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UNITED > England… Regardless of what says

As a lad, I still gave a shit about England. Whilst being proud of my Mancunian roots, I enjoyed watching England play. I hear United fans talk about how you can do both, support our club and follow England passionately, but all that died out for me probably around Euro 96. Now, I can’t abide by the national team and after the past ten years or so, can’t get my head around United fans feeling as strongly for England as they do for us.

I don’t think it’s a hatred I have for England, it’s certainly not a feeling comparable to the one inspired by Liverpool FC, but I do take pleasure in seeing them fuck up. I don’t like to see our lads gutted, of course, and I do take pleasure in seeing them do well for their country, so I suppose their failure against Croatia last season was pretty perfect. Without a single United player in the squad, England lost to Croatia and failed to qualify for Euro 2008, finishing with the same points as Israel, who are ranked 16th in the World.

The England team is filled with players I have no time for, from John Terry to Steven Gerrard, and Frank Lampard to Ashley Cole. The idea of feeling pleased to see Terry shove his opponent down as he rises to put a header in the back of the net, or Steven Gerrard scoring a screamer, just doesn’t add up to me. When I see those England fans chanting Rooney’s name just a week after coming to Old Trafford to support their club, calling him a “fat bastard” I’m filled with rage. It seems entirely moronic.

Until recently, there seemed to be an idea that fans of English clubs should support other clubs from our league in Europe. That night in Istanbul was gut-wrenching for me, watching those scouse twats pull back a result from being 3-0 down, yet this was supposed to be a moment of “national pride”.

“Unbelievable. Incredible. Brilliant. The whole country is very proud of you,” said Tony Blair. “Wasn’t it absolutely amazing? Anyway, Liverpool can be very proud of itself and Britain’s very proud of Liverpool.”

Fuck that.

Mancunian pride is something I’m far more aware of. Whilst there was the odd bitter with their head in their hands when John Terry missed that penalty, the majority of blues in the local were getting pissed and celebrating with us, particularly those of the generations above. If Wayne Rooney scored the winning goal for England in the World Cup final, I’d be chuffed. But those feelings would quickly melt away when watching TinyTears lifting the trophy.

I read the featured blog on the official United site this week and I just have to wonder where these fans come from… the fans who are more than happy to forget the anti-United chants that regularly did the rounds at Wembley when four or five of our players were on the pitch representing their country, the fans who shrug off the vile treatment David Beckham received following World Cup 98, the fans who now watch those same England mugs hailing a past-it Beckham as a ‘legend’ when he comes off the bench these days, the fans who tear Wayne Rooney apart only to hail him as the Messiah when he scores a goal or two.

I’m utterly embarrassed by the behaviour of England fans, to the point I’d never want to associate myself with them. They reached a new low this weekend when they booed Ashley Cole following his sloppy pass back to the keeper. Sure, I think Cole is as much of a cunt as the next guy, but christ, you’ve got to worry when a silly mistake from a player on the team you’re supposedly there to support earns deafening boos.

Above my feelings for England players, the cringing that their fans bring, ultimately, I don’t understand how you can have room in you to love more than one club. The opinion of Tony O’Neill summed it up rather well for me.

The England scene has never been one that got me going, for one reason: being a United fanatic, the passion for my team consumed everything in me. No way could I get passionate about watching anyone else, not even my national team. United has consumed my life, so trying to watch and sing along with any other fans does nothing for me. All my excitement is with United, from getting up in the morning on a match day to going to bed. I still can’t get my head round how people can switch, you support your team from childhood until death, that’s how it should be.

Whilst not doubting the support fans feel for United if they do have room for England, each to their own and that, it is an opinion I can’t get my head around. I wish the United > England banner was shown proudly on the Stretford End and I wish we sung the anti-England songs more frequently than we do.

I love United but I also love my national team. There’s no better feeling than when England get to the final stages of a tournament like the Euros or the World Cup, especially when the whole country gets behind the team.

Qualifiers like Saturday’s game against Kazakhstan are as important as tournament matches if not more so, as we need to qualify first. Obviously. Of course, I don’t want our (United) players to get injured while they’re on international duty, but they run that risk every time they go out on a pitch.

England is important to me and it is sad that a lot of United fans don’t have the same passion for our national team.

I just don’t get it…

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Daniel B says:

    Completely agree with everything! As another mancunian and die hard red, i couldnt care less if england win or lose. In fact on the most i would prefer them to never play united players so they get more rest. I hate Gerrard (aka transfer request), hate (slipper not skipper) terry and detest Cashley cole and could NEVER cheer for them. The only thing i can say is that i do like seeing players like Wes Brown, a true manc, happy and proud of them when they perform at the international stage although i believe that international football is of a lesser level to champions league football!

  2. sagar says:

    neither do I m8 neither do I

  3. Gabriel says:

    C’mon mate… Are you saying you don’t have any inkling of affection for England? I’m sure you do, but obviously not as much as you have for United. :) At the end of the day, it’s still your Country and no matter how much they fuck up, you’ll still have an interest in them.

    Also, one reason you gave was the fact that players you despise are featured in the team, so that adds to your dislike of the National team, why? I know we all love to despise our favorite enemies in club football, but when it comes to your country, you have to try and put that hatred aside. It’s thoughts and feelings like that lead to Ashley Cole’s heckling on Saturday. You might not condone it, but thoughts lead to emotions and emotions lead to action. I’m sure some of the fans that booed didn’t mean to, but when a few began, they hopped along cuz deep down they were carrying that resentment past club football.

    I’m not saying or telling you how to feel, but I think we’re sensationalising the United >= England Banners and Anti-England songs is maybe a step too far…

  4. Gabriel says:

    That last paragraph cut out, here’s what it was supposed to read…

    I’m not saying or telling you how to feel, but I think we’re sensationalising the United >= England Banners and Anti-England songs is maybe a step too far…

  5. Gabriel says:

    it cut again, last try, promise :)

    I’m not saying or telling you how to feel, but I think we’re sensationalising the United > England issue. It’s perfectly OK to have affections for both or one more than the other, but to propose said Banners and Anti-England songs is maybe a step too far…

  6. TK 99 says:

    Danial B, completely agree with you.

  7. Simmo says:

    I’d rather have root canal treatment without anesthetic that watch the England national team. The thought of standing beside some small minded half wit spewing bile and filth is beyond comprehension. All those right wing, Talksport listening buffoons deserve to be rounded up and slapped to within an inch of their pathetic lives. It should not come as a surprise that they disrespect their own players. They haven’t the intelligence to understand that booing their own plays into the hands of the opposition!
    Ingerland supporters reminds me how lucky I am to be a United fan!!

  8. AlexOfMancunia says:

    I’m not English, I’m Mancunian.

  9. A MAN UNITED FAN says:


  10. jockewe says:

    I could never support a team containing john terry, ashley cole, frank lampard and steven gerrard.

    Luckily, though, I’m from Sweden so I’ll never have that problem. But I’ve had to put up with freddie ljungberg captaining our national team for a couple of years.=(

    If united were to play sweden, though, I’d support United!

  11. Red Mancunianٌ says:

    I’m not from UK and I agree with you .
    It’s the same thing with my national team and my local team .
    Maybe sometimes I check on the results of my national team and lesser times watch them but never have the passion I have while watching United .
    In terms of football I think your heart should be for one team and thank god that is the case with me .

    Maybe you watch another football team every time they play for the good football they produce , but it’s different for you because the English national team play very poor football since 2001 and it will continue until Fabio leaves .

    Thanks for this lovely column and sorry for any grammatical or spelling mistake .

  12. paddy says:

    being scottish…..i cant really comment on the whole england thing,but its an entirely different thing for me when the national team comes up.dont get me wrong,i love united with a passion,but i also love my country.the scottish anthem really gets the blood pumping.

  13. OTRed says:

    I wouldn’t exactly say i don’t give a rats ass about England, but lets just imagine United were playing in the CARLING CUP final and England was playing in the WC final(impossible yes, but I’m just giving a scenario), of course I’d pick the Carling Cup final anyday of the week.

  14. Jas Rai says:

    Scott…i agree mate, good article. Viva John Terry…the fuckin prick

  15. maverickcristianoVII says:

    Jeez Scott the Red you have a real chip on your shoulder when its comes to England, sure you dont like the national side, its supporters or it players, fair play. But why do you feel the need to constantly post these repetetive disparaging rants? Your points have been made a million times, the same old comments just worded slightly differently from week to week, and dont get me started on your pathetic glorification of that mindless idiot O’Niell. I think your blog is quality, and I get a lot of laughs from the ruthless slatings you dish out to fans of other clubs, aswell as the united news updates from around the world, but for Gods sake, England fans are stupidly fickle and footballers in this country are generally twats- thats how its is so GET OVER IT MATE!

  16. Mic says:

    I love United and I like England, I think supporting England should be a great thing, all the fans who hate each other unite for a game or two before England are out, I love United with all my life and as much as I hate Liverpool I still have scouse mates, i’ll never let a club ruin what could be a good friendship and that’s why when it comes to England, my hatred for Cashley, Lumpy, Cry baby, transfer request all go away, I do criticise them more than any other player but I still support them ‘cuz I want England to do well.

    About the booing though, I couldn’t give a shit, Cole is a grade A twat, they wern’t booing the mistake, that’s just stupid (if they were) I think they were booing the man who couldn’t play for £55k a week for his childhood club and so moved to their most hated (geographical) rivals, it’s like friggin Heinze though without money as a motivation, I condone those who booed him as a moron, not for his mistake, especially in a match we were always going to win, if it was an important game, ALL players deserve our full, vocal support no matter who they play for or what kind of prat they are outside football.

    Anyway, as always United > England. I’m a little drunk as I wrote this so please forgive me if it doesn’t make sense. Good day!

  17. Bob Koh says:

    I love ManU but just about ‘like’ England, especially when our players play (read Rooney, Rio, Brown, Carrick, Hargreaves). I am however very uneasy when none of our players are on the field and I ‘ve to watch sickening people like Terry, Lampard, Gerrard, A.Cole playing and I’m supposed to be cheering for them! ‘In those moments’ ( love this phrase!) I wish for the other team to score against England.

  18. Patrik says:

    I don’t support England but that’s because I’m from Sweden :D I do however, sort of, support the swedish team and it’s easier because Sweden don’t have a Gerrard or a Terry. But I’d prefer it if they expanded the champions league instead of playing internationals, because really, who gives a s**t about national teams?

  19. IndReddevil says:

    I think most of United supporters in far east support any international team that has united players playing because Man United is from England, love watching the premier league and most of the time United English players are internationals, therefore, it is quite inevitable that most of us here support England. In fact the last european cup lost its interest among United supporters (here) is because England didnt qualify. For me tho’ I only love United and everything associated with it, and only support England/any international team when United players are playing.

  20. wiuru... says:

    We should also add to the list the FA a corrupted self seeking orginization that over the years has hindered rather than supported us . GN £5000 for kissing the badge in front of dippers V Barton £2000 for showing his arse to opposition fans , just one minor example. To support England is to give creedence to this gang of wasters at the FA.

  21. Oooodz says:

    For me watching England its all about getting together. Living where I live there is a whole lotta Geordies, Mackems & Smoggies… Not many United fans so its rare that I can go out have a few drinks watching a football match without bumping into the rare Scouse twats who always fancy a go.

  22. Gazza says:

    im not english and never will be

    im a mancunian.


  23. bossdem says:

    im not proud to be english, im not mancunian, but i couldnt give a shit about england and love man united!
    fuck the english team, with scallies and cocky twats like lampard and terry
    fuck the english fans
    fuck the english press
    fuck the english media
    fuck the english fa
    fuck the english peoples general dislike and jealousy towards united
    fuck all abu,s that fill wembley.

    how many reasons do some of u need to give little england the elbow?!

  24. suhayl says:

    I was the same…i followed utd and england with a passion, wore all the tops and went to many a game….watching utd then watching england.

    I loved and worshipped the england team of the 86/ 1990 world cups and euro 96. Loved the players and managers. Followed england upto euro 2000.

    But each time after that i watched england i started to despise and hate em. Couldnt and didnt enjoy it…didnt want them to win. WHY?

    Anti utd hate……our players treated shittily eg rio and scholsey.

    Fuckin bullshit overhype overkill and overated bullshit of this supposed golden generation

    The sick over the top following..banners…mad hysteria…flags and ticka tape…like we were the best team in the world. The flamin arrogance that we would win every tournament. The arrogance that we had the best players..highest paid players and managers that had a god given right to win world cups and euro champs.

    When in fuckin reality…..we couldnt keep the ball longer than 10 secs and couldnt pass the ball more than 3 passes. How how how imcompetent we were and how many light years we were behind europe in terms of techincal ability. Not to mention how we couldnt even take a bloody pen.

    That arrogance conceitedness and self pity and arrogant attitude that we were england…we should and would conquer the world. That bloody golden generation crap and the media and bloody fickle people on the street thinking we were brazil and aregntina and italy put together. Killed it for me.

    Now i detest england…bar our utd players showering themselves with personal glory.

    Utd > England

  25. unitedgirl15 says:

    I love United. I like England.
    I think it’s great when there’s a world cup quarter-final and England are involved. I remember the World Cup 06, the whole family was sat in front of the TV and outside it was deserted.It was like the whole town of watching it.
    But since then, England have got worse and i became more obsessed with United. So i obviously do love United more, but i’d still like my national team to do well.
    Still… United winning the treble over the world cup anyday!!


  26. unitedgirl15 says:

    *I remember the World Cup 06, the whole family was sat in front of the TV and outside it was deserted.It was like the whole town was watching it.

  27. Red-Manc says:

    Im proud to be Mancunian, I love Manchester and i love Manchester United

    United > england anyday, i have no time for the english international team because of the way they use MUFC players as scapegoats (beckham,rooney,ronaldo) and ingurlanders annoy me, they only sing like 2 songs every single game.

  28. Drew Vader says:

    Not English so cant really comment on the point of the article, but for me, international football is just flat out boring to watch. Its horrible. There is never any end to end action, its all played at what appears to be half pace and the players all look like they are just trying not to get hurt.

    I like what OTRed said though, I would watch United v WestBrom over the world cup final regardless of which nations are playing.

  29. bossdem says:

    ban the european championships and replace them with a world club tournament. that would be even more exciting for me than the world cup itself! what do u guys reckon?


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