Ask a fan who they most want to beat at any time of any season, and they’ll give you the name of their fiercest local rivals rather than the teams around them in the table; ask the same fan for the second result they look for on a Saturday, and they’ll admit to a weekly silent prayer that their derby day opponents have lost.
Three Premier League derbies took place this weekend as local rivals in north London, west London and Merseyside went head-to-head for three points and bragging rights.
El Glosico is a fairly new rivalry in terms of the history of football, the spark of the rivalry is believed to have taken place place when both sides were fighting for the National League title in the 2015-16 season.
The last time Cheltenham Town beat rivals Forest Green Rovers, current manager Michael Duff was in the Robins’ line-up.
Cheltenham won that match 2-1 but since that victory, the Robins have failed to beat local rivals Forest Green Rovers on eight different occasions.
Derby matches in the United Kingdom are often heated affairs but El Glosico might not be the first everyone thinks off.
In North London, the biggest derby in the world is Arsenal v Spurs. In Stoke-on-Trent, it’s Stoke City v Port Vale. In Bristol, it’s City v Rovers. But some rivalries become essential viewing for fans even outside of the local areas.
But in Gloucestershire it’s Cheltenham Town v Forest Green Rovers.
During their most recent meeting back in October, fans of the two clubs clashed before the game. Gloucestershire Live reported that up to 50 Cheltenham fans and a ‘small group’ of Forest Green fans were involved in fights before the 1-1 draw at the New Lawn stadium.
Football often makes fans show their passion in different ways. They can scream or make creative banners, come up with funny chants or support their players. However, with derby matches there are many cases where the passion turns into anger.
With El Glosico being a relatively new rivalry it’s clear to see the two sets of fans trying to assert their dominance over one another which can be seen in the video below:
With Cheltenham still looking for their first league win against Forest Green Rovers there could potentially be similar scenes in the coming weeks when they host the Green Devils at the Jonny Rocks on December 29.
Cheltenham Town season ticket holder Jack Barnes spoke to Park Life Sport about rivals FGR.
“Games against rival teams in football always seem to provide that extra intensity, which players bring to the pitch along with a boosted atmosphere created by fans in the stadium.
“Our rivalry against Forest Green is a fairly new one in terms of football, we haven’t played them much in our history when compared to other rivalries as we’ve never really been in the same league.
“I’m too young to remember the last time we beat them if I’m honest I think I was about five, so it would be nice to get the three points when we play them in a few weeks!”
Both teams will be looking for improvements in January with FGR looking to push for the play-offs and Cheltenham aiming to stay in the divsion.
With Forest Green Rovers pushing for a playoff spot I spoke to some of their fans to found out what improvements they would like to see. Check it out below:
Forest Green Rovers enter their festive fixtures just five points adrift of the automatic promotion places.
— Tom Collins (@Tom____Collins) December 3, 2018