London, Football, Europe

FOOTBALL — WORLD FOOTBALL

1:54 London, Football, Europe

As the home game number one in the country, which in football terms considers himself completely self-sufficient, refer to the European competition? Observations divided correspondent "SE", visited this week for three consecutive matches of the continental tournament in London.

Boris Levin

London [cut]

Overture. SKULL ANCESTORS HAMLET

Week was, of course, smart. Even in London, a city satiated football, it happens rarely, Tuesday and Wednesday — Champions League, Wednesday — UEFA Cup, Saturday — just three games in the Premier League and on Sunday, for a snack — the final of the League Cup. Look — I do not.

But first, a London friend took me to one of the capital's football museum. Actually, the main thing similar institution of the country is not in London, and in Preston, however, and in the capital city of virtually every stadium has its own exposition. We also visited the one that is separately located in the area of Wembley.

And learned a lot of interesting things. Here you are aware, for example, that the approval is for many experts one of the versions of the two main religions of English (and the fact that football along with Christianity itself can be called, after a stay in London, no doubt) was born in the British Isles in the far 1042. Yes, how!

It was during that summer with Albion were expelled ferocious Danish invaders (there were also times!). And after the decisive battle raging British soldiers, ripping off the accumulated years of anger began to kick the skull killed opponents legs. So much so carried away that quietly went into the taste …

Jolly version, is not it? However, any religion was being born is not easy and took the hard way to the recognition of the masses. English football — is no exception. There were times when he was banned, excommunicated, eradicated by all means possible.

For example, in 1349, King Edward III in a special decree drew attention to the sheriffs of London that is so useful for youth archery gone by the wayside because of the enthusiasm sorts lawless pursuits. And he, like you think you gave as an example of such employment? Of course, our favorite fun with you, which is defined as "madness with the ball." By the decree for it relied as much death penalty.

And the influential Anglican priest Philip Stubbs in the XVI century, wrote about football like this: "Pretty reprehensible game and, in my opinion, it is much more vulgar, profane, foul, than any other. From it comes envy, malice, rancor, anger, bitterness , hatred, resentment, resentment, hostility, generally anything. It carries with it the scandals, noise, strife ". Father felt that once this game will compete with the work of his life!

What is the role football plays in modern Britain — no need to explain. Even the battered Andrei Arshavin wonders:

— I always knew that England football sick. But I never imagined that so much! Here talking about it, write and talk on TV 24 hours a day. Even politics quietly waiting for their turn at the corner.

By the way, foreign tourists arriving on the island, such a state of affairs is well aware. Not so long ago, commissioned by the British travel agents conducted a sociological survey. Visitors were asked only one obvious question: "What associations do you have at the mention of England?

The first two places were taken by Big Ben and the royal family. And here is the third in the list by a wide margin ahead of Shakespeare, the Tower of London and the River Thames, was who do you think? "Manchester United"!

And much of Aborigines and say nothing. That's one of the last of lively debate in England examples. Someone Stephen Spiller, unemployed from the province, has sold all 500 sheets of slate from the roof of his house to go to London for the match England team. But in the capital on the road to the stadium failed with another temptation — went to one of the gambling establishments. Where, of course, left nearly all of his "slate" money. The ticket is no longer enough, but a passionate fan did not lose: his own jacket sold together with a jacket. The match he was, but when the evening, cold and still happy, back home, it turned out that his wife and three children to discover the lack of a roof, packed up and went to his mother. Football in the end was worth the man of the family. And you say — Shakespeare …

ACT ONE. RED-WHITE INTERNATIONAL

But back to today. The first item on my agenda was a visit on Tuesday, modern beauties arena "Emirates", where her boss, "Arsenal", took the first match 1/8 finals of the Champions League, "Roma."

I have to say: Tuesday and Wednesday were the irrefutable proof of the fact that the Champions League for English clubs and their fans — the competition in any way less important than even the most sacred home the championship. Why do I emphasize this, understand a little later, when it will go on the UEFA Cup.

Football on the "Emirates" I was not looking in the press box and on the podium, as an ordinary fan — thanks to the ticket, courtesy abandoned for the correspondent "SE" Arshavin. What a huge thank you to Andrew — otherwise probably feel the uniqueness of the atmosphere there the impossible. Yes, otherwise I to this game and would not have fallen — the accreditation was late, and tickets at the box office the stadium before the match out as a class.

Sixty thousand crowded arena for every game — whether rivals in the "Arsenal" at least "Roma", even "MJ" at least some "Sunderland".

— To match the "Cardiff" in the FA Cup came "only" 57,000, so everybody wondered how this could happen — shared Arshavin. — There really is always "cue."

As the nearby subway station Holloway Road cope with loads of match day — for me and remains a mystery. When they arrived two hours before the game, I found it absolutely crowded. On the surface there are three passenger lift elevator — so turn them had to stand for about 15 minutes.

Finding pointer "Exit in case of danger," leading to a narrow steep stairs, rushed there. It turned out such smart there for more than a decade. 62 steps, stated in prilestnichnoy plate, we are brothers in mind overcame the same 15 minutes, acutely feeling the almost forgotten since the Soviet era feeling of comradeship. No wonder that after playing the station was closed for half an hour and all sufferers were sent to the neighboring, a ten minute walk away. In general, all as in the native Sparrow Hills.

But this mixing of races and nationalities in the club attributes of one team your correspondent has not seen, perhaps ever. There is a feeling that the "Arsenal" sick all — regardless of gender, age, skin color or religious beliefs. However, we also determined that football is here — in itself a religion.

They say that when in 1992 at the "Highbury", the old stadium, "the Gunners' North Stand was rebuilt, it was fenced off from the field of the canvas with faces eight thousand fans of" Arsenal ". The representatives of two NGOs expressed their displeasure content instantly paintings, and the artists had to remake it — they changed some of the persons making them feminine or Negroid. That, by the way, much closer to the fabric of life.

When I got to my room, the stadium was almost empty — only two "Italian" of the sector is actively preparing for the unequal struggle with the home crowd. Nothing better to do went to podtribunnom spacious rooms where you can eat, watch football on TV review and buy souvenirs. And yet — to make a wide variety of operational rates. And the people of the respective windows of a lot more than the shelves with food or souvenirs. You can put almost anything, but the key deals combine the account (of course, the winning — 1:0 to 3:1) and scored a given player. For example, Van Persie goal at 1-0 (winning, as it turned out, the rate!) Could bring in revenue of 18 pounds on each supplied, and good luck Eboue with a total score 3-0 already yielded 225-fold profit.

— What do you think — feel free to put on Bendtner — approached me personable man, resembling a typical Soviet professor. — He just will score today!

— If Arshavin played, it would be staged, and in the other there is no certainty — I'm stubborn.

— Oh, I know what you mean: Arshavin — is the head — like this was the meaning of the following sentence my casual conversation. I wanted to say that nothing is something he does not understand yet, but the "professor" has already launched into a thoughtful discussion about what kind of position to have to play "Russian unconventional." My far from perfect English ceased to keep up with the sudden thought frisky expert, but the main thing was not difficult to understand — from the Russian national team forward here waiting much.

Before the match there was still more than fifty minutes, when the field came home team's keeper Manuel Almunia and started his own private workout. Only ten minutes to add to it understudy — Lukasz Fabianski, and the rest ran out of space podtribunnyh more than five minutes later.

What amazed at the workout — two pairs of gates on each side. This, frankly, had not seen before. Twenty minutes before the game began to appear even thought — and will be removed if an extra pair at all? Thank God removed.

But even more surprisingly overtaken me a day later, when the same "chetyrehvorotnaya" story happened before the game, "Chelsea" — "Juventus". A day later the game, "Spurs" — "Shakhtar" she repeated again. Now I am suffering — whether it is a purely English Gimmick, then I will not follow some of the latest trends in the League?

A huge bowl of "Emirates" for a long time remained almost empty — and suddenly, in just five to seven minutes, I did not even have time to keep track of how, filled to capacity.

And so it began!

Ears laid back in the execution of a club anthem. His lyrics karaoke style broadcast on two huge scoreboard, but the special need is not there — the stadium disabled all the necessary roulades so smoothly and gracefully, it was felt: a song here everyone knows even better than the Soviet pioneers (which without it is not allowed to tie ) — "Soar fires, blue nights".

In my sector the official language of the French unexpectedly. Yeah, figured your correspondent, the ticket is the guest of the club, and at the team polsostava — the descendants of the Gauls! It seems to hurt the French were more moderate than most of the "Emirates", but where there!

In parallel, walked two performances — one on the green field, the other — around. And I will not say that acting in the first convince me more. In this case, the main thing was that with the abundance of passion, emotion and obscene words directed (where the same without them) displays of aggression towards others was not. At all. Not an ounce.

All ninety minutes of football people lived, only football and nothing but football. In unison jumping at the next slip Bendtner (thank God I did not listen, "Professor!"), Begins to sing in unison familiar songs rewarded with applause every successful operation of their favorites and sighed sixty thousand lung failure.

To soccer and we became a religion of his Russian followers who come to the stadium, we must learn from the descendants of the inventors of the game two things — first, to leave all the aggression outside the arena, and secondly, to come to the stadium to play see, and not themselves, loved ones, show.

Sixty thousand British (more precisely, 55, were also there is also two sectors Italians) were dissolved in action on the field as an effervescent aspirin in a glass of water. At some point they have forgotten how to look, and it is not interested in the fact that they think about the surrounding. With such a sick those who were at the bottom, in the glow of limelight on a green lawn, play vpolnogi was simply impossible.

And they are laid out on the full. Another thing that did not always — as mentioned Bendtner "ruined" a couple of moments dvuhsotprotsentnyh only knows Eboue, who "ruined" the same. But the claims of the dedication can not be even the two of them. The fight was all ninety minutes on each section of the field, and almost without a pause. Football was so dense that just would not let distractions.

"Arsenal" on the whole had a good match. But it ended up with a much less convincing account than I could. The reason — a masterly performance of those who played in the forward line. If Arshavin had to compete only with them the problems, I think, in our forward would not have arisen.

Oh poor thing Bendtner we have remembered many times, the left wing attacks — clearly not his place. Like right — not a place Eboue, who, for all his universalism was originally (and still largely is) a typical full-back.

Nasri, for all the undoubted talent reserves until feeling of incompleteness. It seems to be doing everything right and sometimes even beautiful, but at the last moment something is not necessarily enough. Vela, who replaced, too, did not appear. Only van Persie showed himself a gambler top-level European club, albeit not on the act too familiar position.

But back at the "Arsenal" had far less problems. Denilson and Diaby took control of the midfield, but those Italians who flew the same mid-Thames, has successfully caught Gallas with Kolo Toure, who worried the home crowd only once — at the beginning of the second half.

Can you imagine such a picture — the teams lined up on their side of the field to play on, but at one of these halves is only eight outfield players and a goalkeeper? I could not. He closed his eyes, pinched his arm — no, they really were eight! A judge already underway for the resumption of the meeting.

"Arsenal" played the ball (it's good that the right of first strike was for Londoners), rolled it back, made a few assists, and only then from podtribunnyh premises appeared Kolo Toure Gallas. What are they doing there?

Seeing that started without them, both have rushed headlong to the curb. Kolo Toure won the race, for which he was awarded a yellow card immediately after his partner knocked the ball out of bounds: no permission to go out on the lawn can not even idols of the local audience.

But back to the topic Arsenalskaya attack, Arshavin can not relax for a second — because the best attacking force red-white International (a part of the "Gunners" akin to the composition of its fans — it is also missing the representatives of different races and nationalities, that's just the English themselves on the field was not) are still in the hospital.

But when Adebayor, Rosicky, Fabregas, Walcott, Eduardo da Silva will be restored, the competition will become prohibitive — at every place in the attack, "Arsenal" will apply for three people.

Players will not easy, but the audience will benefit from this. They fill up again and again, "Emirates" to the eyeballs to dissolve in action unfolding on his green lawn. And do not be surprised if there is a broken record Jeremy Awza'i.

You do not know who that is? Fan of the "Gunners", who became the winner of the auction, which is played on the right to enter the field in the last ten minutes of the friendly match your favorite club. So was the meeting of the "Arsenal" with "Barnet", which ended a devastating victory for the "Gunners". A sum at the auction, they say, was listed with four zeros …

ACT TWO. The Discreet Charm of the "aristocrats"

Franz Beckenbauer once said: "Football — a unique spectacle. Just coming to the stadium, you can see how twenty-two millionaire mutuzyat each other, kicking and rolled in the dust." Better epigraph for the match on Wednesday and think hard.

As in "Chelsea", in "Juventus" millionaire millionaire and millionaire chases. And, according to many analysts of English soccer, it is this circumstance caused the decline of the game in London "aristocrats", simply lost their incentives to mutuzeniya, kicking and felting. And as a person, this stimulus is due to return in the British capital was urgently discharged Russian Dzherritovich Guus Hiddink.

About the Russians I'm almost not kidding. It is here in London had to make sure, as far as we're used to Hiddink and how Russia is not indifferent, and everything connected with it, to him.

As a person who regularly watching Gus in the last two and a half years, I was able to understand that the pre-match press conference ahead of the debut of the current League he was tense. Neither the usual jokes, or even a crafty smiles — serious answers to the big questions scathing British writing fraternity.

And just leaving, coach relaxed — it happened after the correspondent "SE" wished him luck on behalf of all Russians. My English and Italian colleagues have begun to turn heads even hard to understand who is suddenly revealed Hiddink thumb.

Roughly the same thing happened after the match. With your question about the plans for a meeting in London with Arshavin and Pavlyuchenko I went after the official part of the press conference. On the question itself is the answer Hiddink was not, but that's my congratulations on the victory he has such a bright smile, which would be the envy Cheshire cats all together.

My feelings are confirmed and colleague Max Kwiatkowski, who two days before the match had a detailed conversation with Gus on the phone. While it was a question of "Chelsea", the conversation flowed quite awkward, but once switched to the subject of the Russian national team, all miraculously transformed, and its chief coach with a lively curiosity became interested in the latest news of the Moscow football life.

What, one can only wish for Hiddink to all of his English assignment, he overcame the usual glitz and returned to Russia, which had apparently already love, with a desire to work more efficiently.

Meanwhile, Gus, as usual, immediately took over the protection of new wards. "All they have in order to motivation — said the new coach," Chelsea "about millionaires from his team. — And in training all the work, as follows."

Players have tried to answer him on the field. It was evident that the match with "Juventus" They really came out with a great desire to prove their viability will not Dewshi. Another thing is that the forces on the ninety minutes was not enough, so because of that, apparently, and trainer in the "Chelsea" was changed.

The main symbol of the release of "aristocrats" of the drowsy state of the British press on the day recognized the effective action and the goal Didier Drogba. So Ivorian London Long time no see — once formidable scorer in all competitions with this year scored just three goals.

In English newspaper headlines the next day featured "lucky Hiddink" (how do we familiar!) And awakened giant Drogba (anyone familiar?). However, the Gus had to admit:

— Didier struggling, it's very good, when he plays in the center, it is very difficult to resist. But in the end, he and Anelka are tired, their functionality has declined markedly — as, indeed, the whole team. In the second half we were trying to attack, but no more than that, and "Juventus" has come to dominate the field. The Italians are dangerous, and although they did not have explicit moments in order to level the score, we're not very good control of the situation.

It's "not very good control of the situation," Hiddink was worth more than one dozen of nerve cells. Press box at "Stamford Bridge" is located directly above the bench to spare, and all the emotions of trainers for journalists — both hands.

Oh, and it's been a tumultuous emotions! Claudio Ranieri, who arrived at the home stadium is almost (his work in "Chelsea" fans of the club is still remembered with great gratitude), spent the entire game on his feet. In the first half, he looked more like a quiet yet Napoleon at Poklonnaya Hill, the second became more and more like Zhirinovsky, in which splashed juice.

And what Hiddink? He was much more diverse — that would jump up and run to the edge of the field, then sat down again on the bench, then entered the fray with the fourth official. It was clear what efforts given him the match. I could not figure out what it reminds me, is not realized — so strained our coach I had last seen on June 21 last year, during the now legendary confrontation with the Russian national team compatriots its leader at the European Championships.

In general, there is a feeling that hot frying pan "Chelsea" must not tighten our "Russians" for a long time. Or am I wishful thinkin '?

But let's not get distracted from the main subject. How to get sick "Stamford Bridge" in the Champions League? No worse than the "Emirates". Of course, not many people there (capacity stadium "Chelsea" a third less than the arena of "Arsenal"), but it has its highlights. Proud banners on the parapet separating the first from the second tier (such as "JT — captain, leader, legend", dedicated, of course, John Terry). Performance of the anthem of the club, not only the audience, but also a professional singer. Debugged powerful choral chant.

The main thing that unites the "Emirates" and "Stamford Bridge" — a full immersion in the present football element. The game once again did not allow himself to come off — so everything that happened on the lawn was compressed and dynamically. Probably a masterpiece worthy of a separate exhibition Preston Museum, the match attribute is not necessary, but the eyes still tear was impossible.

It is at these games becomes clear why Hiddink in the first months of his stay in the country all the time emphasized, your players can do everything, but they are too big pause between these actions. Intensification of football — that's the main problem for Russia.

And no wonder Roman Pavlyuchenko in one of his first interviews after he went to England lamented:

— Everything is very easy. Taking the ball, do not have time to turn around, as you have three opponents hang. Not a second to think about — a little gape, the ball is carried along with the legs.

Now he echoed Andrei Arshavin:

— Everything as expected, is here very quickly. It is not even about the pace of the game, and in the field of martial arts. Time to think about solutions in a given episode does not give at all — it must be taken immediately. Perhaps my feelings are compounded by the fact that until the first match in a long time I did not go out on the field. You may need to get used to elementary, but still keep up with the events was not easy.

And it's great that the leaders of our team are getting used to like football. I am sure that all of them will turn out that, in svoyuochered bring many dividends of the Russian national team.

Well, "Arsenal" with "Chelsea" were those two clubs who only managed to win a home victory in the first matches of the eighth Champions League. Do you think this is a coincidence?

ACT THREE. On the sidelines

This part of my story had to be quite short. Since the UEFA Cup, unlike the champion of the League of enthusiasm among the clubs with Albion does not. More precisely, only begins to cause somewhere in the quarterfinals, where you can begin to smell the trophy.

And on the 1/16 finals, has just passed, members of the Premier League act on the principle that work — well, no — well, God bless him, is far more important tournaments. "Aston Villa" was tried at home to deal with CSKA Moscow. It did not work — went to Moscow and take.

A "Spurs" started with the away match. Got in Donetsk 0:2, and therefore sent home on the second part, the more so as recently as Sunday, "Spurs" is waiting for a duel with "Manchester United" in the English League Cup final. Is it possible to take the risk?

The most surprising is that the audience, who knew everything perfectly, yet filled the stadium. Maybe not 100 percent, but at 90 — exactly. It nearly did not wait for a miracle!

— Do you have a chance today? — I asked Roman Pavlyuchenko, who came in this evening at the "White Hart Lane" as a spectator.

— The odds are always available. You just need to fight that all of my partners, who will take to the field, will make sure.

Indeed, the players battled in white T-shirts with abandon. Naturally, the density of football, and at the individual skill of the match, "Spurs" with "Miner" on Thursday conceded that the meetings that had a chance to look at the previous two days. But to inflame the fight — not at all!

The miners, who had a home in the two-goal margin, started very confidently, and at some point, it seemed that the hosts, who played without a half dozen key players, did not have a chance. Something must have seemed to enjoy themselves and, because they are gradually eased his grip and missed the moment when lezshie out of his masters in earnest bit between their teeth.

The first sensed danger Lucescu, who began to disclose London sky truly trumpet. But the carousel has revolved — the game became nervous and stiff, double-edged.

And when in the 55th minute, Dos Santos drove the ball into the "nine" gates Pyatova who played flawlessly, with the outcome of the two-legged confrontation could no longer vouch for anybody. And what was going on in the stands, who believed that a miracle might worthily camera Bondarchuk, a senior.

Donchane clearly confused, and whether porastoropnee Campbell with Dos Santos in those moments when two meters away from the gate had to do was kick the ball flying past, go to CSKA in London, not in Donetsk.

That's where Harry Redknapp and wished probably not have saved just in case left even Bent. Looked around the shop look, but there entirely green youth. Tried to throw her into the fight, but helped a little — further squeezed "Miner" had no one to.

Guests ultimately survived, but four minutes before the end of the razed. After that, a mass exodus of spectators from the stands — a miracle in the evening they came. Although, if anyone deserved it, and then they — their frenetic sick. For the second part! In a completely hopeless situation!

— And it could put the squeeze! — Lamented after the match Pavlyuchenko. — Then it would still CSKA Spartak players behind me came to visit.

— Doge would be in place Campbell another guy — at number nine.

— And what a good player? — Immediately reacted to the owner of the very nines.

— Great — won in the League Cup scoring in every game.

— In the final score on Sunday too?

— Hope so.

— And I hope that we win — became serious novel. — Who will score it — it does not matter. But I will not give up, the more that will take place when a record — a match in the Cup without a goal.

— What you and I wish!

It is said … that the fans "Spurs" is a simple but effective way to improve your mood. If it is hopelessly flawed when all around is gray and dull, if your favorite club flew out of the UEFA Cup, you just have to look at the final table of the championship season in England in 1912. One of its feature enhances the mood of the fans, "the Spurs' always — in the last line of the table is the hated" arsenal. "

But now the club's fans are waiting for the other Roman Pavlyuchenko satisfaction — victory in tomorrow's match. I think Sunday felling "Spurs" with "MJ" to "Wembley" will be a worthy conclusion of a fabulous week of football in London.

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