I loved hearing the West Ham fans singing England chants during their recent trip to Old Trafford, because it really emphasised how apparent it was to the rest of the country how strong our dislike for England is. The ever patriotic Hammers were keen to get in a wind up, so singing about England seemed to be their best way to do it.
This of course backfired, with United fans shouting “ARGENTINA! ARGENTINA!”, the English national team’s old foes, to drown them out.
I have discussed a number of times on this blog why so many United fans feel so strongly anti-England, so I won’t get in to that again today. However, I will say how much I have enjoyed seeing our fans adopting other countries in place of England, with flags of Portugal and Argentina, as well as their football shirts, being brought in to Old Trafford proudly.
Last month, Carlos Tevez spoke of the difference it made to him when he heard our crowd chanting his country’s name, which has become a weekly occurance at the ground since his arrival.
“I feel privileged when the United fans sing ‘Argentina, Argentina’,” he said. “It’s a beautiful sensation. I love it. I really feel the colours of the national shirt so it’s a real honour. I get emotional every time I hear it. The club gives me all the love, the daily support — so it’s thanks to the fans that I go forward.”
After winning the Premiership on Sunday, Carlos Tevez paraded around the pitch with an Argentina flag ties around his shoulders. Today, he was asked about the reasons behind it.
“I felt it was the right thing to do, so I did it,” he said. “Every player which wins something playing away from Argentina does it, so I did it here. During the season the supporters have shouted Argentina, Argentina and I have noticed many flags in the stands, so I decided to use my own. I thought it was a good opportunity to support my country in a good place.”