Twitter is a wonderful medium, when it is not being polluted by trolls and the unintelligible.
It is a platform where everyone can have their say. The man in the street can converse with the stars of track and field, with no divide or red carpet for VIPs. It is a revolution in terms of media, and allows us to gauge public opinion on a subject matter, quicker than a tabloid can print a front page, and ram it down your throat.
Since the appointment of David Moyes many of my articles have had a touch of the dour about them. Not in terms of the manager or the team, but in terms of how the fans have reacted to the challenges that now face us in these post SAF years. These challenges and hurdles have only just materialised, so the way we deal with them now will say a lot about how we deal with them in the future. Many have said I am ‘attacking’ the United fanbase – but this is not the truth. Well, not the whole truth…
The hardest thing when dealing with football outrage is giving tangible examples from a third-party to help aid the understanding of your argument. Liverpool are a prime example to United fans of how a club can sink under the radar for twenty years, but you have to remember many young Reds do not even remember when LFC were winning everything, and making us embarrassed on a season by season basis.
You have to look for modern-day examples.
As we know Piers Morgan drips in tabloid glitter, and has a mouth that has earned him a rather nice earning over the years. This mouth is in so much demand, that the Americans purchased him to be one of their own. He even goes on TV to judge ‘talent’…because you know, that is his specialist subject (hashtag sarcasm) People like Morgan exist in modern society to equally entertain, as they do to infuriate. However, one thing that is true is that his notoriety gives him an audience that is undeniable. At last count he has nearly 3.8 million followers on Twitter – so he is clearly doing something right? (Quite possibly the most debatable sentence I have ever written)
Due to his popularity, Morgan is a prime example for trying to prove my theory on the modern football fan.
As we know, Piers is a Gooner…and very much a vocal one. His red top background also means that saying something controversial means very little to him. He has continually smashed seven bells out of his manager, out of individuals in his team, and continually called for them to be put on top of a footballing bonfire, to be burned at the metaphoric stake, as he cackles and laughs, screaming: ‘I TOLD YOU SO’…in capital letters, and in an unconventional font…
This is the type of fan I despise.
Unfortunately, Morgan is not unique. All that he represents is a famous version of your common fan. One of the great misconceptions of football support is that ‘football is all about opinion’ …well, maybe so. Opinion about tactics, opinion about formations, opinion about performance. What opinion is not is ‘killing your team’…it is not ‘destroying the fabric of the word SUPPORT’ …this is what happens in the modern game, and unfortunately this is what has been happening at Manchester United Football Club.
Morgan’s attitude to his team should be a burning vista to United fans, of what our team does NOT need, and of what WE have to do to support our team through a trying time. Now some will say: ‘Ah but Arsenal havent won a trophy for 8 years, I fully understand Morgan’s issue’ – and of course there is truth in this statement. But I think supporters should carry themselves in a certain way. Constructive criticism is fine, but when it becomes insulting…it loses its validity. We play Arsenal on Sunday. They are in tremendous form, and after beating Dortmund their fans are rightfully buoyant. Piers Morgan has also been revelling in this. Excited like a little boy who just got his first football for Christmas. Lauding a manager that only WEEKS ago he was publicly destroying. Destroying over and over and over again.
Does he deserve to revel in his team’s latest glory? In my opinion…not one iota.
If Moyes turns it around at United, do you want to be the Piers Morgan in this scenario? Personally, I refuse to be. As a fan I will live and die with my team. When we lose, we will hurt in unison. When we win…we celebrate together, stacked high in those stands at Old Trafford. When they play poorly, we can say they played poorly, but I want nothing to do with anyone that thinks football support is about killing your own. If you boo when your team is losing, you know where you can stick your fandom.
If you’ve ever seriously used a #MoyesOut hashtag, or in Arsenal’s case, a #WengerOut hashtag, followed by a mountain of diatribe and unreasonable levels of anger, then you are fundamentally the example of what is wrong with our sport. This model counts for every team. I have seen supporters who fight against relegation every season, who follow their teams up and down the country every week, who are more loyal to their clubs… than fans who have been awash with success over the years. Why is that? There should be no difference.
One thing is for sure: Those fans put the likes of Morgan to shame. So…which type of fan are you? I hope it is not the latter.
Good luck to our Reds on Sunday. I will be there, ready to sing for my club…and support our team.
May the best side win…and if we cant be better than Arsenal on the day…lets hope we mug them instead.