The Trials and Tribulations of a Manchester United Fan

Written for London360 in February 2016:

I have been a Manchester United (United) fan since I was four years old thanks to my dad being also a supporter since he was a teenager. I have been called out as a ‘Glory Hunter’ many times over the years from friends and even complete strangers on Twitter. It’s part of the deal as a supporter of one of the biggest football clubs in the world and we just have to take it on the chin most of the time.

The old joke from other football supporters was to show a map of Manchester and ask where Old Trafford was (United’s stadium) just to confuse us. Some of course would be confused as they have never visited Manchester (nor Old Trafford). However, I’m good at my geography, have visited Manchester many times and seen my favourite players such as David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Being born in 1990 and seeing one of the most successful periods in the club’s history with manager Sir Alex Ferguson (SAF); I have seen many triumphs in the Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup and Premier League. I have also seen defeats, draws and heartache when losing the Premier League to the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City.

I have sung the many chants and songs with the crowds and on occasions had banter with rival supporters. I have also had at times just lost my faith in the team but my dad has always been there to say that things were way much worse before SAF came in. There was a period where SAF almost got sacked but then he had finally got success four years after he had joined in 1986. My Dad has seen it all over the years and I feel he is a true fan and proper Red Devil (United’s nickname).

Since SAF left in 2013, United have seen three managers in the space of three years. I just don’t want to remember the spell of former Everton Manger David Moyes much because he was the one who lost our chance to play in the Champions League for a season and gave us our worst position in Premier League history. With interim manager Ryan Giggs (a United legend) in charge for a brief spell, I wasn’t sure whether he could be the next United manager. To this very day I am still not sure he could be the next manager for United despite being Assistant Manger under current boss Dutchman Louis van Gaal (LVG).

I know that United are currently in transition and as of writing this are 5th in the Premier League. I do hope that we do get Champions League football next season however, we should just focus on the FA Cup Fifth Round match against Shrewsbury, the Europa League (we should hopefully win it) and the remaining fixtures. There have been at times when LVG has been called boring and not letting United play the way of old; I’ve even called out for the style to be different and the manager is listening to the fans (well most of the time).

There are calls for LVG to be sacked at the end of the season and bring in Chelsea’s ex-manager Jose Mourinho. I’ve always been sitting on the fence with the man who has been known in the media as the ‘Special One.’ I’m not sure whether he’s the right man for the club and for United’s legacy. His style of football isn’t very exciting despite winning many titles over the years not just with his past club but also with Inter Milan, Porto and Real Madrid.

Finally, it’s been a rollercoaster of a ride over the years and at times I’ve felt a bit jaded this season.


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