BBC Radio Manchester Features
Radio Manchester will be live from Rome
Beswick in Rome
by Allan Beswick
On Monday 25 May 2009, Allan Beswick flew out to Rome to report on Manchester United's Champions League Final trip along with a team from BBC Radio Manchester. This is his blog:
Beswick On Breakfast
- Monday to Friday
Day 4: Reds conquered in Rome
So there it is, I've seen a really important football match all the way through and "my" team were absolutely awful. The fans were not much better, even before the kick of the Barcelona fans were energised and, I think the parlance is "up for it".
About five minutes from the final whistle when it was fairly clear in which city the shelf with the cup on it was going to be, the United fans tried a Mexican Wave. Pathetic! About two dozen of them leapt up from their seats with both hands outstretch above their heads, realised how rubbish it was, and sat down looking like they'd broken wind in a nunnery.
That's not to say that I did not enjoy the atmosphere, perhaps with that last analogy, atmosphere isn't the word I want; spectacle, that's better. It's not as if I didn't enjoy the spectacle, I did, it was amazing, so much so that if United had actually won, or even made a bit of a fist of it, there was a real danger that I might have become a fan.
The journey back into Rome was uneventful apart from long queues of traffic but no violence to speak of. Eighteen fans were arrested over night, just seven more than in Manchester although there was a bit of a stabbing the night before. A local stabbed a Manc but he did it just outside the hospital; it was almost a courtesy stabbing. Mind you in the typical Roman way the ambulance took the guy to a hospital about six miles away.
Thursday morning's Beswick at Breakfast, back on the BBC Rome roof, went off swimmingly then it was off to the airport for home. Airport, I've seen cattle drives in cowboy films that were better organised, how the Romans conquered the world I will never be able to work out. Conquer?
They couldn't conquer anything, they couldn't even organise a game of conkers. The airport policy seems to be don't queue just scrum, don't do it anywhere near where your check-in desk and under no circumstances should the public be given even a hint of where they should be, why the should be there and when they should be.
Anyway Italy decided to send us home with a mighty storm; it rained, it thundered and lightening crashed about the place, typical Romans, no organisation but flashy.If only Manchester United had been the same, at least we would have had something to talk about.
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last updated: 01/06/2009 at 09:41