Monday, January 17, 2005

"Every Other Saturday, Surrey's Population Decreases By Fifty Thousand'*

Maybe counting up all the votes for his blog's latest poll, Top Ten Rock and Pop Songs Of All Time, has temporarily short-wired Normski's circuits but I think he misses the point for why United are *cough* not everyone's second favourite team.
It's quite simple - seven Championships in ten years contributes to a scenario where every other snot nosed kid, from Cornwall to Canberra, wants a Man Utd strip for Christmas, whilst a whole generation of adults, whose only previous connection to Manchester was occasionally watching an episode of Coronation Street, suddenly transform themselves into diehard Man Utd fans, claiming they were there at the City Ground in 1990, the lowest ebb of Ferguson's managership at Old Trafford where, if it weren't for Mark Robins late winning goal in the FA Cup tie against Forest, he would have been out on his arse. The things that Norm attributes to people holding against Man Utd are pretty much standard fare for what has always been flung against those clubs that are extraordinarly succesful over a long period of time.
Norm seems to forget is that the same accusations were thrown against Liverpool in their glory days, what with their being so many fans from outside Liverpool who were supporting them when they were winning all and sundry in the seventies and eighties, and it is not that unknown a phenomenon even now to bump into men in their fifties and sixties who have supported Wolverhampton Wanderers all their lives, despite not being from anywhere near that neck of the woods, because of the great Wolves team of the late fifties managed by Stan Cullis.
Who knows, if Chelsea were to do in the next five years what Mourinho's team is doing at the moment, then five years from now everyone will be wearing Chelsea tops, discussing the relative merits of whether Alan Hudson or Damian Duff was their best ever player, and bullshitting everyone about how they stood in the Old Shed in the pouring rain watching Chelsea get beat at home once again when they were still in the old Second Division.
In short, it is good old fashioned glory hunting. I'm not going to knock it. I'd sooner watch United on the telly than sit in the cheap seats at Plainmoor but it was Frank Skinner who hit the nail on the head when determining what football team a person should support: " . . . the only criterion anyone should ever use when choosing a football club - geography. You sit with a pencil, a ruler, and a map, identify the nearest professional football club to your place of birth, you buy a scarf with their name on it and that's that."
But of course I would say that, by Frank Skinner's guideline, that means that I have to support Glasgow Celtic.
* Joke courtesy of the Old Jokes Home.


John said...

Spot on, Darren. I texted Norm with the same argument, although I think City and Liverpool fans have a special resentment based on geography, while Londoners resent the fact that United aren't based in the capital and should not therefore be usurping what they see as theirs by right. To the rest of us provincials (I'm a Villa fan by birth), they're just the Cockneys of the North.

Nigel said...

I wouldn't mind United as much if I hadn't had to put up with so many of their fans ceaselessly claiming they were the best team around during the 80s when they so clearly were not. Us Liverpool fans at least didn't make those claims during the 90s. (The 1992 defeat of United to cost them the league on Merseyside was enough.)

Chelsea have actually replaced United in my hate list now. Say what you like about United but at least they make their money from their fans. They're nowhere near as involved in state asset stripping the way Chelsea are.

Oh, and I was glad that Liverpool's Thai deals fell through. I wouldn't want them partly funded by a lottery there either.