Now it’s getting quite boring. Sparks 4 Darts 0 was the order of last night. Their goalie had a broken part of his hand, apparently there was a good OG but by all accounts we laboured at times. Me, I decided to watch a lot of the second half in the bar, with Ireland vs Turkey on. Oh, and KC’s penalty was shite.
I’m going to do a change of plan for this particular report, I don’t normally like to deviate from the usual SW19 output which the vast majority of people like, but I feel obliged to at the moment : last night was one of those wretched times where the shit was about to hit the fans. And boy, did it. Confused? Read on
It appears that a well-known Womble was thrown out for spitting last night, which (apart from the associated health risk) is a pretty horrible thing to do. Hopefully said person has learnt lesson. However, the various shit-storms going around are a bit more serious.
Firstly, the age old complaint of abusing the goalkeeper rears its ugly tortoise head again. I hadn’t seen the incident(s) in question but it looks like the abuse got really serious, and whether the goalkeeper said something or not is immaterial. Now, it has long been SW19’s view that players must remember that what they can do on the pitch can effect what happens off the pitch. Conversely, we shouldn’t be totally surprised if we abuse certain players and they respond in a none-too-friendly manner. Especially as these blokes very rarely play in front of such sized crowds. I presume that what happened last nite is a mixture of the two, with neither side willing to take the blame.
The thing is that I can now see more affirmative action being taken, much in the same way as what happened last year : a warning in the programme and over the PA shut most of it up. Abuse etc is, and has always been, designed to put the opposition off. Some of it obviously does stretch some people’s patience, and the “You’re gay” stuff just seems to lose its effectiveness each time it’s used. However, it’s becoming a problem for some, so I guess we’ll have to expect a bit of pressure applied over this. IYSWIM.
The main alleged incident that has pissed many off is the coin throwing. What we do know is that a coin was found on the pitch, though whether or not it was thrown will be more difficult to determine. Obviously, the fallout from this could be very serious, especially if the CCL get the hump. However, some of the knee-jerk reactions I’ve heard from this depress me even more : I’ve heard at least one call for the West Bank end to be closed, and I’m sure you’ve all heard other things as well.
Let’s get a few things straight : if you’re that determined to throw something onto the pitch, you’ll do it regardless. Hell, I know of an incident at an Oxford vs Ipswich game where somebody threw batteries from his radio onto the pitch. You stand less chance of doing it if you know you’re going to get caught by either a steward or somebody willing to grass on you. It’s called “self-policing”, something that we can all do, which doesn’t need CCTV, or closing stands, or extra (more tough-nosed) stewarding, etc etc. I certainly don’t want to go to a non-league ground which acts like it’s SP’s little brother.
Now, I went down AFCW today and they were seriously POed at having to deal with the aftermath of yesterday. As one person said, “it’s only ever down the WB end and it’s only when we’re attacking that it happens”.
The worst thing of all is that I was writing similar stuff last season. One day we might end up learning the hard way.
Sorry for lack of proper reporting, normal service will be resumed next game. Just don’t throw anything at me in the meantime.