Sunderland Fans Give McClean A Hard Time
"Poppy Boy" James McClean was booed by Sunderland supporters as he made his first appearance since his IRA dilemma last week.
He made his 50th Premier League appearance for Sunderland as a second-half substitute in their 2-2 draw with Fulham, but was booed the moment he stepped on to the pitch at the Stadium of Light when he replace £5.5million striker Danny Graham.
McClean’s first touch resulted in more boos and the abuse continued as he struggled to make an impact.
McClean was presented with several opportunities to provide crosses for top scorer Steven Fletcher, and one chance to shoot at Mark Schwarzer, but he squandered possession.
Last weekend, the controversial McClean had professed his love for an IRA song by the Wolfe Tones.
The song tells of a boy whose father is killed while fighting for the IRA, with the title referring to the wide-brimmed hat worn by many of the group's members in the 1920s during the War of Independence and civil war.
Although he escaped a club fine, McClean was called in by O’Neill and reminded of his responsibilities on social media networks.
His account was withdrawn shortly after the showdown.
The Derry-born midfielder has had deaths threats as a result of previous tweets and after declining to wear a poppy in November in support of the Premier League’s fundraising efforts.
This has not helped his standing among the Mackem faithful this season.
He was dropped by O’Neill in mid-January and has now been a substitute for five of Sunderland’s last seven games.
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