They don't get it. They just don't get it. Really, they don't get it at all. And it's a shame they don't get it, but they just don't.
Footballers, I mean. You know, those enormously wealthy men in Baby Bentleys who earn more in a week of patting a little leather ball around than most people will in five years of actually doing something important that benefits other human beings.
What they don't get is why anyone might be a little bit pissed off when they behave like they're the dog's bollocks yet play like the dog's still-steaming shit.
These fans have suffered. They have suffered years of disappointment and gloom at the hands of the 'Golden Generation', a group of players who are supposedly the most talented in the history of the English game yet always end up tonking the ball 70 yards up to a great lumbering hulk of a striker, who can't control it, then it goes out for a goal-kick, and then we lose. It began in 1990, against Cameroon, the first inclination that actually every other country in the world could play football better than we could, and it's carried on ever since.
England being overtaken by the world has coincided with English players' wages rising into the stratosphere, yet they still can't understand why anyone might be a bit pissed off when someone on £100k a week can't actually do what he's being paid to do.
Those fans in Wembley have suffered not just crushed expectation, but worse than that. They're going through a credit crunch; their wages have been compressed, while the prices of everything have rocketed. £3.60 for a fucking shit cold pie in a box might be small change for the likes of Ashley Cole, but for the rest of us, that's a fucking liberty, and something we can't really afford.
They don't get it. They don't understand. They're never going to understand.
When you see the likes of Cole - who said he felt like a 'slave' for being only offered fifty-five thousand pounds per week, the poor lamb - royally fuck up the only thing he can do without instructions in picture form, it seems fairly logical to tell him he's a useless cunt. Sure, there was racist booing of players like John Barnes in the past, but that element has thankfully largely disappeared from following England nowadays. It wasn't racists booing Cole, but people who think he's a chippy little rat-faced fucker, vastly overpaid yet averagely talented, nowhere near the world-class full-back he thinks he is. And I'm inclined to agree.
Look back at the Graham Taylor era and you'll see players like Earl Barrett, Geoff Thomas, Tony Dorigo... club-standard players. But they worked fucking hard. Sure, they weren't good enough, but at least you got the impression that it really meant something amazing for them to put on an England shirt and get out there at Wembley. It really was the highlight of their lives. And while they were well paid, they weren't ridiculously well paid. Ian Wright even declined to claim expenses for being on England duty because it meant that much to him.
Whereas now... now we've supposedly got players who are claimed to be a magnitude more talented, and still England are scuffing the ball around, missing first touches, passing it back to the other side, trying overambitious long balls when an opposition player comes within half a stride.
When you're some poor bastard who's scraped together a lot of money for a ticket to go and see England, and they play like toss, should you just sit there with a big fat grin on your face, grateful to be in the presence of such superstars? I don't fucking think so.
And there's one very good way in which Ashley Cole could avoid being booed by fans in future: not playing like a useless cunt.