Arsene Wenger was the first ever entrant into Room 442, the room full of stuff from football that we want to lock away and ideally throw the key in the bin. Then when that bin is collected by the council its contents is emptied into a furnace and the key is melted forever. I’m saying we want the contents of the room out of football basically. So who or what will be joining Arsene Wenger this week. While it was tempting to put saliva in the room (bang out of order Jamie) I have decided that this week we will be locking away pitch invaders.
Obviously this weekend saw a pretty prominent case of pitch invaders as West Ham’s game against Burnley was completely marred by aforementioned pitch invasions during the middle of the game. The Irons would go on to lose the game 3-0. So just what is the point of a mid-game pitch invader? What is going through a man’s head as he jumps the barrier, makes it past security (well this bit does not really apply in the London stadium in fairness) and goes on the pitch to confront players?
Well the pitch invaders at West Ham on Saturday came on after the various goals had been scored. Were they trying to encourage the players to try harder, was the bloke who planted the corner flag in the centre circle trying to inspire Mark Noble and co? Regardless their pitch invasion contributed to West Ham losing that game of football and leads me to one conclusion: pitch invading during a game is incredibly stupid.
Occasionally, and I do mean occasionally, a post match pitch invasion is not necessarily a bad thing. It could be celebrating a famous title or rejoicing in staying up, however mid-game pitch invasions are the worst. West Ham fans have every right to be angry at their owners – they have been repeatedly lied to and moved into a stadium that is not fit for purpose – however running onto the pitch and harassing Mark Noble is not the answer to this.
I suppose at least these pitch invaders had a purpose – at least they were trying to prove some kind of warped point. There have of course over the duration of football history been an even more mindless pitch invader. Yes I’m talking about the streaker! What would possess someone to remove most or all of their clothes and run across the pitch for seemingly no reason is a mystery to me. Well actually its not a mystery to me, it is probably a combination of alcohol and attention seeking, but even so there is no place for that sort of thing in the modern game.
With any luck the pitch invaders at the London Stadium will be given a lifetime ban although I fully expect things to escalate further at West Ham if they do not improve. The board at West Ham are dangerously close to being put in Room 442 as they should have nothing to do with football either.
Anyway thanks for sticking with me through this journey highlighting enraged and occasionally naked men confronting professional athletes. The pitch invaders take their place alongside Arsene Wenger in Room 442 and do not worry – there are still plenty more aspects of football that deeply irritate me.