"Get On" and support new campaign
Hi, hope you are all well.
I was reading the other day about a new campaign for football fans called "Get On".
For those of you who have not heard about it, the basic concept is for fans to try and create the best football chants for individual players or teams.
There is also an educational focus on the campaign for adults to try and brush up on their language skills (which strikes me as being a good reasons for yours truly to get involved!).
To me, the ability to come up with a funny or witty chant or song is quite a talent, and I welcome the "Get On" initiative to provide a platform for this talent.
It is refreshing to hear a positive spin being put on the singing of songs and chants at football games, especially after the disgraceful chanting aimed at Sol Campbell and the negative press coverage that followed it.
The ones about me have been very few and far between (and because of the language used, I think it would be best not to mention the majority of them!).
I prefer to think that this is because my name is not an easy one to include in a song, especially one which would rhyme, and not because I have never given fans any reason to show their appreciation of me in this way!
Of course, in this respect, some players have a bigger name problem than others. Take goalkeeper Dimitrious Konstantopolous, my former Hartlepool team-mate, who is currently on loan to Cardiff from Coventry.
Having said that, Celtic fans have somehow found a way to incorporate Jan Venegoor of Hesselink into a song. It just goes to show, where there's a will, there's a way!
I would be interested to find out what you consider to have been the best songs or chants about a player at your club. If you prefer you can make up new ones to tie in with the "Get On" campaign.
Most players will tell you that they are oblivious to the noise, songs, chants, comments etc, that accompany a game of football and for the most part that is true. When the game is being contested and the ball is in play your attention is solely on the job at hand.
The warm-up and long breaks in play are when you tend to notice the noise from the terraces.
At Notts County (as with most clubs) the "diehard" fans go through their repertoire of songs about each player during the warm-up.
That is the time when we all tend to have a little chuckle at each other's songs . The song that has always made me laugh when directed at a player is: "He used to be ***** but now he's alright."
From my experience, it would be reasonable to say that most of the comments you receive from the terraces, especially at away grounds, are of the more unpleasant nature.
As a rule you have to learn to ignore them or even laugh them off even though human nature dictates that no-one likes to be the target of abuse. If you cannot deal with that , then unfortunately you are in the wrong business and certainly will not last in it very long.
Personally, I take the view that I would much rather be out on that pitch receiving a little bit of stick than being sat up in the stands injured or not in the manager's plans.
One rather strange comment from a spectator that I remember occurred on my home debut for Peterborough United, when we were losing 2-0 to a decent Walsall team.
During a break in play, I heard someone in the crowd shout: "Strachan, you run like a girl!" Since then, I have resisted the temptation to try and manufacture a more masculine running style ...... not that I need one!
That shout at Peterborough caught me off guard but, far from upsetting me, it just made me smile.
It was the same earlier this season, when I made my comeback from injury - as one of the substitutes - at Dagenham and Redbridge.
At half-time, we went through our warm-up routine of jogging across the pitch, and just as we got to one end, one of the Dagenham fans shouted: "Strachan, your blog is ****."
His mates started laughing, the other substitutes started laughing and I had to laugh as well. I consoled myself with the fact that at least he had read it!.
You do tend to notice individual comments or songs a lot more in the lower leagues than you do in Premier league games.
Having experienced both I would say that in the Premier League, there is a constant level of noise, a sort of buzz which makes distinguishing actual words coming from the terraces and in some instances your own team-mates that much harder.
While I will always agree with the principle of fans who pay to watch their teams being more than entitled to voice their opinions, there is no doubt from my experience of players that actively supporting and praising your team is always liable to produce the best reaction in terms of performances and results.
I cannot agree more with one of my own heroes, Ryan Giggs. Ryan is one of the players who has given his backing to the "Get On" campaign.
As he says: "It is really great when the fans sing your name, it really encourages not just you but the whole team. The fact the fans are behind you is really important and shows the opposition what you are made of."