and (women) who you simply do not want wandering the streets anymore. So I perform every single day, every single night. I can’t afford the luxury of having an ‘off’ day, neither can my colleagues. I’m sure there’s countless other professions who are in exactly the same boat. So when professional football players are playing terribly then yes they should be booed. People are entitled to their opinions and should be allowed to express them.

Football is nothing without fans, all the players agreed that when there was no fans in stadiums. If they can’t handle some boos (and let’s face it it wasn’t deafening boos was it?) then they’re in the wrong profession.

I genuinely love my job and the challenges I face daily. If I was booed I would chuckle, confident in my own ability and my own outlook on life. It’s not a job for everyone, but neither is a professional footballer. If you are not performing then look to yourself first. You are handsomely paid for not doing an awful lot. The very least that the paying public expect is you to actually do that job.


The more things change…
An appeal to whichever of Ashwin’s colleagues keeps doing fun runs and bathing in beans: can you stop asking him to sponsor your latest endeavour? It’s clearly getting to him.

And nothing confirms Abramovich’s innocence more than an insistence from Vladimir Putin, that bastion of honesty and integrity, telling everyone he’s definitely not one of his buddies. Give poor Roman his stolen billions back. Won’t somebody think of the chelsea?

On the subject of how many dead slaves is too many, can we also bear in mind that most of those paid substantial sums to be able to go and work in Qatar, having been promised the opportunity to earn a higher wage. These people leave their families in order to feed them, in order to afford them the chance to move out of poverty. They make incredible sacrifices. And then, on arrival, they are stripped of their passport and held in appalling conditions. Death doesn’t end the disgrace. If the family are ‘lucky’, they might actually be officially informed of the death. A more likely outcome is that one of the deceased’s co-workers will let them know. That, or whomever still holds the debt. Because many of these families find that the death of their loved one comes with a bill, and the knowledge that the hours of hard labour that lead to that death were not sufficient to clear the employment debt whatsoever. Families already in distress and poverty are then faced with paying thousands, which they cannot afford.

Approximately 70% of migrant worker deaths in Qatar are not investigated. The families are not offered a postmortem so have no realistic recourse to compensation from the employer. The entire system is fucking disgusting. You don’t have to oppose it. If you want to go out there and benefit from a nation being built on the blood of slaves then go right ahead. And don’t worry, we will of course expect you to shill and propagandise on their behalf. What else are you going to do? Admit to being someone who will delightedly take blood money from slave owners? Don’t be silly. That requires your integrity to be stronger than your greed.


Blame FIFA
Oh dear, I suppose I should have known even though my email clearly states I am not defending Qatar. F365 didn’t help by publishing my email under the Subheading “In defence of Qatar”. Naughty F365.

The whole point of my email, which has of course been completely ignored by everybody, is that it is damaging to misrepresent facts and sensationalise.

A last point before I absolutely depart this discussion, FIFA controls the World Cup and therefore should set the moral standpoint of the organisation. So yes, I blame FIFA for allowing a culture of bribery and allowing unsuitable locations / regimes to host.
Plato – MUFC (Sticking to moaning about United from now on)


Triggered by Rashford
Oh Ashwin, It must be so horrible waking up every morning and having to watch Marcus Rashford make you realise how much of a c*nt you are. Does he being a genuinely decent bloke, make you ashamed of your lack of empathy? Do you pass the beggars in the street and get struck by a pang of resentment not because you know that the system is wrong and is inherently unfair but rather because you don’t really care and because really you just wish someone would remove them from the streets so you don’t have to look at them – are there no prisons are there no workhouses? Then someone like Marcus comes along and shows it up for the hypocrisy it is, which just makes you even more angry and resentful? It must be really hard for you to genuinely hate someone because they want to help the less fortunate and because he has been there himself not because of his self serving ego; or that he wants kids not to go hungry or you know to actually be able to read or go to sleep in a warm bed.

After the second world war all governments of the world got together, after some german knob head had literally tried to wipe out a RACE and decided that it might be a good idea to write down a set of principles around which all Human Rights policies have since been developed. Marcus probably doesn’t know this but his work builds upon those foundations, the right to food, shelter, clean water, health care and an education. It’s a set of principles that we should all aspire to but you would probably label the The Universal Declaration of Human Rights a PR campaign.

Marcus Rashford has been sh*t this year, everyone knows it, but to throw his campaigning at him like that is a bad thing reflects more on the sort of person you are than the sort of person he is and personally I’d rather be more like Marcus. In about 50 years time no one will give a shit about whether Ronaldo or Messi were better or whether England should have pushed up more at the end of the first half against Italy and gone for the jugular or whether Marcus should have taken the penalty but there will be people telling their grandkids that Marcus Rashford changed and in some cases saved their lives. Now I think that’s what’s known as a legacy. What have you done today to make yourself feel proud?

Brett (Place Rice and Bellingham in a double Pivot and stick Rashford on in the last 5 minutes to score the winner just so I can f*cking laugh at c*nts like Ashwin)

Man Utd winger Marcus Rashford wipes his face


…I read Ashwin’s diatribe against Marcus Rashford this morning and I think i’m right in saying this isn’t his first criticism of Rashford in the mailbox? I should add i’m a Liverpool fan so the only dog in this fight I have is that Rashford seems like a very decent person – but long may United play him as an underperforming footballer.

However, clearly Ashwin has issues with both Rashford’s poor on pitch efforts and what Marcus is doing away from playing and training in his own personal time – and the (contemptuous) tone of his letter(s) very much conveys the sense that the latter is responsible for the former.

The thing is, does anyone know how much of Rashford’s time is taken up with what for most of us are very admirable endeavours? Is he known to be leaving training earlier than other players due to this?

As far as i’m aware Rashford is not married or has children? Because I believe these things can be fairly time consuming. But what you don’t tend to hear is people saying, ‘Well maybe if he wasn’t arsing about being such a committed father and husband then he’d start making better decisions in the final third!’, ‘apparently he still sees his parents whenever he can, and then you wonder why he missed that penalty! It boils my piss!!’.

As a comparison Jordan Henderson is married with three children and is involved in a number of good cause campaigns, however when he has a dip in form i’ve never known any fan to point the finger at what he spends his time doing when he doesn’t have a ball at his feet.
Cheers, Rob.


I know you can only print what gets sent in but what is the benefit of printing personal attacks like Ahwin’s on Marcus Rashford on what seems like a weekly basis?

Marcus Rashford is maybe not as good as football as we would all like him to be but so what ? It’s not that important. He stops to get a photo with a child and gets criticised for it? What absolute nonsense is this?

And football fans need to grow up. He disrespected a fan who criticised him? Again so what? If you can’t take it don’t give it out. Grown adults calling footballers all sorts then acting like Victorian ladies when a player gives some back is pathetic.

I really don’t know what the world is coming to when a young man who is doing his best to help underprivileged children gets critisiced for it just because he isn’t quite as good at football as we would like him to be.
Sam (come on Linfield) , Newtownabbey

Trust Vlad
In response to P Didi… ‘…As news hits of peace talks in Turkey with Abramovich at the seat of the Ukrainians the narrative of His close links to Putin has completely unraveled. So much so that Zelenskyy considers him an ally and asked Biden to drop US sanctions. That comes on top of quotes from Putin confirming he is not part of the Russian negotiations, he is there in an independent capacity.’

Putin confirms he’s not part of the negotiations. Well, I’m glad that’s cleared that up. Putin, the most trustworthy man on the planet, has confirmed the chap who has previously been called ‘Putin’s Banker’ is not part of the negotiations. And you believe him? F*ck me.
Steve, Cirencester, LFC


…I note with interest that in Wednesday morning’s mailbox, P Didi signed off regarding the forced sale of Chelsea with “the Putin narrative is a busted flush and the sale of his assets are illegal and should stop”.

Is this the same P Didi who in recent weeks claimed in the mailbox that he didn’t care how Abramovic’s assets were gained?

If so, he perhaps shouldn’t overly care about how they’re being removed.
Uncle Albert, (not currently in possession of several luxury yachts or aeroplanes)


Simeone > Ten Hag
Sa’ad make some good points in his email looking at the candidates for the Man Utd job, but have to disagree with some of his comments on Diego Simeone. Sa’ad – Man Utd would be extremely lucky to even get near getting him as their manager. You may not like his style of play, but he is an incredibly good coach. Probably better than most of the ones Man Utd are being linked to. Having arguably the third best squad in La Liga and not winning it as much as you would like isn’t a stick to beat him with. It should be applauded, when up until the last couple of seasons you know it’s BARCELONA and REAL MADRID that they have been competing with right? Teams with considerably larger budgets and almost every conceivable advantage over Atletico Madrid you can think of. I get their playing style and Simeone’s attitude aren’t to everyone’s tastes, and that’s a matter of opinion. But he IS an elite coach.

Using your own comments to compare him to Erik Ten Haag, then surely Ten Haag has slightly underachieved at Ajax hasn’t he? Considering he has a better squad and budget than everyone else in Holland he should be winning more trophies. As his team plays prettier football though I guess that’s why he seems to have gained this perspective of being the right man for Man Utd in some fans eyes.

Would certainly agree with you on Hansi Flick though, he would be the dream option.


More Related Articles