The good the bad and the down right ugly
So yours truly had the pleasure of being at Wembley on Wednesday to see England thump Croatia, and quite a night it was. I wont do the match report that I'd planned, if you were interested you'd have either been there yourself, watched it on tv or found a report somewhere else. No, instead I'd like to comment on the great England supporting public that turned up at Wembley because we saw every side of them.
First the good
The atmosphere, for the first 20 minutes, was rocking. I mean bouncing, absoloutely electric. This was the gosse bumps on the arm, hair stood up on your neck roar that I have been wanting England fans to make for years, yet they never quite managed. Absolutely deafening! There was even a little more imagination to the singing than usual, "Are you Scotland in disguise?" was particularly funny. Still needs work, I reckon the Rampton Races needs an airing as does Twist and Shout but we seem to be getting there.
Second the bad
Football matches, and I can't emphasise this enough, last a minimum of 90 minutes. Typically with injury time you're looking at 95 minutes plus. So why the fuck do so many people leave early? Yes I know it's a school night, yes I know the tubes are a bit shit but come on people, it's England's biggest game for years and people actually started leaving on 75 minutes. Not 85 or 90 or in injury time but with a full 15 minutes to go. How much time did they save? I left on the final whistle and was on a moving tube 35 minutes later. What did they miss? Some missed Rooney's goal, others just missed the highly talented men playing football that they had come to see.
Also, the noise died down considerably at 2-0. Shame but I guess voices can only keep that level of noise up for so long.
Third the ugly
Drinking in the Green Man pre match we were serenaded by a bunch of stone island wearing neaderthals who informed us that there was "no surrender to the IRA" while making Nazi salutes.
Can't these people just fuck off?