England fans' apathy summed up by paper aeroplanes at Wembley

Are England fans growing restless? (0:57)

Mark Ogden discusses the frustration of England fans as they watched their team's performance against Slovenia at Wembley. (0:57)

When does playing at home actually feel like performing in front of the most hostile crowd imaginable? When you play for England, probably.

But for Harry Kane's 92nd-minute winner in England's 1-0 victory against Slovenia on Thursday, Gareth Southgate's players would probably have been booed off the Wembley pitch at the same time as confirming their place at next year's World Cup in Russia.

OK, there was little evidence of champagne football against the Slovenians -- a well-organised, technical team who arrived at Wembley with hopes still alive of a place in the playoffs -- and a 0-0 draw would have been nothing more than limping into the World Cup departure lounge.

But the reaction of the 61,000 crowd at Wembley throughout the game was similar to a collection of spoilt children refusing to take "no" for an answer.

Southgate referenced the level of support after the game, urging the fans to get behind the team and a group of players who "need help, need support, need encouragement in terms of what we're trying to do."

The reaction to that plea for backing will generate a predictable response -- fans will insist that the players should entertain them and that they should show pride in the shirt.

It is all pretty basic stuff, but the England crowd is an unusual one which lacks the passion and unconditional support given by fans at club level.

Even when a team is bad, club supporters will generally offer their backing and raise the noise levels from the stands in an effort to motivate and inspire the players on the pitch.

It is only when it gets really bad, when the players and manager appear to have run out of belief, ideas or effort, that they finally turn.

But with England, especially at Wembley, it is as though fans attend expecting a 5-0 rout against any team that has not previously won the World Cup.

If you don't live up to that billing, you are a minnow and should be beaten accordingly. Or so the perception goes.

So on Thursday, bored and unhappy England fans began to groan and murmur as the team toiled away on the pitch.

Then came the paper aeroplanes, thrown from the stands, which prompted loud cheers whenever they landed on the Wembley turf.

And then the low-point of the evening, when Raheem Sterling's substitution in favour of Michael Keane late in the second half, was greeted with sarcastic cheers.

Support? Mockery, more like.

There several issues at play here, however. The Wembley crowd, generally sourced from London and the southern counties due to the difficulty of attending games on a weeknight for those living north of Birmingham, have become complacent, taking England games for granted.

The days of the team playing around the country, while Wembley was being rebuilt between 2001 and 2007, are fondly remembered by all at the Football Association because of the carnival atmosphere generated at Old Trafford, Anfield, St James' Park and the King Power Stadium when England were in town.

The cynicism of Wembley was absent at the provincial grounds, so perhaps the FA should now forget the financial value of playing at the national stadium and move the team around for better support.

England fans at Wembley must also realise that few teams can be brushed aside now, and those that are limited, tend to "park the bus" whenever they face a team of England's standing.

France drew at home with Luxembourg last month, Brazil emerged from Bolivia with a 0-0 draw on Thursday, so it is not only England that struggles to roll the "minnows" over.

But when Northern Ireland play in Belfast or Wales in Cardiff, it feels like the fans and team are as one, with loud, passionate backing driving the players on.

That never happens at Wembley and Southgate is right -- it needs to change.