Day: September 21, 2011

Match Of The Midweek: Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 Liverpool

True enough, it’s only the Third Round of the League Cup and both of the teams playing this evening, whether rightly or wrongly, may well feel that they have bigger fish to fry than this competition this season. There is, however, something in the sea air in Brighton this evening. The trains into the railway station are jammed solid and the queue for the trains out to The American Express Community Stadium snakes out of the station and around the concourse outside. There’s no hint of trouble, of course, and everybody is safely in their seat by kick-off the time of kick-off, but the sheer volume of traffic of the majority of a crowd of almost 22,500 pouring through a main railway station during the rush hour adds inevitable pressures. It all seems, however, dealt with very professionally indeed. The gulf between a club the size of Brighton & Hove Albion and a club the size of Liverpool remains massive but, going into the match at least, the home supporters have cautious cause for optimism. Their team has made a bright start to the season and a narrow defeat at Leiecester City at the weekend has only slightly dampened the air of optimism amongst the club’s support that promotion, the move to the new ground and a largely unexpectedly strong start to the season have engendered. This evening, however,...

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A Culture Of Contempt, Abuse & Outrage

One of the more dispiriting cycles in which an element of English football support finds itself trapped reared its ugly head again last night. The unfailing of a flag with the word “Istanbul” spray-painted across the middle of it was yet another example of the culture of perpetual abuse and contempt that some seem to actively enjoy these days, and those of us that sit on the outside peering in can only watch in wonder at the mentality of anybody that would seek to revel in the death of anybody in the name of what passes for “banter” these days. Yet to take one such incident in isolation without considering the wider phenomenon of people that behave like this would be pointless, because there can be little question that those that took the time to prepare and then unfurl such a flag certainly didn’t do so in an isolated, one-off incident. It wasn’t merely a minority of Manchester United supporters in an isolated incident that were behaving like this inside Elland Road last night, of course. There were plenty of Leeds United supporters that seemed for than happy to offer their own “tribute” to the 1958 Munich Air Disaster – a common enough trope amongst people if a certain mindset who seem unable to enjoy any sort of rivalry unless they can also denigrate their rivals in the name of supporting their team. Indeed,...

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