SkyDaz Banter: Man Utd

Last updated : 27 April 2004 By Darren Porter

Simple question. Manchester United or Aston Villa? Who do you dislike the most? Ask any fan in the country who they would love to see lose and apart from their nearest rivals it is always Man Utd. There are other contenders but they can be discounted.

Arsenal – without doubt the best team I have seen at St Andrews, possibly ever. The flowing explosive football bordered on the hypnotic and I actually applauded some of their goals against us.

Chelsea – ok so they have more money than sense but who could dislike cuddly old Ranieri. Bless his little Italian designer socks.

So that just leaves Prawn Sandwich United. Everyone in the home end this weekend will know someone who is a Manchester United fan but strangely lives in the Midlands. This is part of the dislike but only a small part, after all it’s not the team’s fault who supports them or where they live. But it’s that moment when they inform you that THEY won all those titles and THEY won all those cups despite the fact that THEY never actually went to a single game. They will crow about not being able to get a ticket as every game is sold out but that’s rubbish as the attendance is always an odd amount. If you wanted to go bad enough you would get a ticket, even if it was just for a few games each season.

Grown men will claim ‘I’ve always liked United since I was a kid’. Why United though? Out of all the teams to choose why pick them? Why not Torquay or Bury or Lincoln? They won’t admit it but the answer is that they wanted to follow a team that won things. Wouldn’t we all?

Then there is the arrogance of the fans that follow United. Their songs gloat about the fact that we have all apparently only turned up to watch United and that every other team’s game against United is their ‘cup final’. Today you will hear songs that glorify United but you will never hear songs with wit or humour, their cosmopolitan following fails to breed camaraderie and no doubt the M1 South will be as busy after the match as the M6 North.

Last month United played Porto in the Champions League and the old dilemma raised its ugly head. Do you follow the English team in Europe or support United’s opponents? When United won the Champions League I celebrated like a deranged lunatic but having tasted the Premiership and the insufferable siege mentality of Old Trafford I was not disappointed when Porto knocked them out.

The FA Cup should be going to Old Trafford this season but how remarkable that on that glorious occasion virtually the whole country will be supporting their opponents Millwall who are traditionally the most loathed team in Britain. It’s a funny old game and a shame they both can’t lose!

Article reproduced with kind permission of the BCFC official matchday programme.