English football fans
Here were the days of summer... England had just been kicked out of the World Cup after being beaten on penalties by Portugal. It was a hot sunny day in a field in Gelsenkirchen. The fire brigade had been spraying water to keep fans cool and, by this time of the afternoon, the ground was very soggy, which had lads diving onto the muddy grass and see how far they could go. All great fun, as can be seen on the faces of the lads in this photo.
So, why now, all of a sudden do we have to see shameful pictures of English football fans of Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur fighting with other supporters and the police? One always hears that such fans are being provoked, or even taunted by fans from teh other side when their team goes a goal down. Well, if the fans are not grown up enough to accept that their teams might lose as well as win, then maybe they should think again about going to foreign countries to watch their teams.
Maybe the Italian and Spanish police should take some of the blame about the way they dealt with the trouble, as the British Foreign Secretary has suggested, but it'd be better if there was less trouble to start off with.
The odd thing is that it used to be the followers of the English national team who were bigger trouble-makers than the club supporters, but I am thinking that everyone's expectations from the England football team are so low now that no-one gets too upset if they yet again play badly and get a bad result. Sad but true.
In the meantime, I am with Liverpool this year, given the excellent way they played during the week against PSV, winning 0-3 away.