Ayoze Perez has once again become the scapegoat for a poor Newcastle United result. The performance against Burnley was nowhere near as bad as some of the media, and fans, on social media have made out, losing by a single goal against a solid Premier League side in our first season back in the top division.

Having been at the game, I didn’t see any social media reaction until I I was back home later that night and was completely surprised by the reaction. I had left the game disappointed that we had lost, but not furious or even angry after losing by a single goal against a decent, well-managed side. Newcastle United will not win every game this year. I’m sure the vast majority of Toon fans are fully aware of this, but the reaction to this result was extremely puzzling.

Fans in the ground applauded every player and Rafa Benitez as they walked over to the 2,000 plus Geordies who had made the trip to Turf Moor on a freezing cold night in October. The reaction of fans who were not at the game however and across social media was quite frankly ridiculous.

“We don’t demand a team that wins, we demand a team that tries.”

Which is exactly what we have, they are not the most talented squad ever assembled at St James’ Park but they are by far one of the most-hardworking. Every fan has the right to be upset and disappointed when the team loses, but to just target one player is completely wrong.

Ayoze Perez was, once again, blamed by some for the defeat. Perez was dispossessed just before Burnley scored their goal, with almost everyone in the stadium aware this was a foul and that a free-kick should have been given. Mike Dean decided not to give this as a foul and Hendrick pounced on the opportunity and swept the ball home.

This is not Ayoze Perez’s fault. If you’re a fan and you post abuse to a player on social media, you’re extremely ignorant if you think they don’t see this and this doesn’t affect their confidence. Our fan base absolutely despise when the national media, who are clearly ill-informed, makes claims that we expect to be playing Champions League football every season. However it is becoming a trend amongst our fans to absolutely tear into players, who actually care about our club, and playing for the shirt. Matz Sels was forced to delete his Twitter account last season because of the torrent of abuse he was getting… Was he not trying?

Here are some of the vile things written about Perez on social media after the game – which let me just again state was a loss by a single goal to Burnley away from home:

‘F***ing Die’

‘Perez should die’

‘Ayoze Perez is F***in ****… his fault for the goal…he’s offered nowt most of the season…lazy and weak’

‘@AyozePG another no show well done’

‘If God could choke Ayoze Perez to death with a pillow tonight he’d be doing everyone a favour’

As Andrew Musgrove wrote… “Criticise and Critique performances, don’t abuse players.”

You’re extremely deluded if you expect Newcastle to be winning every game and for our players to be playing like some of the best players in the league. Support the team, individual players and the manager and it makes it a whole lot easier for them so they’re not constantly worrying about making a mistake and having a huge amount of fans on their back.

Don’t undo all the hard work by Gallowgate Flags, now Wor Flags, in creating an incredible atmosphere in St James’ by booing players, and cheering when their names get read out if they are being substituted.

Do not prove the national media right, we are generally not unrealistic about what we expect from our club, so don’t abuse the players who are working incredibly hard if they make a mistake. Encourage them, and by all means criticise performances if they are not up to scratch, but do not question this groups commitment to the club and hurl personal abuse at them.

The fact Rafa Benitez, someone we all love, has had to come out and ask fans to stop abusing Perez says a lot…

If you want to know why Ayoze Perez is in the team read this:

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/rafa-benitez-gives-insight-joselu-13827071

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