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England's football hooligans were well known even to those who never watched football matches. London fog, English pubs, and the football hooligans are national symbols of England. Tang En's understanding of football hooligans was no more than an ordinary person's. In China, there had been no chance for him to have contact with any real football hooligans. People there thought football hooligans were cool, and that they just threw around bad language, showed their fists, and shouted things like "cut his legs off!" They had no clue what a true football hooligan was.
So how did a true football hooligan behave?
Tang En wasn't in the mood to think about these boring questions. After spending a great night at Burns' bar and waking up the next morning, his mind was focused on the remaining five matches in the league, and what he had to do to progress in the rankings to secure the most advantageous position in the playoffs.
He circled the remaining five matches in red on his calendar to remind him that there would be five more decisive battles.
He was sure that the team and he had prepared well in order to tackle the last four matches, and then give their all in the playoffs. After three playoff matches, they would be a newly promoted team in the Premier League next season. After that, Tang En would spend his holiday back in China to secretly visit his parents and to see how the life of the Tang En in China was going.
Those were all the plans that Tang En had for the future.
Tang En's plans did not get off to a good start. At the 32nd round rescheduled match on April 16th, an away match, Forest lost to the Sheffield United who was ranked third. They only lost by one goal, but losing was losing, and they lost three points. This also decreased Forest's chances of surpa.s.sing the Wolverhampton Wanderers, as they had one match less than them and were only behind by two points.
Although Tang En was extremely angry about the score during the match, by post match in the changing room he had accepted the failure. What could he do even if he did not accept it? Considering it was an away match, and we only lost by one goal to a team that is ranked third, the outcome is not so bad after all. Tang En tried to convince himself from another angle. And if we end up in sixth place at the end of the season, and we have to play Sheffield United again, this match will have helped us size up and test ourselves against a future opponent.
However, the players would have no holiday to enjoy. In the changing room, Twain announced the cancellation of the one-day holiday after the match, and everyone went back to Nottingham and started training for their next match with Reading F.C., the team that was ranked fourth.
Despite having lost the match, Tang En's team went back to Nottingham and found that they still had lots of support from the fans.
The next day, there were many fans around the training ground. Besides the usual faces, Tang En also saw a group of people that was singing the team song loudly and encouraging the players in their training. They made a lot of noise, which caught Tang En's attention. It seemed as if the fans had separated into two distinct groups.
The group with the most people was like a gang of people that knew each other well, and had an obvious leader. Tang En could easily identify the leader.
He wore a red pullover, and the red Forest scarf on his neck proved his ident.i.ty. The fans around him all wore different colors and different kinds of clothing, but they all had the Nottingham Forest red scarf around their necks.
The weather was not good at all. With the light rain, Tang En thought there would be fewer fans watching the team train from the side. He certainly did not expect there would be so many of the crazy fans present. The crazy fans soon attracted the Wilford training ground's security, which came with some degree of alarm to see what the commotion was.
While coaching Forest for about half of the season, this was the first time Tang En saw this kind of scene.
Even an idiot could guess who these crazy fans were that gathered and cheered outside the training ground.
Seeing these people sing and cheer for Forest nonstop under the rain, Tang En had a hard time a.s.sociating them with the unreasonable, often violent behavior of football hooligans.
They did not look any different than ordinary fans.
It was indeed hard to imagine that they were the notorious football hooligans. Something was not quite right.
They cheered forcefully at the side of the training ground, and the players did not seem to appreciate them at all. Some glared at them in disgust. Even the good Mr. Walker treated them like nothing.
After the training, the players purposely left from the side that was farthest from the fences, and no one went to sign autographs for the fans. When the usual fans realized this, they were quite disappointed. No one in the new group had come for autographs. They only seemed to be there to support the team.
The team's reaction shocked Tang En, and it seemed that he was the only one who had no knowledge about the football hooligans.
Giving a few glances to the group of people that sang songs to say goodbye to the team, he then followed the team off the training ground.
Although he had transmigrated to this country almost half a year, he found that he still did not know so many things. It wasn't a good feeling.