Tuesday, 26 July 2011


       Why we hate Man United, part 1.

               Dear Manchester United fans, your beloved club was this past week named, by Forbes, as the most valuable sports franchise in the sports world. See article. As most of you well, your club is also, now, the all time record Premier League winners and only Liverpool has won more European Cups in England than you folks.

               You folk are probably the largest fan club in the world. You overtook the Spanish giants when your club had the vision to venture into the Far East market before anyone else. Everyone is trying to copy that now but a large proportion of one third of the world’s population is already in your corner. By the way, buying J.S. Park was also a masterstroke, no disrespect to his game.  All this doesn’t stop Man U from having arguably the largest crowd of fans rooting against them every time they set foot on the field. It is the reason that so many rejoiced after Barca annihilated your dearly beloved club in the Champions League Final in May. For the vast majority, it wasn’t out of love for Barca  hard as they are to hate, but utter hatred for Man U. You could have been playing anyone really, everyone would root against you guys. Even those English professionals who sent messages of support before; and commiseration after were lying! They just couldn’t admit to the nation that they backed the foreigners to kick the stuffing out of the local boys. Jack Wilshere we’re onto you!
             So, the question is; why Man U? I can see many of you sneering, claiming it’s because of all your team’s success (actually this attitude may be part of the problem, but I digress). If that was the sole reason, Juventus, Real Madrid, Bayern, and Barcelona would be equally hated. Why not  them? Why is Man U so roundly reviled by those who aren’t Man U fans? Why doesn’t one ever stumble upon a neutral, during a Man U game, who’s rooting for Man U just because he/she is a neutral? I did some research the reasons I came upon were so numerous so I’ll do it in bits. Here goes.

    Dodgy officiating.

             The biggest complaint, apparently, that we have against Man U seems to be biased officiating. Personally, I am a firm believer that refereeing decisions tend to even themselves out through the course of the season, for most teams. Maybe I am biased but in Man U’s case, I tend to agree with fans who believe they get the rub of the green a little too much. Take the Tottenham fixture last season, where Nani not only dived and proceeded to commit a handball, he had the nerve to dust himself off and score as Gomes plotted to take the ‘free-kick’. The ref pointed to the centre circle. It perplexed everyone but you guys! No doubt you have some explanation of events that explains that sequence of events and lauds praise on Sir Alex in the same breath. By the letter of the law, there was nothing wrong with this but it's the spirit in which  happened that ticked us off.

             The instances are many: Nemanja Vidic is a war criminal(during soccer games, not personal life  though his name and shaven head suggest a secret past life as such) Darren Fletcher is his trusted acolyte. If Patrick Vieira directed half the insults that Rooney hurls at match officials, he’d play 10 games all season! Paul Scholes somehow managed to play a full 90 for the majority of his career without ever getting the ball in any of his 'tackles' This forum doesn’t have enough space to list one third of the refereeing anomalies that happen when your team is playing especially at OT but we'll try.

A typical day at the office for Vidic; trying to incapacitate people.

             We’re not insinuating that there’s some sort of Calciopoli type syndicate at play here. I suspect Sir Alex has instilled the fear of God in referees past, present and future. When faced with an anti-Man U decision, especially at OT, inaction is usually the safe route that the refs take. I guess it’s easier for the ref to explain to the appointing authority that he didn’t see a thing, rather than sending off a one Vidic, for example, and having to deal with the fiery Scot insinuating that he's fat and unfit to take on matches of such magnitude, and him subsequently being sent to officiate in the Championship.

             In all, we get the feeling, in one of these fine Manchester derbies, we are bound to see a thrilling game headed for a draw, until ‘Fergie time’ kicks in. it goes as follows; if the Reds are losing or drawing, extra time goes on until, Wayne Rooney comes up with a winner(and then the final whistle is blown as soon as City kick off); if City is losing, Fergie shows the fourth official his Swiss chronograph at around the 80 minute mark and warns him not to dare add any more time than required. In the event that about 3 added minutes are shown, Sir Alex tells off the official for being too generous to the opposition. Then Fergie will breath down the neck of the fourth official, whisky breath and all, for the next 2 minutes and 15 seconds while simultaneously gesticulating at the ref. i don't know if it's just me, but 5 seconds later, the game is up. 

Vidic and Fletcher just stop short of stepping onto the pitch as strapped as Ed Wuncler and Gin Rummy from The Boondocks. These two would probably have to strike someone down with a mallet for a penalty to be awarded against United at Old Trafford! 

To be continued.........

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