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Many years ago, as a young teenager schooled close to the team's ground, I was a Sutton United fan, attending the amateur side's every home game for several years as well as some of the nearer away fixtures. Although I no longer follow the game or the team, I was interested in how they fared hosting the mighty Arsenal in the fifth round of the FA Cup this week.
Sadly, it was 'not very well' - and not just in the game! I learned that the Arsenal team had trashed their dressing room, which although not up to their usual standards, had been clean and tidy before their arrival.
The pictures I uncovered in the MailOnLine say it all. Here is just one to give you a flavour. There's absolutely no excuse for it, is there?
What horrified me even more was that in the comments below the article, some posters seemed to think it was OK, because Arsenal had donated £50,000 to the club!
What about having respect for the hosts, the surroundings, and those whose job it is to clean? Have these millionaire players forgotten their much lowlier beginnings in the game?
The arrogance of Arsenal's team members who left the mess and what is clearly a poor upbringing, dismays me - as does the feeling by the posters that this behavior is acceptable. It's not.
And of course it's not just rubbish. In walking to my weekend job the past three Saturdays, I've encountered vomit in both our shop doorways and out on the pavement itself (no pictures to illustrate this part!).
None of this is acceptable. And unless we as a nation start strongly instilling in our young people - as we used to in what now seems like another lifetime - that it's not OK to leave our mess or bodily fluids around for others to clean up, things are going to get worse.
We need to get people to behave properly, but until then, what's the answer? Litter and vomit wardens out in force over weekend nights, with unruly citizens thrown into the cells until morning and then punished with fines and or long hours of community service (perhaps cleaning)?
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23rd February 2017