Many of the national newspapers and sports websites have reported today on the claim by Everton manager David Moyes that a Brentford supporter threw a bottle into the away fans' enclosure following the Bees' historic Carling Cup victory over the Premier League club last night.
It is an unwelcome distraction from the main event, and in my view the claim was made with such a distraction in mind.
I was in Block E in Braemar Road and I witnessed the "incident" first hand. About 20-30 bottles, all of them plastic and most of them empty, rained down upon stewards and police from amongst the Everton crowd following their team's defeat. One of the hundreds of Brentford supporters who had run onto the pitch to celebrate their team's victory picked up one of the plastic bottles and returned it into the crowd. That was it, that was the "incident" that has made all the headlines this morning.
He shouldn't have done it, of course. Two wrongs do not make a right. But the impression created by Moyes' comments is that a glass bottle was hurled unprovoked into the Everton crowd with intent to cause serious injury. This is a grotesque misrepresentation of what actually happened.
I expressed in another thread recently my contempt for the practice of making other people the excuse for one's own failings. I believe David Moyes has quite deliberately blown the bottle-throwing incident out of all proportion as a means of deflecting attention from his team's poor performance, for which he is responsible.
Before last night I had a lot of respect for Moyes. His teams have not done badly overall and I had always protested that a good manager does not become a bad manager overnight. But his tactics yesterday were frankly rubbish and it ill becomes a man of his stature to be resorting to nonsense like this in the hope that the papers will report it rather than the lacklustre performance of his team.
I hope Moyes is charged with wasting police time. And if he is sacked as Everton manager as well on account of his abysmal team tactics then I for one will not be losing any sleep now.