There’s always that one person who takes things a little too far, isn’t there?
Aston Villa and Birmingham City are fierce rivals, with both competing for a playoff spot in the English Championship (one league below the Premier League).
During yesterday’s Second City derby, or Midlands derby, as the match is known, 23-year-old Villa captain Jack Grealish was on the receiving end of a swinging fist from behind, just under nine minutes into the match.
Paul Mitchell, a 27-year-old Birmingham City fan, was in police custody last night after being arrested for the assault.
Let’s see the incident, then:
What a complete and utter tosser.
Mitchell will surely be banned from all English football grounds for life, and there is further salt to be rubbed into those wounds.
What’s the absolute best way to stick it to Mitchell and the Birmingham fans? Score the only goal of the game and win it for your team:
Scenes! That’s the stuff that dreams are made for, with Grealish having grown up a Villa fan, and thus hating Birmingham.
You can tell he enjoyed it, diving into the crowd to celebrate the winner, but Jack really, really enjoyed the moment.
Best day of his life, innit?
Go on, Jack, throw in a little extra shade on Twitter:
Over the years, Jack has often been accused of arrogance, but I think we can cut him some slack here.
It’s also worth noting that later on Sunday, during Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Manchester United, Chris Smalling was confronted by an Arsenal fan who charged onto the pitch.
Here’s that footage:
– “You absolute numpty.”
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 10, 2019
Sure, he probably just had a few choice words for Smalling, and no real harm done, but there’s no way that fans should be able to get so close to the players with such ease.
The players clearly agree, with this from the Telegraph:
Ashley Young, the United and England defender, says players could be “in danger” and has called for change.
“It is the third time [there was an incident on Friday night in the Scottish Premier League] that a fan has managed to get on the pitch,” he said. “What if they are carrying something? The players will be in danger. It is definitely something that the FA, Premier League and Fifa [need to look at]. It has to be done. Maybe extra stewarding. It is a concern with the one earlier today [Grealish] and the one on Chrissy [Smalling]. Something has to be done.”
…The Professional Footballers’ Association said in a statement that it was concerned about “this type of behaviour coming back into the game”, adding: “Incidents like this demonstrate certain problems have not been eradicated and that players can be particularly vulnerable.”
They have a point, and stadium marshalls and security guards need to do a better job of preventing this from happening going forward.
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