August 26, 2009
The newspaper headlines were much as expected, with The Sun's "Scum" being the prime sample of media outrage at the goings on at Upton Park on Tuesday night. That a man was stabbed in the chest reflected a seriousness to the situation, so too the tears of Jack Collison as he left the field at the end of West Ham's extra-time win over Millwall.
Collison bravely decided to play in the match after losing his father to a motorcycle accident on Sunday, the day after Hammers defender Calum Davenport had suffered a knife attack that seems likely to end his footballing career. West Ham, a troubled place as it is, could really have done without the embarassment brought to their club by the actions of a section of knuckle-dragging fans during, before and after their Carling Cup match with Millwall.
Once the two teams were pulled from the hat for a second round tie many had predicted trouble between two sets of rival fans who have a long-running emnity and, to adopt the tiresome vernacular of the hooligan, have not had the chance for a "tear up" since 2005. This one was always likely to "go off" and while certain media wail and gnash teeth about what happened, questions must be asked over what has made the ructions of Tuesday night acceptable to a sizeable minority of idiots.