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October 2016
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The aftermath: England media blame the Russian media, Twitter blames Tottenham, I avoid the local police

By Tony Attwood

We live in a world of blame.  And not just any old blame, but instant blame.  Blame for the last minute of the last game.  Blame for violence.  Blame for the economy.  Blame for the fact I sneezed just as I was going to start writing – it must be the fields beyond my house (and the fact I have the window open).

Whatever happened, I wonder, to that philosophy that says “it was my fault” or even, if that doesn’t work, “shit happens”?   It seems to have transmuted into “shit happens and I know who to blame.”

As the build up to the current mess in France began, I rather fancied the notion of an England team packed with Danny Rose, Kyle Walker, Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane playing each and every match and England getting near to the final, largely because it would mean that most of the Tottenham team would be knackered before next season began.  (If only the Tinies had come fourth, and had to play a champs league preliminary round before their players got back from France, that would add to the fun I mused.   Still Man C have that pleasure this year and there’s a chance some of their men won’t be available  – 16 to 24 July.  The Euro final is on 10 July).

Such are my random thoughts as I drive around the country, or indeed sit here peering out at the trees, the bushes and the occasional sheep.   And I also wondered if we might have another tournament in which the media blame… the media, although not our media in England of course.  They are practically perfect in every way.

And after just one match I saw not only accusations pouring out about the Russian media from our totally pure media, along with just one or two plaintive suggestions that maybe someone ought to tell supporters of England not to taunt the Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité. 

Thus it struck me then that somehow all those people who keep writing in to Untold telling me that (in regard to the views expressed by the regular writers on Untold) we’re living on another planet, are maybe right.  I mean, on the planet I live in, if a mob of the CRS came heading my way I would first hide, then I’d leave town.  Shouting at them is not an option in my world.

But then I also wouldn’t take my grandchildren to an England v Russia football match in Marseille.

So overall I suppose in old age I’ve got to the position of enjoying the mishaps of Tottenham (and they do seem to be a team that is extraordinarily good at pulling mishaps down upon themselves) and not going anywhere where I get into trouble.

Of course I can’t always stay out of trouble, as I reported on Facebook yesterday, given that in the early hours of Saturday morning I was stopped while driving my car at a police check point between Kettering and Corby (it is pretty wild in the East Midlands) where there were some six or eight police cars and maybe 20 police who had closed two lanes of a three lane highway.  I was then reprimanded by the police for driving too slowly when told to pull over, held for 20 minutes while they “checked my car” and “checked my driving licence” and then breathalysed.

(Since I had been dancing, and high speed jive and alcohol don’t mix I hadn’t been drinking).

I suppose, given that I live in the county that has the worst death rate on the roads per number of drivers of any county in England (because the Conservative local council has ordered all the speed cameras turned off to save money), having gatherings of police in the early hours stopping and holding passers by might seem a good idea.  And it is what I have to put up with, living in Northamptonshire.

But going to Marseille where people are taunting the CRS, and then going to a match where an England team full of calamity prone Tottenham players play Russia… well no, I don’t think so.  It makes Northamptonshire with its eccentric police force and death dealing council look quite tame.

I didn’t see the game (I went instead to an absolutely brilliant night of jiving at The Shed in Nottingham – making sure that I came back via the cross country route to avoid the police around Kettering) but according to the Daily Mirror, the Totts “all played the full 90 minutes. Crucially, they al played well, with Dier even scoring England’s goal.”  Now I am not sure who “al” is, but I suppose he was one of the England guys.  Twitter didn’t seem to agree.

Anyway, this morning, the Guardian really doesn’t cover itself in glory.   Having written the most outrageous stuff about Arsenal fans and the last match of the season in the last couple of days (thus losing all credibility in terms of accurate reporting) they now blame the Russian media for inaccurate reporting.

The initial response of Russian media to the scenes of violence in Marseille was one of gloating that Russian fans had come out on top, and planting the blame squarely on England supporters. Some reports in Moscow insisted that a small group of England fans had attacked hundreds of Russians and provoked them into a response, while others painted a picture of heroic Russians fighting off hordes of English hooligans.

“Some reports” is interesting, since the Guardian has not been able to bring itself to say “some Arsenal fans” when talking of the treatment of Giroud (although I’ve checked with a few friends since yesterday and none of us can recall any anti-Giroud sentiment at the final game against Villa).

“Two hundred and fifty Russian fans repulsed an attack by several thousand English and forced them to flee,” state news service Vesti reported. “English fans started the fight by attacking our fans, but 250 Russians from different corners of our country did not flinch and repulsed the attack of the heavily drunken islanders.”

As the Guardian says, “Hooliganism in Russian football has a long history”, just as wild allegations about Arsenal and Arsenal supporters in the British media has a long history, I suppose.

Of course I don’t know what really happened in France – as I say I was having a great time dancing in Nottingham – but I do think one should be careful where one goes of an evening.  I’ve learned to avoid the main roads around Kettering and Corby, just as I don’t go to Tottenham away games (that is a reflection on the policing not the Tottenham fans), just as I don’t go to Marseille to watch England.

But I suppose they are all waiting for Russia v Ukraine next.

So what have we learned?  Maybe before getting engaged with the French police it might be worth watching the TV series Braquo and The Last Panthers.  If you have never seen either, I’d recommend both.

Oh yes, and not fill an English team with Tottenham players.  You never know what ways they might find of clutching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Although come to think of it, actually we do know.

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32 comments to The aftermath: England media blame the Russian media, Twitter blames Tottenham, I avoid the local police

  • Brickfields Gunners

    ” Too many unripe Spuds and plucked chickens spoils the Albion broth ?”
    What were the chances that the Russians would lob high balls into the England penalty box where the full back was the shortest player on the field ?

  • ob1977

    And in line with a previous article, the BBC blame Wilshere for failing to hold on to the win, well good to see some consistencies…

  • Average Joe

    I am a Englishman and I am embarrassed by the so called English fans. That’s why I can never love England to the extent I love arsenal.

  • Al

    I’m inclined to blame the England fans on this one; most reports about fan trouble before this clash I had read or heard about in the media involved English fans. So no surprise really, and perhaps no coincidence too, it’s the same set of fans involved this time.

    The guardian seems to have forgotten that earlier in the day they had ran a report talking about how England fans, who had been drinking heavily, had been involved in running battles with the police. They talk of people getting punched without provocation by other people wearing England tops, England fans singing and chanting hate songs, yet go on to try and exonerate the same unruly mob of being responsible for later clashes? Highly unlikely if you ask me. This article here from the same guardian paper talks of how unruly the England fans had been all day.

    Obviously I wasn’t there so dont have the exact facts of what happened but if one looks at the reports of what had been going on all day one can’t escape the conclusion the same set of fans caused the trouble. I don’t understand what it is with England fans and violence but this behaviour is deplorable.
    By not pointing the finger squarely where the blame lies, and instead trying to paint them as victims, the guardian are just ensuring that there’ll most likely be a repeat of this, from the same group of fans.

  • colario

    We need something to smile about. I hope this does just that.

    Jim forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was very
    angry, and told him, “Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in
    the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds. AND IT BETTER BE

    The next morning Jim got up early and left for work.

    When his wife woke up, she looked out the window. Sure enough, there
    was a gift-wrapped box in the driveway. She put on her robe
    and ran out to the driveway and brought the box back into the house.

    She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

    Jim has been missing since Friday.

  • colario

    Not that funny I know.

    Brickfields we need your help. 🙂

  • funny as in really funny , ever since have been watching football England fans has always been involved in fight with all other nations so no surprise for me just that there is saying that says spear the rod nd spoil the child.thats has been their case nd the media just love doing that to the fan . they are never @ fault for anything whereas report had been flowing in since Friday night of different types of fracal by the English fans but no blame it on others . back on the game after just playing 12minute on the pitch it was Wilshire fault for the draw for not holding the ball well not rose who was out jumped nd not hart who was out of position .well am not surprised that’s there way of life. just blame it on others

  • Leon

    “the heavily drunken islanders”
    Well, they got that one right.

  • WalterBroeckx

    it could be all so simple: don’t serve alcohol. Period. For some going to a football match is all about getting drunk as quickly as possible and by the time the match start they don’t even know in which colours their team plays.
    I go to a football match to enjoy the football.
    And not serving alcohol goes for both set of fans.

  • Al

    And they got the number 250 about right as well, as seen by one French fan talking to sky news.

    The media ought to do something about this, and stop protecting these thugs by painting them as victims and playing the blame game. The incident in this clip is quite distressing [be warned], I can’t understand how anyone could not come out strongly condemning such cowardly behaviour. Hope someone shops the thug in this video so he is duly punished.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Not usually one to stick up for the behaviour of certain England fans, but from some,of the footage and reports I have seen, it looks to me that some England fans who do not appear to be causing trouble have been targeted.
    I note that EUFA are now charging Russia over the events in the stadium.
    Also, all convicted hooligans in England have had to surrender their passports for the duration of this tournament…..of course I am not saying some may not have slipped through the net, but wonder if Russia have been so vigilant?
    Of course there will be genuine dickheads out there amongst our so called fans, and others that may have had too much to drink, and have got caught up in things.
    But I also think that some innocent fans have been hurt due to others wanting to take them on due to reputation past of England fans.
    The solution…..I am sure alcohol is part of the problem. But the real solution, arrest , send to trial and imprison the guilty. Going up and hitting someone in a pub will often lead to a prison sentence here, and in France. But, with such offences at these tournaments, the hosting country, perhaps understandable, cannot wait to get them out of the country a sap, no matter what they have done. Three years in a Marseille jail may not stop it all, but would be a deterrent for some.
    I remember even in the bad old days, one of the most trouble free tournaments was USA 94,perhaps because England were not there. But England didn’t and don’t have exclusivity on hooliganism, and drink was available in the U.S. I am sure what stopped problems was the nature of the U.S. Police, and it’s justice system.
    In Western Europe, hooligans and trouble makers know that a fine and deportation is most likely the worst that will happen…..not much of a deterrent for some.
    But agree on the point, that a combination of some Marseille local troublemakers, Russian hooligans and some English fans is a combination that is sadly worth avoiding

  • Pete

    Just too depressing. Haven’t been to an England game live since 1997 because of the fans (and went to every Wembley game in Euro 96 which was almost joyful!).

    As for last night, thought Walker and Dier did well while Rose’s judgement was questionable at times. As for Kane and Alli they contributed very little apart from a few overhit corners and a failure to mark the Russian goalscorer.

    Rooney probably our best player while Lallana did surprisingly well.

  • Leon

    Re. the match.In fairness, Kane excepted I thought the Spurs contingent put up a good show, although whos idea was it to put Rose to mark that guy?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ colario -June 12, 2016 at 10:29 am – You ‘re doing very well without my help ,Charles !

  • porter

    Wilshere cleared the corner ( surprisingly ) apparently, Milner did not close down quick enough, the ball was switched and Cahill and Smalling were not watching the danger, the tallest Russian got on Rose and Hart was badly positioned and flapped at it. That’s how I saw it the once only , I haven’t bothered to look at it again.

    As for the England fans :- No ticket , no travel. I worked in a number of bars in Spain in the late 60’s , sadly bar fights always had English involved. The Spanish police in those days the Guardia Civil had a way of dealing with it . A night in the jail with no water , a bus trip 5 miles out of town in the morning , and a hung over walk back to their hotels at 12 .o’clock when the sun got hot . They didn’t seem to want to drink that much for a few days after.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    On the account of the reports that I’ve read on the BR and ESPN which are not British media, have shown that the England fans were the ones who have been first provocated by provocateurs.

    Even the scuffles and fights which was reported to have broken out between the rival fans of England and Russian after the match had ended at Marseille, was reported to have been provoked by the Russian fans who were reported to have light flares and threw them to the England fans side in the Stadium, then rushed towards them and even detonated an explosive device that caused a stampede among the England fans.

    I cannot blame the British media for reporting the facts that caused the pre-match and after the match violence that happened between the England travelling fans and the locals and the Russian fans in Marseille.

    I think the French Police should be proactive and take proactive measures to forestall any fresh provocations which could lead to troubles between the locals and the rival fans.

  • Mandy Dodd

    England played well enough at times, but not very clinical, and a bad defensive mistake at the end. Jack looked good as well when he came on.
    Need to improve, as Slovakia and Wales may try and play bus parking/counter……as seems to be depressingly in vogue in the sport of football these days

  • Gooner S


    England played well, Rooney played well. England’s defence, as expected, gave up a chance and Russia took it. That Rose, Walker, Dele Alli, Dier and Kane are Tottenham players really doesn’t bother me. Dele Alli in particular is a wonderful player. I don’t think he or Kane will be at Spurs for very long.

    I have been to Paris twice, once for the Cup Winners Cup final and once for the Champions League final. I have been tear gassed twice through no fault of my own. For the the Cup Winners Cup final I was man handled by French police as I was trying to protect my 11 year old son from being crushed. I don’t hold French policing at Football matches in high regard for these reasons. I also don’t intend to go to Arsenal’s next European final..we might win it then!

    That there is trouble in Marseille between French, Russian and English thugs (they are not fans) should not be surprising as each has a reputation for thuggery that spoil it for the majority who don’t want to partake in holligan activities. It is just too much of a temptation for each to prove themselves against the other. I would love for there to be a world where segregation is not required but unfortunately it is. Like you I do not go to these matches for these reasons and I do not want to be associated with the English ‘supporters’ that sing vile racist, nationalist songs.

  • Pat

    Just read the Guardian article linked by Al. English fans singing anti-German and anti-IRA songs and singing ‘Sit down if you hate the French’. Quite likely the Russians were not left out of this diatribe of xenophobic hatred. It all sounds pretty provocative to me. To say ‘They were only singing’ does not really describe it accurately, does it?

    It is undoubtedly true, Mandy, that innocent fans will have been caught up in the violence. But innocent people always are.

    Tony was talking about blaming. Well, I can’t help connecting all this with the weeks of cover to cover anti-immigrant propaganda in the media around the EU referendum, plus the hate coverage that Russia constantly gets as well.

    If you whip people up and misinform them, this is the result.

    And finally, for any British media outlet to talk about any other nation’s alleged long history of football hooliganism is a bit rich.

    But anyway, Tony, I laughed at your last line.

  • Incidentally, the Telegraph are now running the headline

    “Jamie Vardy’s wife Rebekah ‘tear-gassed’ during Russia vs England Euro 2016 violence”

    It can only be a matter of hours before the event is blamed on Arsenal, so I think we can take it that Vardy will not be heading our way.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    On that last gab Russia equaliser, much blames have been apportioned to Danny Rose for his lack of height which some think had enabled the Russian CB to head home.

    But Rose had been brilliant defensively for England until that momentary lose of concentrations and disjointed defensive organization by the England defenders led in that equaliser.

    I think the England defenders have learnt a lesson or two that it’s not all over until it’s finally over. Therefore, they must concentrate on all the aspects of their game until the final whistle is blown.

    I think Wayne Rooney the Captain, should be allowed to remain on the field if he’s able to continuing play without him suffering from any game failing. His removal caused the team to lose cohesion. Wilshere should have been brought on for another mid and not Rooney.

  • Andy Mack

    Hooliganism/fighting involving English football fans is usually caused by the English fans, HOWEVER the same is true of Russian fans and fans from a number of FSU countries.
    In this case it’s pretty obvious there would be problems so anyone caught up in it shouldn’t be surprised.

  • jake

    some people don’t put up with the insulting comments we have been lead to believe is just banter

  • robl

    I think it’s harsh to blame the team, they worked hard and were unlucky. The only one to blame is the tool in the dugout who, against the oldest team in the tournament, and visibly tiring bought on Milner to defend a slim lead, and not Vardy to push them back further and make sure of the points. 1-0 leads are always dangerous against anyone.

  • Chris

    Adding to the anti-Arsenal bias, I found a website/blog whatever showing us how the twittersphere reacted with disgust to Aaron Ramsey’s game…
    10 maybe 15 twitter posts, all negative and this is the ‘global picture’

    Interestingly, another site was giving out compliments to our player, using game stats as a base.

    Which, to me at least, proves the point there is an agenda out there to go after anything closley or remotely associated with AW or AFC.

    The other thing the last days made me reflect upon, is that, as far as I am concerned, there has never been a cconfirmation from Arsenal that they were pursuing Vardy. Not that I have seen it. So maybe in the end this is just his agent making sure he gets a better deal for the second year and the AAs getting some more reasons to tell us why AFS and AW are useless.

  • porter

    I wonder if there is much talking in the England defence. Surely Hart must have seen how it was shaping up , he should have been screaming at Smalling or Cahill to switch.

  • Luvyourclub

    Some great comments today and great responses to a some poor digs at Spurs in the article. C’mon Tony your better than this especially when you get angry at teams anti Arsenal brigade. When it comes to my National team England I don’t care what team anyone plays for because they are England players first. Great performance let down by one lack of concentration. Once again great comments everyone let down by a poor article.

  • Pat

    Come on, Luvyourclub, it’s an Arsenal fans’ web site. What do you expect Tony to say about Spurs? We’re all still basking in the amazing fun of this year’s St Totteringham’s Day.

  • dan

    Too many morons with too much to drink, lacking many brain cell.

    Pub warriors!!!

  • Menace

    Wonderful UEFA!! They screw up security & threaten to disqualify teams for the resultant trouble.

    If I were the FA I would walk away from the competition & promote Brexit!!

  • Mandy Dodd

    Is Russia’s World Cup threatened as well as their, and England’s participation in this championship if hooliganism continues?
    Ok, know one is UEFA and the other FIFA….but