Is it just us, or is pitch invasion seriously in vogue at the moment? Last week’s blog featured those pesky flare-throwers in the game between Italy and Croatia. Last night, Tottenham’s Europa Cup game against Partizan Belgrade was interrupted on three separate occasions – the third of which even led to the game being suspended for ten minutes.
Undoubtedly the most bizarre (and most polite, it must be said) Pitch invaders you’ll ever see, though, featured in Wednesday night’s Champions League tie between Real Madrid and Basel. Check out these two jokers:
We have our suspicions, of course – this feels like a carefully orchestrated comedy sketch. Because if anything, they’re dressed too much like tourists: the nerdy backpacks, the anoraks, the video camera (not an iPhone!!!) … still, they weren’t exactly handled with care.
And understandably so. It is – at least in the UK, anyway – breaking the law to enter the field of play, so it’s strange how often fans get it into their heads that they need to feel the hallowed turf under their foot.
Aside from the ‘why’, there are two points to discuss here. The first is this: how on earth do they manage it? Yesterday’s match at White Hart Lane must have featured at least 50 stewards marshalling the front of the stands. How does one overweight, overage and probably overboozed football fan make it through that barrier and onto the pitch? Someone isn’t doing their job properly, evidently.
Secondly, why do we give them the attention they crave? BBC Sport, it should be said, makes a concerted effort not to show photos of offenders, but even they posted a story last night devoted entirely to the suspension of Spurs’ game. The Guardian’s much worse, featuring an image of two giggling Pitch Invaders being chased by stewards, one of which is on his way to hitting the deck, and the other looks uncannily like Daniel Levy.
The photo’s crowning glory, however, is in one fine detail: Roberto Soldado’s right boot, finely poised to bring down unsuspecting pitch invader number two. Take a look:
Anyway, enough of that. It just strikes us as common sense that if we stop glorifying these guys’ actions (and that includes posting their photos online), then the growing trend of pitch invasion should eventually stop altogether.
As for Predikta, we’ve got a host of really tasty ties this weekend. None of them are total showstoppers, but there are a number of fixtures that are really tricky to call.
First up are Burnley who, having failed to record a win until the eleventh game of the season, now look to make it three wins in three as they face an Aston Villa side who are without a win since mid-September.
The weekend’s serious six-pointer is between QPR and Leicester, both of whom badly need a boost ahead of the busy Christmas schedule. Elsewhere, West Ham face Newcastle, Spurs are at home to Everton, and 2nd play 3rd as Southampton take on Man City at St. Mary’s.
All of them are tough to predict, no doubt, so a couple of good calls this weekend could see you shooting up your Predikta league. Make your predictions with care, players.
The full Predikta fixture list is as follows:
West Brom v Arsenal
Burnley v Aston Villa
Liverpool v Stoke
Man Utd v Hull
QPR v Leicester
Swansea v Crystal Palace
West Ham v Newcastle
Sunderland v Chelsea
Southampton v Man City
Tottenham v Everton
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