Tony Cottee: Ugly scenes complete a disastrous week for West Ham
PUBLISHED: 18:05 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:46 05 October 2010
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Crowd trouble against Millwall comes as a hammer blow after shocking developments with Calum Davenport and Jack Collison, says Tony Cottee
This has been a disastrous week for West Ham with the horrific incident involving Calum Davenport and the tragic death of Jack Collison's father.
Everyone involved with the club was trying to come to terms with those two shocking developments when we saw the violence at Upton Park during the Carling Cup win over Millwall.
I expected trouble outside the ground and I don't think it was ever going to be the case that there wouldn't be, whatever the club and the police had done.
But I am really disappointed by the trouble inside the ground. It's inexcusable for people to run on the pitch three times, but they did and the fighting with police inside and outside the stadium was even worse.
I love Upton Park when it's hostile and intimidating and it puts the opposition off their game - I don't want to lose that because it's what makes West Ham special. But what we saw on Tuesday night went way beyond that.
The people responsible are not football fans. They pretend to be and they jump on the bandwagon of being West Ham supporters, but football fans don't fight with stewards and police, they don't throw things or run on to the pitch.
It's important to remember that it's a minority of people. There were 22,000 people inside the ground and probably 20,000 of them were appalled by what they saw - you could hear them booing and chanting 'Off, off, off' when those idiots were on the pitch.
But that small minority will cost the club dear - not just in a fine or punishment from the FA, but in terms of our reputation.
It also overshadowed what was a really admirable display by our young players in coming from behind to beat Millwall, with Junior Stanislas and Zavon Hines really impressing.
Sadly for them, no one was talking about that after the game.
Tony Cottee was talking to Jonathan Clegg.