Thursday, 15 May 2008

Everyone knows that drunk Scotsmen are just lovable bunnies...

One of the lead articles on today's Gazzetta site is the report on trouble last night in Manchester. In particular the article focuses on the lager-fuelled antics of Rangers fans and on the thankfully minor stabbing of a Zenit fan. The article doesn't make it explicit but the clear implication is: look, people, it's not just us. With splendind irony, a reader has commented below "I heard that they were all Italians just dressed up as Rangers fans." haha.

Will we now hear Alan Green et al pontificating on how Rangers should be thrown out of all European competitions? or that Manchester is clearly a wholly unsuitable place to hold a high profile football match, and is an inherently dangerous uncivilised pit of hell? Methinks not. Ah well.

13 comments:

ginkers said...

Spangles, this is an intriguing story in the UK because there is no Johnny Foreigner to blame. Normally we would get the "heavy handed" police line which is what is coming from Scotland. But, at the same time, the English police have released footage of hundreds of them stampeding down a street.

There has been trouble at a lot of games over here of late but the way it is covered is very different from when it takes place overseas...

Spangly Princess said...

indeed, Ginkers. There is frequently trouble in the UK especially at non-Premiership level, but the media only likes to talk about it when it's Johnny Foreigner, and when the heavy handed police are those excitable latin types.

I am of course not glad to see this sort of stuff happening there, but I would like to think (perhaps naively) that people might wake up to the fact that British football still has its problems, and that much of the sanctimony in recent times is deeply hypocritical.

Of course, this creates some problems for the much vaunted "modello inglese" too.

oscar said...

We still hold hope that Italy will not be held responsible for all that is wrong with football...? What a very positive outlook on life...me, I've made peace with
a) all Italian teams always playing catenaccio (nevermind 95% of the people outside of the peninsula who use the term misunderstand it completely), whether or not it was in fact their English opponents that put 10 men behind the ball and hoofed it *cough*Roma-Manchester*cough*,
b) that the Italian football going public is either massmurderers or fascists, guilty of all that is wrong in European stadia. Even last night, at a game in England between a Scottish ans Russian team, you can bet somewhere an Italian or two started it, as that poster wrote in connection to the GdS article, and finally:
c) that when in doubt, all Italian players bar Zola (bless him) should be referred to as cheaters, divers and/or agitators. Totti being the hallmark of a self-centered, egotistical coward who only plays for Roma still because he's too afraid to try out a different team (do note that Le Tissier on the other hand symbolizes loyalty, without mention of lack of ambition. That's all on Totti).

The english-speaking media tires me so very very much.

ursus arctos said...

Should Oscar wish contemporary evidence of the accuracy of his summary, he need look no further than today's Guardian piece by Barry Ronay, in which Rangers are praised for a "Tetris-like defence" and absolved of any charges of playing "anti-football".

ursus arctos said...

To expand a bit on Ginkers' original point, I agree that it is going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

Is the English media going to stick with the "Bonny Scots" meme of last night, modified to account for the "excesses of a few bad apples"? Or are they going to stick the boot in? Despite the sterling efforts of apologists like a Rangers' supporting member of the Scottish Parliament who is claiming that the police donning riot gear was "provocative", it is going to hard to blame this one on "over-zealous policing" or "shambolic organisation" because the targets would be domestic, rather than Johnny Foreigner.

It's also interesting to think about why this crap happened last night, when Rangers' support throughout the tournament has been pretty well-behaved (certainly better behaved than they were last night).

There were at least 20,000 of them in Florence (many without tickets) and things went well.

Was it Tesco's opening at 7am to sell beer? The "screwup" with the big screen? The fact that they lost the match? A sense that they were at home and therefore somehow less "on good behaviour"? Just numbers?

I have no idea, but think it has the potential to become an important reference point in how these incidents are reported in the future.

I've also heard Mancuians talk today of a sense of "being under siege" which is something that will resonate with the citizens of a lot of cities that have hosted massive groups of travelling British fans.

Henry Ford said...

Can I take a moment to observe the fact that 'minor stabbing' has been assimilated into your vocabulary?
xxx

Anonymous said...

Haha, I have just identified henry ford.

dV

NickLazio1900 said...

"Of course, this creates some problems for the much vaunted "modello inglese" too."

The British media's reaction to the incidents in Manchester has shown remarkable double-standards, however I would venture to say that crowd control techniques/policing in the UK are better than in Italy. The problem with the 'modello ingleses' that you refer to, is that Italians want to have their cake and eat it too. They want top of the line stadia yet they want to pay €10 for a ticket and be able to engage in whatever anti-social behavior they feel like getting involved in with complete impunity...

"Totti being the hallmark of a self-centered, egotistical coward who only plays for Roma still because he's too afraid to try out a different team"

Don't meant to burst your bubble, but Totti signed, or at least came to some verbal agreement with Milan during an off-season a few years ago after having gotten upset at Roma's lack of silverware and opportunities to win the latter. He was promised a huge contract, an improved squad and he ended up staying. Moving has certainly been on his mind in the past.

TrentToffee said...

"it's not just us" whoever believed it wasn't just us (whoever us might be) ?? Football hooliganism is alive and well in England & Scotland. I mean, *what* is the surprise there ?

And as for the "English" press (mostly owned by overseas enterprises), well 15 minutes spent reading a cross section of them will give you an idea of how generally crap they are. And as for the BBC...

So, stick the boot into the crap English press. Like they care. But here's a thing. They're *really* crap when it comes to covering what happens overseas - unless it's some bloke in a wheelchair tipped over in some stadium in Spain, etc. You just won't read about it.

Spangly Princess said...

Well, TT, we in Italy are forever being told that England and Scotland are havens of peaceable perfection. Really.

so "it's not just us" is actually quite important.

And the stuff spouted in the UK media about violence in Italy over the last 2 years has been infuriating.

Nick: I would never deny that policing and crowd management are generally vastly superior in the UK than here. Your point about prices is a very good one. I think, though, that no-one has thought through the substantial differences in football culture which means that the suggestion of simply "photocopying the English legislation" (which at least one politician made in the aftermath of the Raciti incidents) is a nonsense.

TrentToffee said...

"we in Italy are forever being told that England and Scotland are havens of peaceable perfection." Then it appears to me the Italian press are every bit as crap as the English press. Which is why we love your blog :0)

"And the stuff spouted in the UK media about violence in Italy over the last 2 years has been infuriating."

Don't know what you mean there. But then again, I don't watch much TV, and I'm a very selective reader.

chelsea boy said...

Totti being the hallmark of a self-centered, egotistical coward who only plays for Roma still because he's too afraid to try out a different team (do note that Le Tissier on the other hand symbolizes loyalty, without mention of lack of ambition. That's all on Totti).

Um, what? Le Tissier got loads of stick for not moving (to us, by the way) in the mid-nineties for being unambitious and it as only when he became a fat wobbling shadow of his former self that he became the loyal one-club man.

As for the rioting, it's obvious that sher weight of numbers is what caused the violence. Over 100,000 pissed up Scots in England, for a whole day? It's really not that much of a surprise that fighting broke out, especially when one of the screens breaks, leaving thousands of fans in limbo. I don't think you can use this as a comparison with weekly stabbings and organised fan violence, this is what happens in high streets across the land every wekend, writ large.

oscar said...

Going decidedly off-topic:
"Don't meant to burst your bubble, but Totti signed, or at least came to some verbal agreement with Milan during an off-season a few years ago after having gotten upset at Roma's lack of silverware and opportunities to win the latter. He was promised a huge contract, an improved squad and he ended up staying. Moving has certainly been on his mind in the past."

The veracity of any such signed, or agreed upon deal very much in doubt, it still doesn't adress the raging hypocricy in labeling Le Tissier (e.g.) as epitomizing player->club loyalty, while a not insignificant portion of the European football watching audience most likely subscribes to the idea - spread predominantly by English pundits over the years - that Totti on the other hand has only stayed at Roma because he'd be too afraid to try out a career with your Milans or Real Madrids of the world...never mind every half-arsed ignoramus who's remotely familiar with concepts as the offside rule and zone defense recognizes Totti's greatness and the fact that he would kick mucho arse wherever he went, whomever he signed for.

Again, not that I for one second accept your belief that Totti signed a deal with Milan as gospel (although he did flirt with them, yes)...does such a deal indicate that he was too afraid to try his wings in Milan?

This wouldn't just be a laziale jumping at the chance to take Totti down a peg or two, would it? Naaah.