The only thing more shocking than Bolton’s aggregate win over Atletico Madrid yesterday was the fact that the Spanish police battered the away supporters. From most of the reports, it sounds like young, over-eager police were to blame. It’s amazing that Bolton would engender any sympathy, but the whole situation started off weird what with Atletico posting Bolton’s travel itinerary on their website. Violence against traveling supporters is happening more and more when English teams visit the continent, and it is rarely English hooligans to blame but rather ill-trained police. As usual, the talk is about learning from the police mistakes and making sure it doesn’t happen again. It nonetheless sounds like Bolton have a right to feel aggrieved.
More importantly, however, is the fact that Bolton Are Useless ™ managed to advance in the UEFA cup on a 1-0 aggregate. Bolton were clearly helped by the fact that Atletico’s star striker Sergio Aguero was suspended for spitting in the previous UEFA match. Atletico have also been on a dismal run of play and have managed to drop league games lately in that catastrophic manner that Spanish teams are so capable of. If any team has the ability to frustrate a team into submission, it surely would be Useless Bolton. So, yesterday, Uselessness won out in a battle over Self-Destruction, and a few Bolton supporters were beaten for no good reason at all. When Bolton play, don’t we all really lose something in the end?
(pics from inthenews.co.uk and the bbc)