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United Looking to Regain their Social Title

The image is burnt into your memory. Lionel Messi kicking a microphone after scoring against Van Der Sar, David Villa curling into the top corner, and watching Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez sit on the pitch in utter despair while Abidal lifts the giant trophy. Yes, the Champions League final may just have been 4 months ago, but it does feel a really long time ago.

Then again, some people remember it like it happened just yesterday. Thing is, for most Manchester United fans the defeat at Wembley was a very unusual experience. Not because we lost a game, but in the manner in which it happened. We were outclassed, outrun, outsmarted, but the fact that Barca put up a bigger fight for the ball than what we did is what probably stings the most. But no, it wasn’t only being outclassed in every way that hurt so much. Fact is, going into the game Fergie said he had learnt from his previous Final loss in Rome. We now had a better team to face Barca, and as the comeback kings United are, who would have believed they could lose two games in a row? And in basically the same manner? It hurt like fuck, and it will stay with us for the rest of our lives. But the reaction from fans, rivals and us alike, has been disgraceful!

Not Arrogant……Just Better.

As Manchester United fans we are used to being the best. As the banner says, “Not Arrogant, just better” is the true emphasis of being a United fan. You get used to supporting the best team, winning almost every game, competing for every trophy, having the best players. These are some of the greatest prides that come with being a United fan, but lately I’ve seen too many people unappreciate our players, question the manager. And no discussion about the quality of this United team cannot be made without one idiot asking the question: “Yeah, but are United good enough to beat Barca?”

I roll my eyes in despair every time I hear this question. It’s just odd. Despite us losing a Champions League final to them, we really shouldn’t sink to making these remarks. We are Manchester United. The most successful team in England for the last 20 years, best manager in football history, scoring the most goals, conceding the least, and just about every possible compliment you can pay to a side. But still, there is that feeling of ambition which runs in every United supporter’s veins. The ambition of always becoming better. Stronger. More clinical. More resilient. Simply becoming the best! Thankfully that is an ambition passed on by the manager, Mr. Ambition himself. What makes Sir Alex so f*cking brilliant is the fact that he never, NEVER, is satisfied. There is always a way to improve, no matter how you do it. If a young player needs time to become the player this team needs, then so be it. Give him time. Becks, Ronaldo, Rooney, Nani, and hopefully Cleverley are proof of this. If you need to make a risky signing, you do it! Jones was bought for a hefty fee, but so far he looks every bit as good as every English defender out there! Get players no-one has ever heard of, like Smalling, Chicharito, or Pogba, who’s transfer created a lot of controversial fuzz between United and Le Havre. Thanks to Fergie and United, we will always aspire to become the best team there is.

However, if you want to be the best club you need fans who are willing to support you through thick and thin. Manchester United fans are great fans, whether they live in Salford or Cristchurch! Wherever you live, you attend matches, root for your team, chant our songs and celebrate our goals as if you had scored it yourself. Some Manchester United fans have never been to a game, but they still celebrate a goal like a loon, jumping up from their couch, fist pumping and waking up your neighbors. This is beautiful. This is when you feel proud of being a Manchester United fan, if you ever need something to give you more pride. But when you support the biggest club in the world, you can’t miss coming across people who share different views. Lately that’s happened a lot. Too many United fans talk about Barcelona as if they were the Mekka of football! Barcelona this and Barcelona that, alright they are a good team but is their presence so superior that you can’t have a football discussion without mentioning their club?

I too suffer from the Champions League loss 4 months ago, but unlike others I do not hate them. I don’t like them, but I don’t hate them either. Hating them is the mentality of a City- or Liverpool fan. Truth is, I just don’t give a flying f*ck about them! As a United fan I’ve prided myself with supporting the best club in the world for my whole life, and then Barca come along and suddenly all the jealousy us United fans have been exposed of since 1993 is gone. Just gone. Even the media are starting to respect us!! When did that last happen? Claiming that we play beautiful football, talking our players up into the sky, even having us as solid winners for the Premier League title… It’s unusual! Somehow it feels as if others feel sorry for us. Barcelona are the new United, they are the club you love to hate. Trying to find every flaw they make, making fun of them as if they were Justin Bieber. This is the attitude of a poor fan which we would call an ABU. Yes, a fan which seems to focus more on the failings of another team more than the quality of their own. Too many of us are bitter, and I don’t like it. We shouldn’t sink this low! We are Manchester United, and we should gain our throne as being the most hated team in the World ASAP! It’s a title we wear with pride, it’s a title we honor. Because we are the best. Simple as! Socially, we are the most hated team in the World and if you’ve got friends who don’t support United you really get to experience that. I was really surprised there wasn’t an outrage in the media following the Chelsea win. Two of our goals were scored from offside positions, and those two goals made the difference. Had this happened in 2008, I would bet you my house that every paper in the world would focus on that. But now, no shout. It’s incredible, and it’s giving me a headache.

United fans should do their part to make this team the best again. Don’t mention Barca, I mean, who the f*ck are they really? I couldn’t be bothered about them, they play in Spain and another league, and the chances of us facing them in the Champions League isn’t as high as people would think. As long as the Champions League remains a cup competition, we need luck, and if our number doesn’t fit with Barcelona then we won’t have to deal with them. So get on with United, love our team for what it is, and enjoy this thrilling start to the season! Long may it continue, and let’s put all this Barca hate to a rest.

 

RedDevilEddy

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Grognard

    26 September 2011 at 18:49

    Welcome aboard Eddy. Nice article although I have to personally say I don’t agree with much of it. That doesn’t take away from your fine effort however.

    The problem I have with the article is the same problem I have with many members now and especially in the past who seem to like to make all fans think like them and fall in line with the conformist thinking supporters who never have a negative thing to say about their club and who follow the club like members of a cult.

    I’m sorry mate but I was not born in Manchester and neither were you for that matter but allow my 52 years of experience to illuminate you a bit. Blind and dedicated loyalty to a cause or a team or a political faction may seem virtuous but it also seems simple minded and rather narrow minded as well when one is not able to pick out negatives or even mistakes being made by the entity you are supporting.

    I love United and I have supported them for twice your age but this does not mean I surrender my freedom of thought, speech and my ability to discern or criticize when there is reason to. I am talking about priorities in life and looking at things in the proper perspective. Life for me does not begin and end with Manchester United. And I was born in Salford and lived a block away from OT, I would still say this because life offers you many choices and many roads to cross. United for me is just one of my many interests. Sure it’s a major one but I still look at the team as an entertainment, not a religion. In fact I am so turned off by religion and how it manipulates and destroys people’s will and minds, that I refuse to go to church these days as my form of rebellion and as a statement of anti=conformity. Frankly as you know from the years on this blog, Groggy doesn’t like to be told how to think and what he should say or do.

    So all I am saying is I choose to support my club in my own individual manner and what I learn or gather from that experience i have chosen to share with the good people who inhabit Red Rants. What I would dearly like and appreciate from all on here is some respect and appreciation not just for my efforts and presence but for yours and everyone who is a member of this fine blog. Let people think and say what they do. Let them support in the manner that is most comfortable and above all, lets stop telling people how they should support Man Utd. I was fguilty of this a times to. One example of my wrongful behavior was jumping down JayWire’s throat for his stance that seemed pro Glazer and for his style of writing which early on I felt was condescending. I no longer feel that way because I have come to learn things that have changed my opinion of his writing style and his motives. So I have changed my opinion and my attack first and speak later attitude.

    As for your concern about many of us being obsessed by Barcelona, well it’s really all nobody’s business but the person who is bothered by this club. A major misconception with me over my extreme hatred of that team has more to do with the way they conduct business and play the game using gamesmanship and buying off referees and league officials than what they have done to United. In fact, I have hardly said anything regarding the way they have embarrassed us in two European finals because they never cheated in those games, we just stunk the joint out on both occasions. I’m more insensed with Fergie and United over those games than Barca. I hate Barca for what they represent and for the way they operate. They are slimy and disgusting in so many ways and never was that more obvious than in the way they disposed of Chelsea a few years back and in their gamesmanship vs Real Madrid of late. And no I have no love for Madrid and their poaching ways either.

    Again, let me compliment you on your first article but Also warn you not to paint everyone on here with the same brush. We all have different motivations and thought processes which make us tick and I for one respect that about everyone whether or not I agree or disagree. Differing opinions and debate is what this blog is all about and founded on. So conformity and falling in line is not something I agree with or support.

  2. Nikos

    26 September 2011 at 18:55

    I consider myself firstly as a football fan and secondly as a fan of some teams. I am very pleased when I watch great football and I’m a little bit happier when Panathinaikos and MU play great football (I don’t care if they win all the time —> this doesn’t make me a fan of Wenger’s football who will teach he players everything except scoring).

    So, I have some principles about football. If a tackle is dirty, it’s dirty whether it comes from a team I don’t supprot or a team I support. If Rooney dives it’s even more embarassing and disgusting for me, cause I don’t want to watch such behavior by the players I support. Gerrard dives more, but that’s another discussion. I ‘ve seen Rooney diving (can’t remember the game) and I was so sad that day. When it comes to Ronaldo I was always like : wow this player is so gift … FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK !!! Why the fuck did you dive there? PLAY BALL !!! Such contradiction is not of my taste.

    So, if a player does something cheap, dirty and doesn’t get punished I’m sad. If he is an MU player I’m even more sad.

    .
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    In the other hand, I admire all the good qualities of football. So, Barcelona is the art of overlapping and cutting inside. Nice football, Xavi is a God (quick mode of Scholes without scoring) … BUT … I can’t support a team of crybabies. I’m happy with the highlights, happy when I watch Xavi but not happy with the :

    -I’m FIFA
    -I’m UEFA

    “Both of us will support whatever makes Nike and Adidas rich. Both of us will tolerate any begavior by players who have a great commercial status.”

    Not happy with this… not at all.

    .
    .
    .

    I don’t like them, but I don’t hate them either. Hating them is the mentality of a City- or Liverpool fan. Truth is, I just don’t give a flying f*ck about them! ➡ R E S P E C T

    • Nuevo

      27 September 2011 at 05:29

      Agreed 1000000%

      I would rather have United play sportingly and lose the 1st round than Cheat their way to victory.

  3. colver

    26 September 2011 at 19:27

    Yeah it is nicely written and well argued. But I am afraid like it or not Barcelona are the benchmark and the pace setters. It is a testament to the ambition of Manchester United fans that they are not content being best in England but want to be the best in the world. It hurt that after winning the Champions League in 2008 we let Barcelona surpass us by some distance.

    You can slag Manchester City but their desire to better us has led to them improving dramatically over the last few seasons. OK they are lucky that they have the funds. We were unfortunate that the credit crunch made our financing problems exert a real constraint on our spending. But there was also some complacency and inertia.

    Finally Ferguson seems to have got the message and has realized that the 2007-2011 team while very good isn’t quite good enough especially shorn of its prize asset Cristiano Ronaldo. Our central midfield is finally being given some attention and the spots which seemed to be the exclusive preserve of Fergie favourites such as Carrick, Fletcher Giggs and Scholes are now up for grabs. There are tentative signs of a change in style with more emphasis on pressing and more dynamic midfielders. But I am not convinced. Still the Barcelona defeat told us we have to change and if the changes take place I am sure they will improve us as a team.

    If Barcelona is the catalyst that creates a team that is even better than the preceding great Manchester United teams then I say Viva Barcelona.

    My chess coach always used to say you improve by playing guys who are better than you.

    Barcelona are absolutely better than us. I do not like it. But I am not going to deny it and pretend they do not exist. They exposed our weaknesses in a way that lesser teams like Chelsea and Schalke were unable to and I am grateful to them for that.

    Eddie you are saying you want us to win the Champions League through luck and avoiding Barcelona in the draw?

    What kind of thinking is that?

    Lets support Fergie in his efforts to make this team the best in the world again and improve so that next time we face Barcelona, and you can guarantee we will, we have a good chance of beating them.

    • Grognard

      26 September 2011 at 20:31

      In my experience watching many pro sports I have noticed that anytime a team has been constantly beaten by another but eventually wins a championship because they were lucky through the draw not to have met their albatross, they are looked upon as paper champions and never get the respect they deserve because they never beat the team that had their number on the way to the title.

      Over the last six or senven years the Boston Red Sox have owned the New York Yankees in the regular season and most importantly, in the playoffs. The next three day New York plays Tampa Bay in a three game series that if they wanted to, they could help knock Boston out by allowing Tamps to win those games now that New York has already clinched a playoff spot. To many like Eddy, it would suit their purposes to avoid meeting Boston at all costs. Lets see what happens. As a Yankees fan I hope they beat Tampa and that allows Boston into the playoffs because to be a champion, you should be able to beat a champion or the team that causes you the greatest grief. Avoiding teams by any means possible borders on extreme cowardice and this is not why they play the game nor why I watch it. If your opponent beats you, improve your team and learn what you did wrong and don’t repeat it. Easier said than done. At least if you beat your nemesis on the way to the championship, trust me the champagne will taste a lot sweeter.

      • Moscow is my heaven

        26 September 2011 at 23:54

        Absolutely spot on by Grog. Nothing more humiliating and cowardly than hoping you don’t play the best.

  4. Moscow is my heaven

    26 September 2011 at 21:17

    We have to confront Barcelona again. We should aspire to beat them this time. We have seen the error of our ways, our tactics, and our personnel. What is most important is not to pretend that everything is OK, but do everything in our power to bridge that gap. It is no good hoping some other team will knock them out.

    • Grognard

      26 September 2011 at 23:04

      That’s exactly what Fergie said the first time only to repeat himself. Just maybe we can’t beat them no matter what simply because we aren’t good enough. To do everything in our power to bridge the gap is to go toe to toe with them in the transfer market and that frankly, isn’t going to happen.

  5. Nuevo

    27 September 2011 at 05:27

    Great article Eddy and for a while i was in agreement. But then again why would i want to avoid Barca? Like it or not, they are the pace setters and the one everyone wants to avoid. As a united fan, I would much rather beat them and win CL than avoid them and win it.

    As you very rightly implied in your article

    “We are United and we are classier than the rest!!!”

  6. Grognard

    27 September 2011 at 08:54

    The dilemma in all this is that a champion is always remembered by all those who don’t support the club and they could care less who they beat to get there simply because the trophy will have their name on it. But the two groups that will know that it was a cheap win are the supporters of the team that won and of course the supporters of the team they avoided on their way to the championship. So at the end of the day the victory doesn’t sit well with the one’s who should be enjoying and crying the most over the win. United need to beat Barcelona in a meaningful match but even more importantly, they need to knock them out of a competition and especially in a final because they have kicked our asses twice in a final. We must have our revenge and payback for things to be right in the world.

  7. ash is the man

    27 September 2011 at 10:48

    The fact is barcelona are the best. But its a huge compliment to our team that fans and media alike are waithing for us to catch them because this just proves that everyone rates us as a top top club and will reign europe again

  8. Stephen

    27 September 2011 at 11:15

    Good effort Eddy, like it or loathe it Barca are the best club side in the World. They have a revolting arrogance with it sure, but we must come up with an antidote when we play against them. They are smug and walk between the raindrops with regards to UEFFA, but they have the best side in the World and it is up to us to beat it.

  9. RedDevilEddy

    27 September 2011 at 11:32

    What I meant when I said our biggest chance to win the Champions League this season was to avoid Barca, I was talking about this season and this season only. My opinion on this is that our young lads are incredibly talented, but they need to be groomed. Everyone needs time. Phil Jones, Smalling, they are only 18 and 21. In 3 years time they may be amongst the world best, along with Cleverley, Chicharito, Welbeck, Anderson… Consistency is the name of the game, and it needs time. We need to have a long term vision, adabting it from our manager.

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      27 September 2011 at 13:13

      I would LOVE to meet Barca in a 2-legged tie.

      Bring them to Old Trafford!

      • Stephen

        27 September 2011 at 13:45

        I would love to beat any side in Europe, yet again the Red Rants Barca obsession is back to haunt us………

    • Grognard

      27 September 2011 at 18:10

      The huge problem with this grooming philosophy Eddy is that there is no guarantees that these players will become the real deal in two or three years. In the case of Cleverley, Jones and Smalling I think it’s a safe bet to say you are right but most of the players on the reserves are probably headed for failure or sold to another club.

      To keep up with the super powers of the game we need to balance the ability of grooming our own youth while buying other teams established players or potential youth. We were wise in buying Chicharito , Jones, Smalling, Rooney, Ronaldo, Nani and others in this manner. I no longer believe we need to go by big name established players as much as we used to because we are clearly on a strong youth movement and this bodes well for the future.

      Still, buying an Ashley Young or Wesley Sneijder once in a while is not a bad idea. But as for now, Fergie has got it right. As fans I agree, we just need to be patient and forget about Barcelona. Not easy but in a few years we will still be a young team but these youngsters will all have gained so much experience and become so good that we just might become kings of Europe again. But for now, let us just be happy with winning domestic silverware because we have no hope in Hell of beating the Spanish giants with such a young and relatively inexperienced club that Fergie has so wisely put together.

  10. colver

    27 September 2011 at 13:16

    Agree with the last post. Our best chance of overtaking Barcelona as the world’s top club is to play a long game and time our youngsters to reach their peak just as Xavi and Iniesta start to fade.

    The thing that made me angriest about the 2011 defeat was that we played basically the same team that lost in 2009 even though Barcelona had improved dramatically over those two years and revamped their squad. For me the result was a foregone conclusion.

    I am worried that Fergie is going to play it safe in Europe and fall back on his veterans. That would be a horrible mistake! I would rather he stuck with the youngsters even if they made costly mistakes and got us knocked out early on in the competition.

    In my mind the only excuse for not buying Sneijder is that Fergie is prepared to play Anderson or Cleverley regularly. If I start seeing Giggs Fletcher and Carrick all the time in Europe I am going to be seriously pissed.

    This is the team I want to see line up in the rematch against Barcelona and I actually hope it happens because better we get knocked out by Barcelona than Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or heaven forbid Chelsea or Man City!!!!!!!

    De Gea-Jones, Vidic, Smalling, Fabio-Cleverley, Anderson, Fletcher-Nani Rooney Young

    OK that team would probably still lose but at least it would give Barcelona a decent fight and get stuck in. In case you are wondering I still believe that 4-4-2 is suicide against Barcelona but with Young and Nani Rooney should be well supported.

  11. Traverse

    27 September 2011 at 14:24

    Was looking forward to getting a glimpse of Xherdan Shaqiri at his future home, but it seems he is banned for this game. Boo.

    • Grognard

      27 September 2011 at 18:12

      Shaqiri, Goetze and Rodwell are three players I would love to see us get, but would be happy as hell if we just got one of them.

  12. thatboywazza

    27 September 2011 at 17:53

    One word Fuck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 Barca Fucking Lona! we are FUCKING MANCHESTER UNITED!

    oKAY got that out of my system.Now its my turn to rant.We are a good Fucking team with Good Players…We need to Remember who the Fuck we are cause I think we suffering From amnesia.If this carries on we will forget to play the UNITED WAY(attack,attack attack).Teams and fans across the globe admire us for our verve,our nerves of steel in moments of sheer desperation.Lets not forget who we are.

    • Grognard

      27 September 2011 at 18:18

      We suffer from amnesia? No way mate. I remember the last two European finals we were in and the result is permanently ingrained in my psyche for eternity. Perhaps it’s not my amnesia but your blind faith and denial that needs to be addressed by a physician. 😉 😉 😀 😀 But seriously though, I see what you are saying and nobody needs to feel any shame for being a United fan over the past 25 years but lets face it, those two losses have poisoned the well of riches we have gained because they were not just two losses, they were two losses to a better team and two losses in Europe, a place Fergie covets more than anything. They were also two demoralizing and embarrassing losses which I could live with if I was a Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea fan but not when I have such high standards as a United supporter. So forgive me if I just cannot get over it until I get revenge or payback.

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