I suspect I was taking one of my usual vacations on another planet when the news came through that this year’s Ems Cup will include Inter, PSG and Rangers.
I don’t support any particular Scottish team, and as I am not a Christian, I don’t fall on either side of the sectarian divide, so I don’t have a natural allegiance for or against Rangers.
There’s also no firm evidence on the matter, but I do hear regular comments to the effect that there is a extreme right-wing element within KGB Fulham’s support that also travel to watch Rangers, and would love to get access to a fair chunk of the Ems in order to cause mayhem. (I certainly have met a few right wing KGB supporters in the tube on occasion – not very nice people in my view).
Plus of course the people who went to Manchester for the last Diddly Widdly Cup final to support Rangers. I know that many people think that mass drunkenness in the streets is fine, but I’d sooner stay with what we have at the Ems at the moment.
Maybe I am exaggerating the problem – I had a look around to try and find some neutral commentary on this matter, and of course that is tough, but the same stories come up over and over, and by and large they are not happy reading.
So as I ponder tonight’s jolly jaunt to the Insolvents, and the equally jolly time to be had in the Yoooof Cup tomorrow, I just wonder what the thinking was of inviting a club like Rangers, that at least has an association with problematic behaviour.
What was the thinking? Is it money? (Rangers will buy as many places as they can). Did they ask to come? (Celtic are playing in Wembley) Did no one at our end look and ask about what happened in Manchester? Or is it just me getting all steamed in my old age?
Still, it is good to know life goes on as usual. One of the blogs I read this morning has a piece about Wenger having finally lost it because he is talking about the fact that we could still win the league. I seem to recall the same situation with the Unbeaten Season – indeed I still have the picture of him holding the grey t-shirt that poked fun at him; in fact I have still got one myself.
I like the Lord Wenger making all sorts of suggestions about future success. If he had never delivered it would be different, but he has, so he has earned the right. The Lord Wenger says that next season we should play on Pheobos (a moon of Mars) and I say fine, where do I buy my spaceship ticket.
And he’ll include Alex Song tonight – one of my two nominees at the start of the season in Highbury High as a player who will shine this year. Everyone thinks he’s ok now. No one goes on and on and on and on about Flamini (currently sitting on benches in Italy). Such is life.
Last thought: lovely piece about the owner of Fulham circulating today. He called the leaders of the FA and EPL a load of donkeys so one up to him. Interestingly he’s calling for a new maximum wage – which one of his predecessors (Henry Norris) spent most of his time as chair of first Fulham, then both Fulham and Arsenal, then Arsenal, trying to get rid of. (Norris believed that if you got rid of the maximum wage, salaries would go down).
Right, hat, scarf, boxing gloves, defensive helmet, hub cap security device, armoured car, tank, support vehicles… yup, it’s time to go to Liverpool.
(c) Our man on the job. 2009.