If you type in Arsenal’s ex-captain Patrick Vieira’s name into YouTube, the first video on offer to you is titled, ‘Vieira lost his mind and kicks an Everton Fan’.
If you had zero idea what had happened, you are left picturing not a true account of reality.
It’s the same if you search his name on Google where the most searched stories are how the Palace Manager kicked an Everton Fan – but zero mention of why.
Context is everything.
Picture yourself walking away from a football ground in isolation and thousands of rival supporters charge you, shouting, swearing, gesturing, shoving you.
You try to get through an army of bodies that are surrounding you.
That’s essentially what our ex-captain faced at Goodison on Thursday.
He would have been intimidated and fearful for his safety. There’s zero point trying to pretend these were a group of Toffees just wanting to have a good time, and the former midfielder being a sore loser.
The 45-year-old would have been in the knowledge that 24 hours previous, Billy Sharp was headbutted while Forest fans ‘celebrated’ on the pitch.
Both League Two playoffs were overshadowed by crowd trouble.
Dion Dublin, a pundit on Sky, fears Vieira could be in trouble, but if the Premier League have any gumption, they defend the Clubs over the fans in this scenario.
Fans won’t like that; they seem to think that in the confines of a match day they can act and behave how they like.
The excuse is often they don’t feel they are related to.
The fact is most stadiums (including the Emirates) have signs which tell you it’s an offence and you could be prosecuted if you make that choice to leave your seat and enter the pitch.
On that grass, any player, manager, reff, member of staff, etc, has a right to feel safe.
Security and police failed to provide that safety.
It’s an embarrassment of English Football that this has become an issue and if most are honest, we would judge other nations if it were happening.
What a horrible week for the City of Liverpool. The red half booing the national anthem, the blue side trying to pick fights on what was supposed to be a happy occasion for them.
By the way, why are Everton having parties on the pitch for being 16th in the table?
Surely this week proves why safe standing shouldn’t be an option.
I have always maintained that adults in this country can’t be trusted at sporting events. One incident is one too many. If Everton fans can’t be trusted when sitting down, imagine if they were standing up.
The minority ruins it for the rest.
Pitch invasions when promoted or staying up have never been lawful, but unofficially accepted as part of our footballing culture.
That’s ruined now. The likes of the FA will now have to have a zero tolerance towards it, and you can’t blame them.
Robert Biggs, who headbutted Sharp, was jailed for 24 weeks for headbutting Sharp. I would have sent him to jail for life. That would stop people from going on the pitch.
The only good thing is this is public so it should cost him his job.
We should debate that, not Vieira.
On behalf of the Justarsenal – Family Vieira, we support you.
Once a gooner always a gooner
Learn more about Arsenal History – Decade by Decade CLICK HERE to visit our new Arsenal History section
Video – Mikel Arteta talks ahead of our last game of the season