It's all rather tribal this football violence and a surprise to see Millwall and West Ham involved in some serious "old school" violence. I don't really get the mentality behind it, they have an organised scrap but will be "together" to do battle for En-ger-land at the next big tournament. I suppose their reputations are now enhanced and one or other would move up the unofficial "we are the hardest" supporters list.
I must say that I've policed football for many years and find the majority of "risk" supporters to be a load of dickheads and full of shite. What does concern me is that they've moved on from scrapping to actually stabbing each other. As with events in April poor old plod is again in the line faced with a mob, who this time were not too bothered who they fought with.
Millwall would be in my experience the fans I least like to police. They visited my area a few years back and it was an experience to say the least. They were horrible, aggressive and revelled in their reputation. I looked at the stand and saw three generations of the same family replicated time and time again, Dad Son and Grandson all looking menacing with their cropped haircuts. I was in the line stopping a pitch invasion and they were well up for it flicking spit at us and working themselves up to come over the top.
We were led by a great sergeant who made it very clear that if they dared to come over the hoardings they would get the necessary treatment it deserved. It sort of clicked that he meant it, so they boldly stated they'd do it outside instead. We then stood there as they decanted up the stand to start some serious disorder outside. Once they're running loose it's rather hard to contain them, so they have to be penned in at all costs. At least they tend not to moan about it afterwards.
As I understand it on these Carling Cup games the away fans get a larger allocation of tickets then a normal league match which boosts the attendance. This will make operational control a damn sight harder from the outset, so the solution is obvious even if it affects gate receipts. All this talk of lifetime bans won't stop it, a few maximum sentences perhaps will.