6
Nov

Amsterdam hooligans ambush Celtic fans in pub ahead of Champions League match

Video footage has been unearthed showing around 50 Ajax hooligans ambushing a group of Celtic fans in an Amsterdam pub the night before their Champions League match. The footage was recorded by an eye witnesses from a window.

The group of thugs, all wearing coats with their hoods drawn, began banging on the pub’s windows, and you can see one Celtic fan turn towards them moments before he gets attacked from the inside.

The gang quickly fled away from the scene, but according to reports, nine arrests have been made by Amsterdam police. It is believed the hooligans targeted the pub knowing Celtic fans would be inside.

H/T 101GG

15
May

Trecker’s Travels, Day Ten: Going van Gogh

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Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer
By: Jamie Trecker
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
The calendar says May, the weather says October. Amsterdam, or at least Mother Nature, isn’t exactly welcoming Chelsea and Benfica with open arms. With the rain, and the wind, and the rocking of the houseboat up and down, up and down, I decided to do what people do in Amsterdam in bad weather: go to van Gogh.
The Museumplein is one of the most-visited areas in the entire city. It’s also one of the most controversial. Once a bus terminal with connection to the airport, today it looks like a barren college quad. There’s nothing wrong with that, until you learn that it cost millions upon millions of euros to make this open field. And it’s not even done yet.
The Museumplain is emblematic of Amsterdam’s struggle with public works in general. Amsterdam can be breathtakingly beautiful, particularly along the Golden Bend – but what they have done to some of their public spaces is tragic. A case in point is their contemporary art museum, the Stedelijk, the scene of a series of fiascos during a painfully long redevelopment. The result, an unflattering tack-on derided as “the Bathtub,” has been an architectural laughingstock since it opened.
But there are treasures amid the carnage. The Van Gogh museum, itself recently re-opened after a face-lift, is currently showing an engaging exhibition about how the master worked. It’s a great survey of his process, his contemporary influences and the dizzying end results before his suicide in 1890.
Van Gogh was not a born artist: he barely knew draughtsmanship and struggled to keep up with his colleagues. But he was a hard and ruthless worker, with a mean editorial eye. Van Gogh was also broke – his brother Theo floated him all those years while struggling vainly to sell his works at the gallery he owned – so he frequently re-used canvases. One of the most cunning things about the current exhibition is how the curators have framed his canvases so you can see both sides. On one frame, may sit a study for the “Potato Eaters;” on the other, one of his later, dazzling self-portraits.

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14
May

Trecker’s Travels, Day Nine: Bobbing and Weaving

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Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer

By: Jamie Trecker

AMSTERDAM – In what is becoming a habit on my travels, I’ve ended up in a strange place. I’m parked in a houseboat along one of the main canals in this city.

‘Why, Trecker?’ you ask? Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time. Other “good” ideas of mine have included: traveling from Berlin to Warsaw on a Soviet-era sleeper train; going to El Salvador at the tail end of the guerra sucia; and visiting Scotland in July. It has been argued, frequently and loudly by my partner, that my travel plans suffer from too much whimsy.  

However, I am happy to report that despite bobbing about on the Ringvaart van der Harlemmermeerpolder, that this is hardly the worst decision I’ve ever made. I’ve got a windmill to the left of me, a pumping station to the right and water out my front door. It’s quite peaceful. There are rabbits and ducks about. People row past and wave. One could get used to this.

Houseboats are fixtures along Amsterdam’s canals. The potted history is that, after World War II, there was a sharp housing shortage in the city combined with a surfeit of suddenly decommissioned naval barges. The Dutch are nothing but ingenious and today an estimated 2,500 families live along the inner waters of the city. Then, it was cheap and practical. Today, it is not: there are no more moorings left for sale and the cost of a houseboat has gone through the roof. What was once bohemian has gone upscale, meaning that today you can find “boat-els” and private lessors throughout the city.

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Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer

The canals form a web across the city, creating nearly a hundred small islands with nearly 2,000 bridges. They make Amsterdam a maddening city to navigate even with a well-thumbed guidebook, a cellphone and a sextant. (Every landlord I’ve met here opens their spiel with “when lost, please do not call me and tell me you are ‘on a bridge.’”) But if you’re going to get lost, you might as well do it the way the Dutch do, on a bike. I got a blue one, with a basket and a bell. The bell is important: the bike has no brakes.

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11
May

Trecker’s Travels, Day Seven: Camden Town

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By: Jamie Trecker

CAMDEN TOWN, LONDON

American English is a funny thing. In most places the phrase “day off” means a nice picnic with the family. For a writer, a “day off” means go out and find something to write about, and be quick about it.

So, I found myself in markets, in Camden Town.

Much to my partner’s jealousy, I rented a flat above a comic book shop in the neighborhood, and showed up thinking it was the Camden Town of my youth. There’s a legendary rock club here, the Electric Ballroom, where I once saw the Dead Kennedys, and the area has long been known for art and music. At least it used to be.

Today, it is an area of London that most folks would call “alternative” while using air quotes. It has become a magnet for tourists and the Hot Topic crowd, all of whom have turned up to see where Slade and Sex Pistols once played. It’s also quite vibrant, and so crowded that they have to shut off the Tube stop for safety reasons on Sundays. Buskers of all stripes still line the streets – you can hear everything from folk to death metal in a two-block journey – and stalls hawking clothing and boots both sides of the avenue.

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10
May

If have pre-ordered your club’s latest kit - watch out, anything could happen. Your club should take a leaf out of Ajax’s book and make some fans very, very happy!

Ajax’s brand new away kit designed by Adidas was hand delivered by the squad to a select few fans who ordered the new threads. First team stars Siem de Jong, Daley Blind and Kolbeinn Sigthórsson were all involved in the giving.

1
May

Trecker’s Travels, Day One: Driven by Mad Heat

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Photo: Jamie Trecker / FOX Soccer

By Jamie Trecker

LONDON, ENGLAND

The problem with London is getting there. In my case, that means a 12-hour trip, all told, and it’s invariably filled with screaming children. It could be worse – my grandparents did this on boats, after all – but sleep deprivation leads one to see things that cannot possibly be there. Like sunshine. In May. In England.

This promises to be the first May bank holiday in recent memory that isn’t wretched. Spring in England is a bit like summer in Scotland: cold, damp and unforgiving. Spring in England teases you with green things coming up in the garden and then dashes the hopes of a nice day out on your bike with a gale. I packed a parka and rain gear only to find that people are out in shorts in the capital today. It’s 55ºF today. It’s going to be 70º here on Saturday. This is a full-scale heat wave for England.

This means we’re actually going to see soccer in the sunshine, and four pretty meaningful games to boot. Spurs host Southampton in a should-win while QPR play Arsenal in a game that the Gunners must-win. The latter’s a London derby, however, so make no bets. Newcastle have a tricky fixture at Boleyn Ground against West Ham while Sunday, we get to see if Chelsea can keep up with the newly-crowned Premier League champions Manchester United at Old Trafford.

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