.With apologies to the late great Spike Milligan for the appropriation.

For those of you who don’t know, this site is run by a British expat now living in the United States.
Here in the land of the free, soccer (football) is catching on big time. It’s still not anywhere near the obsession we have, but there is the awareness. People are familiar and you don’t get the blank stares as much.

So the other day I met a client and her son, who is a fitness trainer, who plays soccer and is a fan of the Premier League.

When I heard this I asked him who he supported already knowing what the answer was going to be.

“Manchester United”

As soon as I hear these words the conversation stops. If I ask them about the 1985 FA Cup final and who was sent off, they don’t know. How about that Dennis Law backheel..? No ? The Premier League title in 2010 ? Ah now you know…

You see being a fan of them here is like people back in the UK being fans of the New York Yankees.
You’ve heard of them so you like them. Everybody else supporters them so you do.

I should say at this point that I am a Man City supporter. “Ah, a bitter.” That phrase is retired now obviously. The power base has turned and what we are witnessing now is something akin to what happened with City years ago.

I’m not saying that it will get as bad as that, but then again no club is “too big to be relegated”. City were, Chelsea were in the (old) second division in 1988.

The journalist Iain Macintosh has it spot on in this article (warning: video autoplay) about how this will affect the team, but more specifically the fans:

…”The only positive to all of this, and sometimes you have to look really hard for positives, is the feeling among some supporters that this might at least purge the fan base of a few fair-weather types.”

And that’s exactly it. If in a couple of years I again meet somebody here who says they support Man Utd I’ll know that they’ll really do. That they’ve stuck with them and maybe even taken time to learn of the club. To look at their history.

In the end as we’ve learnt from many other teams, from this “downfall” (possibly the wrong word at the moment, we’ll say: glitch), you can only come back stronger.

So you’ll hear this City fan say, yes it is interesting to follow Man United at this moment.

As to how far this glitch will go, who knows. Right now they are throwing money at it in the hope that will fix things. Well yes, but only so much. Louis Van Gaal has a massive, massive task of rebuilding (but for some reason he’s recruiting midfielders when it’s patently obvious they need to fix their defence). Things may get worse or better immediately. Football as a great thinker once said, is a funny ol’ game.

For those of you who have stuck around, hold on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride…

» The Dollies – Rah Rah Rah For Manchester United

» Edric Conner – Manchester United Calypso

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