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Send The Thugs To Jail

With the ugly face of hooliganism back in English football, Tony Cascarino reckons it's time to jail the offenders. He also takes time out to give Richard Dunne some some free advice and expresses his misgivings about Sven's managerial skills.

Tony Cascarino, 24 Feb 2005

Instead of Sheffield United holding Arsenal to a draw or Brentford coming back from 2-0 down at Southampton, it’s the morons who threw things and ran onto the pitch that made the sporting headlines at the weekend.

Needless to say, there’s been a knee-jerk call for the clubs in question to be docked points, but short of searching everybody and taking their money off them how could Everton have prevented Roy Carroll being hit by that coin? If they were negligent in not having enough stewards on duty, fair enough, fine them a hundred grand, but otherwise the penalty should be directed at the gutless coward who did the throwing.

Never mind community service or a suspended sentence, send him and the blokes at Celtic and Burnley to prison for 18 months so other people know what will happen to them if they do the same thing.

To be that angry and frustrated, they must have sexual problems. Perhaps they can’t pull, or aren’t getting any off the wife. Whatever it is, they should be publicly named and shamed and banned from every football ground in the country for life.

Everywhere they go they want to prove their manhood because they haven’t got one. It’s perhaps over-stating things to say that England’s become a scum nation, but you don’t get the same level of anti-social behaviour in Europe.

I was on a boat yesterday coming back from France and guess what nationality the 18 or 19-year-olds who got pissed out of their heads and took all their clothes off were? Who’s educated these people? If my kids behaved like that, I’d go absolutely crazy.

Returning to football, I thought the Ireland v Portugal friendly was the perfect preparation for the away trip to Israel, which we’re well capable of winning. It says it all about the respective levels of commitment in the camps that only two Irish lads pulled out injured as opposed to the six or seven Sven had missing.

Friendly or not, Brian Kerr wants to keep his winning streak going, which is why he put out his strongest possible team and had Damien Duff geed up enough to mix it with Cristiano Ronaldo.

I can’t imagine that Brian will be overly impressed with Richard Dunne telling journalists that he should be in the team instead of Andy O’Brien. I actually think he’s right – his performances for Man City this season do warrant a place in the starting XI – but you don’t have a pop at your teammates in print like that.

He mightn’t shout or throw tea-cups, but Brian Kerr’s a strong disciplinarian who’ll want to be 100% certain that Dunne’s drinking and late night cavorting are a thing of the past. My advice to Richard is to stop moaning and let his football do the talking. In the end Brian will have no choice but to pick him.

Another very pissed off player has to be Andy Johnson who, having deservedly received his England call-up, was played totally out of position for all of 25 minutes. I honestly think Sven did it on purpose knowing that a lacklustre performance from Johnson would get the press off his back, and not add to the selection headache he has regarding who out of Wayne Rooney, Alan Smith and Jermaine Defoe partners Michael Owen.

Too many things have happened in that England camp which, for me, are unacceptable. I was talking to Jack Charlton about this, and he agrees that something which got overlooked in the World Cup defeat against Brazil was David Beckham’s powder-puff challenge on Roberto Carlos 30 seconds before the equaliser. Seaman got all the blame for misjudging the flight of the ball, but can you imagine Roy Keane or Damien Duff bottling it like that in a crucial game? When your captain blatantly pulls out of a tackle, what hope is there for the rest of the team?

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