The north London derby is always a passionate affair - and this video proves it.
When Arsenal fans made their way towards White Hart Lane at the weekend, they did so with a heavy police escort. ESPN journalist Joao Castelo-Branco joined the masses and filmed the drama that unfolded.
'Tried to attack'
"Tottenham Hotspur fans tried to attack arriving Arsenal fans. Police struggled to keep supporters apart,” he wrote on the uploaded video.
There is little doubt that, without the officers separating the two sets of fans, things could have got very ugly, very quickly. The subsequent comments on the video on YouTube suggest that supporters were certainly keen for more than just verbal jousting.
“Behind the police as usual by their corner. Sums them up really. I walked unescorted with 20-30 game lads who didn't receive any of abuse,” wrote one Arsenal fan. Some of the Spurs responses were far from polite - as you might expect.
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So just what is it about crowd mentality that makes people think they can abuse each other from just a couple of metres away.
The hooligan era of the 1980s was some of the darkest days in British football, and without the intervention of the police here this could have escalated very quickly. There is also clear evidence in this video that the police are also filming incidents in an attempt to single-out individuals who could cause further trouble in the future.
Not just banter
There is certainly nothing wrong with a bit of banter between fans at a football match, and you can certainly expect another level of intensity and animosity when you throw in the fact that it’s a local derby.
However, supporters need to show a greater level of restraint. This puts English football in a bad light once again, and one can only wonder what sort of reception the Arsenal fans got at full-time after losing 2-1.
Watch the video of the incident below:
What do you make of the fan stand-off at White Hart Lane. Does it go to far or is it fine for supporters to get involved in this pre-match?
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