John Terry was naturally the subject of the boo boys at Arsenal yesterday, but which QPR, Manchester United, Manchester City, and fellow Chelsea players join him on our list?
Terry, should he lodge an appeal against his four-game ban and £220,000 fine from the FA, will be eligible to play on Saturday. Terry has never been particularly popular amongst the Gunners’ faithful but would I anticipate, within the context of last week’s verdict, he is likely to receive a somewhat icy reception.
He, along with ex-Arsenal teammate Ashley Cole, who offered his support as a character witness for Terry in the four-day panel hearing, will likely suffer some boos leading me to wonder…who are the most booed players of the modern game?
Joey Barton is despised by pretty much everyone these days. He gets booed at Old Trafford, having played for City. He’s now likely to be booed at City for stamping on Sergio Aguero after fouling Carlos Tevez, resulting in his 12-match ban and subsequent loan to Marseille. He’s booed at Sunderland, for his time at Newcastle United, and at Chelsea for his time at QPR. He’s booed at Arsenal for fouling Gervinho, and getting Laurent Kosielny sent off. If anyone finds out he started his youth career at Everton, he’ll be blacklisted at Liverpool too.
Cristiano Ronaldo has heard plenty of boos in his time – at both Real Madrid and former club Manchester United. The Portugal international’s tendency to fall over hasn’t earned him much in the way of popularity.
Wayne Rooney is booed by Liverpool fans, because he used to play for arch- rivals Everton and then he is also booed by Everton fans for leaving the club to join Manchester United who at one point booed him for holding the club to ransom for more money.
Although Carlos Tevez single-handedly kept them from relegation in the 2006/07 season, he’s booed by West Ham fans for leaving them to join Manchester United. However, United fans now also boo him for joining Manchester City. There was a point when Manchester City fans booed him for refusing to come on as a substitute against Bayern Munich. I think they’ve forgiven him for that now after he helped them lift the Premier League trophy last season.
Robbie Savage, although now a friendly TV pundit, used to be despised, not only by fans of his opponents but at times even by his own fans, managers, and teammates. The archetypal “wind-up merchant” managed to get himself sent off almost as often as he got the opposition carded. He once held the record of the most carded player in the Premier League and was subsequently hated en mass.
Both Sol Campbell and Paul Ince get a nod to their switches across the lines of North London and Manchester to Liverpool, respectively. Campbell left Tottenham for Arsenal, whilst Ince left Manchester United to join Liverpool. Both were booed heavily any time they returned, understandably.
Ashley Cole is booed at Arsenal for his move to Chelsea but he is also now booed in Newcastle for his extra-marital indiscretions when married to Geordie sweetheart Cheyrl Cole. Although she might have forgiven him, the Toon faithful haven't just yet.
And, although probably one of the greatest football players of all time, Thierry Henry is unlikely to be visiting Ireland on his summer holidays – after sending them out of a World Cup playoff playing for France, with a ‘goal’ which he clearly scored using his hand. Although the referee failed to spot the infringement, everyone in Ireland could see it and they weren’t too chuffed about it, either.
Who else should be on the list?
image: © Ben Sutherland