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Department of anticlimax. The police have arrested three Tottenham Hotspur fans for singing those “Yiddo” choruses.

I’m not much exercised by the controversy one way or another; it seems to me that there are more or less logical arguments on both sides.

What is beyond any reasonable doubt is that the chants are in no way anti-Semitic, quite the reverse. Whereas anti-Semitic indeed was some of the vicious chanting heard so recently during the north London Cup derby at Arsenal, which seem to have gone quite unpunished.

What with these three meagre arrests do the benighted police hope to achieve? Surely this is tokenism at its worst. If its misguided purpose is to strike fear into all those Spurs fans inclined to sing the Yiddo chant, it is unlikely to work. Indeed if ever there was a case of wasting police time, it would surely be if they deployed the vast number of officers to arrest all those in the White Hart Lane stands guilty of singing the Yiddo chant.

Some years ago arriving at Liverpool Street station after covering a Spurs match, I was accosted by an irate man who demanded I put in my newspaper a criticism of the Yiddo choruses, on the grounds that as he delicately put it himself, “I don’t want to be called an effing Yid.” Maybe he would if he is still extant contrive to make a citizen’s arrest.


Plunged into mediocrity and misery, David Moyes deserves some sympathy as his Manchester United slide from one humiliation to another.

Yet given the poor performances of so many of his squad, his handling of the England winger for whom United paid £10 million, Wilfried Zaha, seems tactless and ultimately self-defeating. True Zaha stepped out of line, arguably with some intent, when he turned up so late for a reserve game. But given United’s wretched beginning it seemed bizarre that Moyes could find no place for an undoubtedly gifted winger, who in his Crystal Palace days had shown no sign of intransigence. Could Zaha for example have done much less on the wing than the disappointing Ecuadorian Antonio Valencia?

Poor Moyes has become something of an Aunt Sally but truth to tell, Alex Ferguson probably got out just in time. And his almost perpetual presence at United’s games evokes memories of Matt Busby who created United’s post war success, kept his very office at Old Trafford to the detriment of Wilf McGuinness and Frank O’Farrell, who wilted in his considerable shadow.

And Zaha? Cardiff’s gain. But Mata is a coup.


Nicola Cortese has gone, but as part of the legacy he has left to Southampton is the Argentine centre forward from Roma, Dani Osvaldo, for whom the Saints paid a whopping £15 million. This for a player with a notorious disciplinary, or indisciplinary, record. One who while with Roma, had been involved in several violent incidents. And now has disgraced himself with a vicious attack at the club’s training ground on the Portuguese Jose Fonte, breaking his nose.

It is not even as if he has impressed let alone excelled since joining Southampton as he has not even achieved a regular first team place. Since Cortese ruled the club as a noted authoritarian, he cannot be spared blame for so disputable a transfer. And it seems that Osvaldo wasn’t even popular with his own teammates.

The Swiss millionairess, who infuriated Cortese and, from her Swiss domicile, quite ignorant of football, now occupies the presidency of the club her wealthy father bought, could hardly have struck a worse bargain.


Lord spare me from those BBC Radio 5 football commentaries. How far away is the time when they will be calling them The Robbie Savage Show? The fellow never stops. Even as voluble a commentator as Alan Green is plunged into silence by Robbie’s welter of words. The whole problem being that when you watch a match on television, the images are there before your eyes, you can simply shut out the equivalent of boxing’s inter round summaries. But on radio, you need the commentator to tell you what the devil is happening. And far too often, when the summariser is gassing away, a vital moment of a game, even a goal, is missed.

Brian Glanville By Brian Glanville