Petra Säkkinen ponders the different types of Football Fans that we all come across on social media... which one are you?
Drunk Gary Neville
It doesn’t matter if your team is up by three goals or bottling a home match to Sunderland, almost everyone will stumble upon Drunk Gary Neville on social media. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the road to the final whistle is filled with alcohol consumption. These kinds of fans will criticise their manager’s decisions to put a player on or off the pitch, yell at the television hoping a referee will somehow hear their pleas, or go so far as to make actual threats to opposing fans or players on social media. Why do they do it? Because EVERYONE knows that THEY can do it better. Just ask Gary Neville and his outstanding managerial career… and that was SOBER.
You see those accounts that follow every little minute detail and every little shred of information? Yeah burn them. In these trying times all people want to do is watch football and occasionally know how many goals, assists, or cards a player has. Do I care how many times Marcus Rashford has missed shots on cloudy Saturdays in April? How many dropped balls Wayne Hennessey has made on days where the fan in seat 8, row F has worn yellow? No. These kinds of people clog up your timelines and make you roll your eyes. The next time someone tells you it has been 266 days since Defoe scored with his left knee, ask that person when the last time they kissed a person was.
Custom Kit/Full Kit Wanker
There are two kinds of fans people stumble across when it comes to wearing a football kit. The custom kit usually only has one purpose: to allow a fan to represent their club and dream a little bit with their own name and number on their back. This not taking into account the handicap of being 22 stone and never playing anything beyond schoolyard football. The custom kit has since been adopted by the kind of fan whom you’ll find online with them shoving photos of “LOSERS SINCE” and the number 92 on the back of a Leeds kit. We get it. You’re edgy. At least you’re not dressing up in a full kit on matchday.
Optimist Beyond Reality
If there’s one type of account I actually don’t mind coming across on social media every now and then it’s the optimistic fans who refuse to wallow in their own futility. Keep in mind that Leicester City supporters gave a huge two finger salute to the world in 15/16, but lightning doesn’t strike twice. As someone who lived in Newcastle for a year I both admired and loathed the optimism of Newcastle United and Sunderland despite the only title in their futures being top of the Championship. If you dare cross these kind of supporters on social media, be prepared to face the scrutiny and rabid hatred they’ll surely dog-whistle others to join in on. This is why this kind of fan makes the list.
I don’t get you fans. I mean I do, but I don’t get why. How you can show some sort of unabashed love for a player who maybe sees 2 minutes of playing time over the course of 6 weeks is something psychologists and concerned parents are yet to comprehend. Sure there are the loveable losers or players who have some sort of cult following on social media for being funny and/or bad, but when I’m being told that Giedrius Arlauskis is “the next Lev Yashin” from an account that has some sort Se7en-type obsession you cross a line. The delusion does act as a coping mechanism for some fans, and I can hold sympathy for them. Marcin Wasilewski still has an amazing following for someone who does the accountancy work in the Leicester City office.
Isn’t it amazing how many Chelsea fans became Manchester City fans that became Leicester City fans? If there’s one kind of fan everyone encounters on social media it’s the unabashed and unashamed bandwagon hopper. You’ll often see these kinds of fans bragging about how long they’ve been supporting whoever is hot right now FC but can’t seem to name a manager prior to their current one’s predecessor. These are the polar opposites of the Optimists Beyond Reality and tend to make everyone miserable online. They’re loud, angry, and refuse to believe that they’re anything but the greatest team that ever existed. Until the next season.
I'm going to say right now that there are plenty of women who love football and talk about it on social media as much as any guy. This isn't a problem, but these poor people are often grouped in with the WAG type the rest of us want to will into oblivion. People like Sam Cooke, Laura Darea, and Helena Seger are often online and post about their squeeze's performances but they're honestly not into football. The WAG-wannabes online will post photos with no comment in a team kit or scarf, posed sexily, begging for retweets, and can't make it a full half without wondering why the man in black is holding a yellow card. If you say something that upsets or offends them you can expect the "but I'm a girl" defence and a bunch of anger headed in your direction from her harem.
I don’t run into many Huddersfield Town or Wolves supporters online unless they’re legitimately from those towns and are homers, but the fans of teams who long for ‘the good old days’ need to have a seat. These fans will lament and whine about the ‘pretty boys’ in football today and writing walls of text on a timeline that talks about ‘when men were men.’ The Historian will be very liberal with a block button when reminded that their style of football was once new and strange to them. We can’t all remember when to catch a Derby County match you had to walk through 10 miles of barbed wire with the Gerrys shooting from all directions, nor do we want to.
Written by Petra Säkkinen - Follow Petra on twitter: @Persaukinen