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Well what a reversal of fortunes, 2 weeks ago I thought we wouldn't do anything this season.

Last night has to be the best Arsenal display I've seen in a long time. Every player was awesome, if we can just repeat our away form in the league in europe then we might be on the verge of something big.

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Okay, another stupid football question. I'm well aware of the bitter rivalry between Arsenal and Tottenham. But being as objective as you can, what is the most heated and most anticipated rivalry in the premiership? The rivalry that most encompasses the whole country?

I recall old footage of fights between supporters of Liverpool and Man Utd. on the evening sports news years ago. However, I'll leave it to this august body to provide me the answer.

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Leeds and Liverpool both hate Man Utd and West Ham and Chelsea detest each other.The problem is it is almost impossible to get a ticket for these matches.

I think the most juicy rivalries are in the leagues below the premiership, where there is more chance the common man (and hooligan)can get a ticket.

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Choc Ste,

A number of clubs have their own gangs of notorious troublemakers. Depending on the tabloid you read, the month or the way the wind's blowing it seems that one or other of them is currently the worst. They are then the hard target for others to aspire to and knock down.

Previous famous hooligan gangs have included the likes of West Ham's ICF = Inter City Firm. So called because they used to take the train to away games (the long distance trains were known, in the eighties, as the Inter City 125). Chelsea has its famed Headhunters. The Dogs Bollocks Bar in Pattaya has a number of newspaper cuttings on its walls celebrating their notoriety. Chelsea was also renowned for allegedly having a hard core group of supporters who were members of Combat 18 - an extreme fascist organisation, allegedly with links to paramilitary organisations.

Much is made in the press about how many of these people aren't interested in the football but only in the rucking. Smaller clubs also have gangs of thugs trying to make names for themselves amongst the larger more established firms. Thus, the likes of Portsmouth, or Pompey as it's referred to, although only fairly small with a defined fan base had/has a renowned gang following them.

Probably the most notorious used to be Millwall. They were all over the tv in the '80's with the jolly japes that their supporters got up to at away games including ripping up seating and lashing them on the pitch etc.

Liverpool suppporters were involved in the Heysel Stadium disaster in the mid 80's when during fighting at Heysel part of a wall collapsed and a number of Italian fans were killed. Liverpool didn't play in Europe for some time after.

One result of the fighting and pitch invasions was the introduction of cages to keep the fans off the pitch. Fans were strictly segregated from each other to prevent clashes. That led to the Hillsborough football disaster in 1989 when 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death in a football stadium in Sheffield due to overcrowding and the failure to open exit gates to allow fans to spill onto the pitch. These weren't pissed up yobs that died either but young teenagers, girls and families. Now English stadiums don't have cages.

Football hooliganism has spread all over Europe now. It seems that whenever England play abroad they are a target for other yobs out to make a name for themselves. That's not to say that they don't take their own dickheads with them.

However, you shouldn't get the wrong impression that football is all about rivalry and fighting. A lot of the rivalry is fairly good natured piss-taking. During Euro 96 most of the big European national sides played in England without incident. Here, in Liverpool, the bars were granted special licenses to stay open way past their normal closing hours. The streets were thronged with Italians, Czechs and Dutch all wearing outrageous costumes and getting totally bevvied. Incidents of violence were rare.

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I find football hooligans fascinating , there are heaps of books on the subject that seemed to have popped up in recent years , both fiction & non fiction , I have just read a trilogy by John King , The Football Factory , Headhunters & England Away , not bad reads , I also think the songs & chants are hilarious , I know mainly Arsenal ones , but my fav is the Millwall one ,hows it go "nobody likes us & we don't care" or something ,Ha , Ha.

Has anyone here had any first hand experience of hooliganism ???? As either spectators or participants??? Me being from Oz the answer for me is no. smile.gif" border="0

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my vote for the worst derby would have to go to the old firm (celtic and rangers in glasgow, for those of you who may not know). the hatred between those two goes beyond local animosity you would get in other cities; it includes sectarian bigotry between protestant and catolic scots, the latter of whom are mostly of irish extraction. glasgow turns into beirut circa 1985 whenever that one goes off. again, experienced footy fans don't need to be told any of this, but as i recall this part of the thread is a response to an inquiry on the subject, though i forget who at the moment.

a few other derbys that have been known to produce causualties:

south wales: cardiff-swansea--no away fans allowed!

northeast: newcastle, middlesboro, sunderland-a triangle of hate

sheffield: wednesday, united-they're in the same division again, broken pint glasses at the ready

east anglia: norwich, ipswich- with ipswich's current form, this one will be rekindled next season

liverpool: reds, everton- not competitive on the pitch in recent years, but still a dogfight outside the ground

there are loads more that haven't already been mentioned on the thread... just a few that come to mind

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