So it appears that Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard aren’t the only outdated Great British products we have exported to Major League Soccer. This weekend footage has emerged of assorted neanderthals, some in the obligatory shirtless state, hurling insults, sandwich boards and “Who are ya”s at each other in New Jersey prior to New York Red Bulls’ clash with New York City FC.
It appears that the various knuckle-draggers may well have involved outside consultants of some kind. One onlooker said that there were English fans involved according to the Mirror, and added: “Tensions had been building for a few hours when rival fans began drinking near Red Bull’s bar. One guy threw a can of beer and it just descended into violence.
“If it wasn’t for the police siren it would of gone a lot longer,” he added. “It seems we gave the Americans our football, now we’re giving them our violence.”
Of course I’m not saying they need to be better hooligans but when you break down the footage, it’s more of a laughable playground scrap, with one man appearing to hurl a nasty-looking white plastic rubbish bag and another tentatively jabbing a sandwich board at the opposition. Someone is wielding a stick at some point but doesn’t appear to actually use it, but rather shakes it about like a 5-year-old eyeing up some particularly vulnerable-looking nettles.
As soon a police car shows up in a manner that could roughly be described as nonchalant, there’s a hasty parting of the ways and unconfirmed threats of repercussions involving “really bad” Chinese burns and big brothers.
Did someone tell these clowns that Green Street was a documentary? If you haven’t seen it, it’s a contender for one of the most hilariously bad movies of all time, with Elijah Wood transforming from weedy American student to weedy American student wearing a Henri Lloyd jacket and attempting to swagger. The best line followed a “tear up” with some rival fans: “Ike said later that that the story travelled across England faster than the death of Lady Di”. Classy.
It’s unclear whether any arrests were made.