The Ange Postecoglou era started with a less than convincing win over Costa Rica last night, but it was a win nonetheless and gives the Socceroos a platform on which to build as next year’s World Cup draws ever closer.

It’s been a rollercoaster few months for fans of the national team, from scraping through to the finals to Holger Osieck’s dismissal which saw one of the country’s favourite football sons take the reins.

Why you boo?

Another of Australia’s great servants over the past decade or so, this time on the field, is Lucas Neill but the 35 year old has seen his stock fall massively in recent years.

There can be no arguing that he isn’t the player he once was, a defender who started week in, week out for Premier League teams. Unfortunately that’s what happens with age.

However, Neill is clearly still impressing the people that matter as he retained both a starting spot and the captaincy for last night’s game.

Neill played his part in a defence that kept a clean sheet, albeit against a side who couldn’t have looked less interested if they tried.

Yet, as he left the field, the man who is now the Socceroos’ longest serving skipper, was greeted with a chorus of boos.

Those jeers from supporters were a culmination of the ill feeling built up towards Neill, veteran of two World Cup finals campaigns and now on the verge of a third. His “why are you f***ing booing?” outburst was perfectly understandable from a man who has simply had enough.

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Now of course this has prompted plenty of Socceroos ‘supporters’, and I purposely use the term loosely, to jump on their high horse to lambast him from a high. Quite happy to dish it out but when the shoe is on the other foot it’s apparently unacceptable.

Leading the charge is Fox Sports pundit Mark Bosnich who seems to have very little problem with fans turning on their own player.

“People pay their money, they can do what they want as long as they don’t do anything illegal,” he said.

Bosnich’s sentiments were echoed by many on Facebook and Twitter, with one individual going with the same lazy justification.

“Pay your money. You can boo or clap who ever u [sic] want. As long as there is no racist or foul language abuse. A so called professional like Lucas should be able to conduct himself better on the field.”

Forking out for a ticket not only gets you a seat in the stands but also a sense of entitlement it seems.

Imagine if the 6-0 defeats to Brazil and France had been at Allianz Stadium (because nowhere else gets to host games these days), the players wouldn’t have made it off the park alive.

The funny thing about serial boo-ers is that were they confronted with Neill in a one-on-one situation they would be more likely to ask for an autograph or a handshake than to finger point and call him a useless prick.

Let’s get real here, does anyone really think that over the past couple of years Lucas Neill has thought to himself “D’ya know what? Maybe I’ll go out and play shit for a few games. That would be awesome.”? Of course not, his intention is to do his best every time he takes the field.

There is no doubting that Neill has regressed and lost more than a yard of pace, but is his obvious pride in wearing the green and gold whenever selected really just cause for a torrent of abuse? Absolutely not.

Football fans are notoriously fickle though, and they have extremely short memories. All you have to do is look at the vitriol with which Harry Kewell’s injury issues at Melbourne Heart have been greeted. This is the guy who has was voted the country’s greatest ever player as recently as 2012.

At this point in time, Lucas Neill is the captain of the Socceroos. He has the backing of his manager and his team mates. As long as that’s the case, he should have the unanimous backing of supporters too.

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Neil has covered the Perth Glory and the Hyundai A-League for five years and is one of Western Australia's most knowledgeable football journalists.