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What do the replies to Man City’s team announcements tell us about football fans?

It’s something I do every week, check the replies to Man City’s team announcements.

I recommend it, even if you don’t support them.

Bear in mind we’re talking about a club who won literally every domestic trophy last season.

The season before, they became the first English side to ever achieve a century of points a in top flight league campaign.

In Pep Guardiola, they have one of the best coaches in the game’s history.

“WTF is Pep doing?” says a teenager from Chorley

Reuters
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“WTF is Pep doing?” says a teenager from Chorley

Now to the comments…

The most-liked reply to City’s tweet before their 8-0 (eight!) win over Watford was this…

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Just a one off? Nope.

Scroll down a tad further and there’s an unimpressed expression courtesy of a Virgil van Dijk meme, another complaint about Cancelo’s absence, and someone moaning about Raheem Sterling being rested.

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There are plenty of positive replies about Benjamin Mendy’s return to the first team, but twice as many complaints about Kyle Walker starting over Cancelo.

Reading the replies, you’d think City were without a win in weeks, languishing in the bottom half of the table.

Just to repeat, this is Man City — arguably the best team in the world over the last two years.

And if you think an 8-0 win will persuade the doubters to show some faith in Guardiola, you’d be gravely mistaken.

You can bet the replies will be equally pessimistic next week.

Just enjoy it

Getty - Contributor
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Just enjoy it

I want to make it clear that I’m not digging out City fans specifically.

The exact same thing happens at every club; I’m using City because, in theory, their fans should have the least to complain about in the country, along with Liverpool.

Football is a game of opinions and conversing with other fans about the game can be rewarding and enjoyable.

But there’s a way to do it and then there’s the ineffectual cyber-shouting that so often pollutes Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Keyboard warriors will never match true talent

Getty Images - Getty
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Keyboard warriors will never match true talent

What does this trend tell us about ourselves as football fans?

Firstly, it’s an example of how fan entitlement has escalated to a surreal level.

There is seemingly no acknowledgement from a worrying number of City fans that Guardiola may be better equipped to manage the team.

How does such delusion come to be?

Perhaps the false reinforcement of social is to blame?

You see it all the time, someone comments an ill-informed, poorly-researched, reactionary opinion and they get a few likes from like-minded people.

This engagement gives them validation and, over time, they start to believe they’ve developed a viewpoint on par with the personnel who are fully immersed with the team.

City fans shield their eyes from the sun as they enjoy an 8-0 exhibition

Reuters
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City fans shield their eyes from the sun as they enjoy an 8-0 exhibition

Pessimism may also be a byproduct of tribalism.

Social media has fuelled rivalries as the cloak of anonymity allows people to hurl insults they wouldn’t dare utter face-to-face.

As a result, fans hope to protect their team from criticism by striving for perfection — a futile pursuit.

And that’s why City fans call for Cancelo to start over Walker despite their dominance, because at some point a Man United fan has boasted about having a better right-back.

Sadly, much of what is good about rivalries and loyalties gives way to immature mud-flinging and inconsequential point-scoring in the murky waters on the internet.

European conqueror

PA:Press Association
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European conqueror

Perspective is lost among hyperbole.

Andy Robertson deleted his Twitter account after some Liverpool fans (a small minority) sent him abusive messages following the Reds’ 2-0 defeat to Napoli.

Never mind the Scotsman has performed at a phenomenally high level for a sustained period of time, or the fact the first group game of the Champions League is hardly a do-or-die fixture, some fans felt compelled to insult him because he gave away a debatable penalty.

No player is immune from criticism but context should always be considered.

To personally offend Robetson is staggeringly illogical… and depressing.

I like to think the majority of fans are capable of applying perspective.

To the minority, think before you tweet.


NEXT: What was it actually like to defend against Ronaldo?