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Arrival in Frankfurt
Arrival in Frankfurt

Behind Enemy Lines

By: Taz Hamid in Frankfurt
Date: 15/06/2006

ALL hell breaking loose here in FFT post-match but things now calming down a bit...although I can still hear the odd horn going off and in our courtyard there is a huge buzz of people in the Italian restaurant there...they had big screens out and the place was packed when I got back from town.

I watched the game not on the river Main where the epicentre of the Frankfurt FanFest site is (and the famous mid river screen!) but at the Fressgass Fest...a street festival down the main pedestrianised shopping street running from the Old Opera house down to the main shopping centre area. This has been on all week and been the slightly less manic choice for footy...big screens but the beer and food stall flanked by regular bars and restaurants all will huge plasma screens of their own! Was heaving though and atmosphere was wonderful...and as I have a German wife and many German mates now I have to bite my lip these days with regard to 'Di Girmins' antics on a football field!!!! Yet what a finish to the match! Awesome goal!

Now as it happens I've been impressed by the new energetic (if rather unsophisticated) 4-4-2 attacking style of the new young German team under 'Klinsi' as he's known in tabloid circles here! I thought they could have won 4 or 5 nil actually had their strikers been a bit more savvy and the Polish keeper hadn't consumed quite so much Sunny Delight before the game...he was on FIRE!!! You cannot knock a home team in a WC who perform to this level with all that pressure and their mediocre history in last couple of tournaments. There was an awful lot of soul searching and trepidation before this WC started here about the German's prospects. The crowds in and OUT of the stadiums have been spectacular...again the facilities have to be mentioned...but the insane heatwave weather, the fact that tomorrow is a big public holiday in most of Germany and in light of what just occurred so far, that there is a genuine optimism that this young national team can actually progress has all contributed to an amazing euphoria and sense of togetherness here. Yet it's not tempered the friendliness and openness of the locals to fans of other teams...even the English! I took a walk in the city today after meeting a friend for lunch near the main train station and it was magnificent stuff...stopped for the odd beer here and there and caught first half of the Spain game in a Turkish cafe I go to sometimes...full of all sorts of punters!

So, I for one, am pretty glad the Host Nation is doing OK...keeps the gig bubbling nicely...

There was however some violence before the game in Dortmund...300 arrests and mainly fans attacking cops as they tried to arrest Polish 'known' hooligans. After the game zilch however which perhaps means that the cops did their stuff! Dunno really...hard to tell. One thing is for sure, Poland has recently seen a fairly ugly rise in violent fans so no-one will be particularly displeased to see the back of them and their plucky but dismal national team. Never beaten Germany in a competitive football match in 80-odd years...and never will. One of the biggest inferiority complexes in world football and as ever deeply ingrained with politics and history.

Now the breaking news! Your humble scribe has a ticket for England game tomorrow!!! Cannot wait to make the 2hr trip across to Nürnberg on the train at lunchtime. I also have tickets for Portugal-Iran on Saturday in Frankfurt and then next game here...Argentine v Holland! Over 120,000 fans expected in the city for that one!

Great thing is apart from the odd game (France-Switzerland!), the footy has been off the scale! I even loved the Tunisia-Saudi game!

Will report back after England have somehow managed a 0-0 with Tobago!!! Please god NO!!!


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This site is by the fans, for the fans, and we will consider articles on any subject relating to the Mariners whether it be related to current news, a nostalgic look back in the past, a story about a player, a game or games in the past, something about Blundell Park or football in general. Click here to submit your article!


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