Manchester United suffered their first home loss of the season to Tottenham 0-3 and the United fans’ reaction was not good, to say the least.
I think a few Manchester United fans called in sick today, some fans unable to cope with the ribbing and banter from rival fans. The game was a very big wake up call, just because you have a lot of expensive players you win every game.
If fans were right their teams would win every game. Every team loses, and it is not that result that defines you but the way you react to it.
One of the greatest hallmarks of Sir Alex Ferguson’s teams was if they did lose their win the next 4/5 on the bounce.
However, one defeat and Manchester United fans are throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Manchester United Fans’ Reaction to Tottenham Defeat
With the addition of social media, every game is scrutinised on Twitter. A big aspect of social media is that now everyone has a voice, but that is also a big problem with it.
Negativity is amplified through the prism of a club’s Twitter. Gone are the old days of having a rant at a radio phone-in show or for some fans staying at the end of a game to give players or a manager food for thought.
Listening to fans on social media, you would think that the season is over after two games.
I read a lot of Manchester United fans tweets after the game, and to quote The Smiths, heaven knows I am miserable now.
‘This is the worst team I have ever seen’ and ‘pub teams play better than this’. These are just a few of tweets you will see during a defeat. But worst ever team; I mean, really?.
The only thing that can add fuel to the fire is when rivals/mates start taking the Michael.
Now with the age of memes and certain videos or gifs, that can go viral, particularly on ‘Football Twitter’
This can stoke fires as football fans would get a little bit of stick and would go home or to the pub to blow off some steam and forget what had happened.
Schadenfreude is defined as the taking of pleasure from another’s misfortune. I had this in May when I watched the Champions League Final at my friend’s house.
My friend was a Liverpool fan and I hid my delight at the result so as to not upset him.
The worst thing about modern fandom is that, with so much information at our finger tips it is very difficult to shield yourself from the media narrative.
The newspapers/TV stations can dictate the conversations of fans up and down the country.
Having an original opinion is difficult because of influences by pundits, writers and rival fans/friends.
The Cost of Modern Football
Adding to fan’s frustration is rising costs of being a football fan these days, demographics have shifted in society.
The cost of football is ever increasing and look at some of the sums of money being bandied about by clubs in the quarterly reviews. Such as Manchester United having around 300 million interactions on social media according their first quarter of 2018.
In fact, maybe a significant point in this is that Arsenal Fan TV were sent a ‘cease and desist’ letter by Arsenal, as this was hurting their brand.
Clubs are controlling their media more closely, as any negative videos or tweets can be a put-off for any sponsors.
Manchester United launched their new app on Transfer Deadline Day but timing wasn’t right. Many of the United fans asking ‘why aren’t we signing anyone and what position does the app play?’.
Within minutes of a bad result, everyone is tying to come up with the best joke or meme.
Cause for Optimism
There are still 105 points to play for in the next 36 games so it’s not over, far from it. Some fans are wanting the manager sacked and others ranting about owners and who is to blame.
If we take opinions after every result, you get Arsenal Fan TV (sorry, AFTV).
In the 85/86 season Manchester United won their opening ten games, many declaring them champions they eventually finished fourth.
We must remember a sense of perspective; you can lose a game and it doesn’t have to be Armageddon afterwards.
Fans become divided into camps after defeats or bad runs and we forget that it is only a game. Sometimes it’s best to come off social media and switch off.
Don’t despair after two defeats a few games in. I always think that you are never as good, or as bad, as they say you are.