This blog may anger a few, disappoint a few and the rest would just laugh at me as I vent for no reason. Manchester United. Truth be told, I have been a fan-in-the-making ever since my childhood. My motives of becoming a United fan are honest. Every time my cousin would come visit me from Mumbai, he would gift me United keychains, posters or calendars. I'm still not sure why he thought I was a United fan, but I never found the heart to tell him that I didn't even follow the sport. I started by hanging the United calendar at my work desk. I have to admit, it looked good. It also gathered a fair bit of attention from my colleagues at work who would nod in approval as they'd pass by my cubicle. Some would stop and ask if I saw the Sunday match, and if I'm looking forward to the next one. I still can't remember how I got out of those situations without revealing to them that I had no idea what they were talking about. Only a few of my close friends knew the real truth, and would tease me by asking me to name any four players from this new club that I was now supporting. Laughter would follow next. 'That's it', i told myself. The next buy I made at Amazon was this glossy red book 'The Official Encyclopedia of Manchester United'.
My next few days went by with me taking in considerable information. I got through the first few chapters about how this team began it's journey turning a small-time club at a railroad company into a multimillion dollar force we now have today. I was easily influenced with my new fascination towards the sport as well; I left the world of cricket behind me and intently began following the Barclays Premier League. I learnt to hate Manchester City as a club, and learnt what offsides meant. I was now able to tag players faces with their names. I was able to hold a conversation with my friends, and most of all- I passed the test of naming not just four, but ALL the players of the United team. My world suddenly became an exciting one as I began to appreciate your passion behind following this team.
I have come to a point where I can write about something truly relevant in the current times with Manchester United. In my few years of following this club under Alex Fergusson's leadership, I thought I made the right choice supporting this team and players who played not for personal glory, but played for the crest on their jerseys. I missed the whole 'Class of 92' phase, but players like Giggs, Scholes, Ferdinand were still in the team. All these players were manufactured in United itself, and that's what I thought made you fans so proud. Unlike City, Chelsea and Arsenal, this team was truly a class apart. True, we had a disappointing last season after Fergusson's exit, and you guys endorsed the new manager, Moyes to be replaced by Van Gaal in less than a season. For any passionate fan, I'd agree it may have been the right choice for a club that demands results. However, in striving for success does that warrant setting aside the tradition of standing behind our Manager and players when the tides are rough? United have been through thick and thin, and you have always seen them through with your support. This club was built on the foundation of vintage players who devoted most of their lives to this club. After these players left, I expected this club to give young players a chance to play their hearts out for at least a couple of seasons, and expose their true potential on the field. Who knows, maybe we'd see the next Scholes or Giggs within our own youth instead of looking elsewhere? But no, instead we push the panic button. We join the rest of the clubs in this rat race we call 'transfer window' and splurge our money to wage for players like Falcao, Di Maria and Vidal: All of whom are well into their peak of their careers, and wouldn't think twice to move to a different club if situations and money enticed them. I hear the chants go on by you 'true' United fans as these multimillion dollar signings score every goal, and I wonder if you really care about this club's legacy or all you really care about is winning? From a half-hearted United fan, this was my point of view and this is not what I signed up for.