Every football fan relishes the appearance of a local derby on the fixture list. It makes the game just that more exciting. But, locality is not the only reason that rivalry erupts in the beautiful game. Here are just seven examples of when feuds have spilled over between two seemingly unrelated clubs....
Let me say once and for all that until we tackle the issue of racism in mainstream society, we cannot get rid of it in any other part of society - of which football is but one of many... Until we see all black people in the same way as we see our black partners, friends, this unconscious racism will continue. There are degrees of racism, and we convince ourselves we have no tendencies, because we would never do or say what John Terry said, or Luis Suarez, or CSKA Moscow, but the majority are (me included) somewhere in between that and Mother Teresa, but we have to acknowledge and accept it.
Hugo Lloris put a grimace on the face of every health and safety official in the game after playing on for Tottenham on the weekend despite being knocked unconscious by Everton's Romelu Lukaku. Whether it was brave or irresponsible is still up for hot debate, but let's look at some other footballers to have gone beyond the call of duty.
When Sunderland parted company with Paolo Di Canio on Sunday, many cited the Italian's style of management for his dismissal - falling out with big characters in the dressing room as well as publicly denouncing his players... a filthy cloud lurks above Sunderland as a club and how they are run above management level.
Football is a team game won by moments of individual genius - where players can turn from hero to villain in one moment of madness, change the future of a club with one kick of a ball and drift into the injured footballers void that surrounds the game. So why, when without the enforcer of these rules who make all competitiveness authentic, does the man in black become a figure of hate?
At primary school, boys in my class would come to verbal and physical blows over it. It left me perplexed, that level of identification. "We" didn't thrash you at the weekend, Arsenal did. You had nothing to do with it as far as I can tell. You aren't Arsenal, or Man City, or whoever. Now that I'm older I can recognize the thought process behind identifying yourself with a larger group. And so it makes sense to me that fans should feel such a way, even if I don't feel it... yet.
My wife is from Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) which has around 11 million passionate football fans who are mad about either Grêmio or Internacional. In case you do not know, Grêmio is where Ronaldinho got his initial break. While I was living there in the state's capital (Porto Alegre), I got a ticket to the "Grenal" which is the name given to the fiercely contested derby match...
It wouldn't be the first time that a youngish football manager, with illustrious predecessors inconveniently prominent in fans' memories, has appeared as a sheep trying to don the clothing of a wolf. Allan Clarke, after an apprenticeship at Barnsley, returned to Elland Road as manager, and immediately started trying to come over all Brian Clough.
Almost inevitably, the rebrand has caused serious divisions within the fanbase. Long standing friendships have creaked and in some cases fractured altogether. Those who have actively embraced the changes appear to view those against the rebranding as dinosaurs and anti progress. Fans strongly opposed to the rebrand have made it clear that they view those who endorse the changes as complicit in the destruction of the club's traditional identity.
There are worrying signs already for the inheritor of the poisoned chalice that is the Old Trafford hot-seat. David Moyes has been gathering his own people about him as he sets forth to put his own stamp on the Man U machine - but Moyes will be grimly aware that The Ghost of Alex Ferguson Past is the least of his worries.
The anticipation around the start of the 2013/2014 football season is already building with transfer rumours, managers coming and going and fans planning their away trips. But it's worth remembering that all of the football superstars, their fans and the hundreds of column inches dominated by the beautiful game owe thanks to the people at junior and youth football clubs who work hard to ensure that communities and young players have access to football. Without this army of volunteers, the game as we know it simply couldn't continue.