Date:23rd September 2011 at 10:30am
Written by:

Fans are the heartbeat of a football club. The ones that turn up every week, singing til their throats get sore and jumping up and down til they can no more.

If those 76,000 didn’t turn up at Old Trafford every week, what would happen? Well, another 76,000 would turn up obviously.

But whoever it is that are sitting or standing in the ground on a match day, it’s these fans that make the players, the manager, the club.

Many become idols, fans’ favourites because of their skill, loyalty and passion shown to us.

Some play 5 games, some play 50 and a few are lucky and good enough to play 500, yet all are remembered for their own contributions.

But what of those that move on, venturing elsewhere to earn their crust, to feed their families or buy the new Ferrari?

Players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Wes Brown are still sung about even though they now ply their trade elsewhere.

However, some that we did lovingly sing about are now loathed for one reason or another.

Take Owen Hargreaves, for example. He had some choice words to say about the medical staff, didn’t he?

These days pulling on the jersey of cross-city rivals Manchester City, Hargreaves has been savaged by United fans for making these comments. Not the cleverest of moves by him, but the propaganda ploy, which is exactly what it is, by City to get under our skin has worked a treat.

But how dare he join another club after being released by United, how dare he get fit after being injured for so long and make some dodgy home videos (not that type), how dare he celebrate after scoring on his debut!

Hold on a second, do we forget?

We’ve got a player pocketing thousands of pounds each week whilst warming the bench, one who doesn’t exactly have the most exemplary of medical records and most importantly, one who adorned the red jersey of Liverpool, kissing it’s badge.

And what of Carlos Tevez? One who gave his all for United, winning a number of trophies in his short time at the club, and who was admired by all the supporters.

He too went from red to blue after Fergie decided not to sign him up, despite the pleas of the supporters. The Argentine is now a hate figure at the club after his words about United and also cupping his hand to his ear having scored against us in the Carling Cup, but Gary Neville may have had something to do with that.

Hold we forget?

“Play for Leeds? He wants to go right to the top with us, fill his sideboard with medals and trophies won in Leeds United’s name and appear in World Cups for England as a Leeds United player.”

These the words of Peter Ridsdale when asked if Rio Ferdinand wanted to join Leeds or not. Didn’t exactly work out that way, did it? Two year later he followed in the footsteps of the great Eric Cantona signing for United and has since gone on to wear the captain’s armband as well.

But how can we be singing about these players? They played for Leeds, and everyone knows what we think about them.

So why do fans hate some players for their actions more than others?

Peter Schmeichel is my United hero and I was devastated when he left in 99, but when he joined City, I couldn’t believe it, yet I still love the guy, I remember him for his time at our club but can’t bring myself round to hating him for playing for our rivals, why is that?

Are Tevez and Hargreaves disliked so much because they are at a club that are genuine challengers to our throne now? Are we scared of the image of the two lifting the Premier League trophy in City colours, just like they did in our colours?

How do think fans would have reacted had Fergie signed John Terry or Steven Gerrard?

As David O’Leary once said when he was manager of Aston Villa:

“Fans are a fickle mob who get on your back very quickly.”

His words couldn’t be any truer, but it still remains that without the fans, the players and the club would be nothing!

Let me know your thoughts.

Written by Shamoon Hafez

Follow me on Twitter for United ramblings: @ShamoonHafez