Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughWe need to talk about yesterday - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough We need to talk about yesterday - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

We need to talk about yesterday

If there is one thing you can rely on football fans to do, it is to provide heartening, life-affirming moments and then let themselves down dreadfully afterwards once the hope has been raised for a better tomorow.

Yesterday’s match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield was a prime example of this.

You’re a football fans, you don’t need me to explain the enormity of the occasion yesterday and I don’t think people outside of Liverpool or Manchester can truly describe that enormity either.

What happened for the vast majority of yesterday was one of the most heartening sights you will see as two great football clubs, two great sets of fans and great cities came together in a spirit of togetherness and peace in the knowledge that the situation was bigger than their rivalry.

Players, fans, ex-players and everyone involved in the two clubs put on a display that showed football at it’s best; humble, simple dignity. Nothing overplayed or overstated, just decency displayed in a simple way.

The match itself was largely played out in this spirit also, although in third gear somewhat as if the players did not want to make too an aggressive a statement, somewhat forgivably. Jonjo Shelvey’s red card was not particularly aggressive albeit it was dangerous and his argument with Sir Alex Ferguson petty.

However, two stories in the press today have undermined all of this.

Firstly, the alleged incidents after the game between two sets of fans where Liverpool supporter(s) made airplane gestures (referencing the Munich Air Disaster) and the United fans responding with Hillsborough chants and secondly, the sickening Tweets directed at match referee Mark Halsey and his cancer treatment.

These incidents drag football’s name into the gutter.

It may well be that this is media hyperbole and overplaying the situation and, as the whole day was under such intense media scrutiny for any hint of unrest, every single person associated with both clubs was under examination. One suspects that if a United representative had yawned while the 96 roses were presented by Sir Bobby Charlton to Ian Rush it would have been blown out of proportion.

Regardless, everyone knew what the scrutiny was going to be like and so should have behaved while under this awareness and as such if the reports are true (the gestures and songs is more conjecture than the Tweets which have physically been seen) then it is a damning indictment of football as a whole.

It matters not whether these fools are football fans or doing what they did in the name of football fans, it is still a blot on humanity’s jot book let alone football.

Football is tribal and in the heat of the moment people do things that are out of character and wrong but this still does not make it right. Furthermore, why it was kept well under wraps for 90 minutes of the game and then is let out by people after so long is beyond me; how can they not silence themselves for that bit longer?

One always felt that Liverpool and United fans would be more in tune with each other’s situations due to their own histories and tragedies and yesterday to an extent proved that.

Yesterday showed that football can be dignified and solemn. However, like in all walks of life, those that spoil it shout loudest.