Your Team In The Media: Number 11 - Man United

The Neviller is wonderful but some folk are on the TV simply because they have Man United on their CVs. While the fans rage at the idea that they're glory-hunters...

Last Updated: 13/09/13 at 11:34 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Football People On TV: Gordon Strachan

Post comment

Chippy arse? Aye...do you want some? Wee Gordie is never anything other than entertaining, even if he is wearing adult man¿s shorts as trousers. Especially so....

F365's Transfer Guide - Part Five

Post comment

Our final part, and the question of what on earth will happen at West Ham? Plus there is much to ponder for Spurs - evolution or yet another revolution at White Hart Lane...

All Articles

What do the papers, the TV, and fans of other clubs think about your team? In this series, John Nicholson and Alan Tyers look at the stereotypes, coverage and media agendas for each team in the Premier League. This week, it's the turn of the Manchester United behemoth.


Ex-player pundit presence
Gurreh is currently held up as the pundit to whom all others must aspire. And then on the other hand, there's Dwight Yorke. In between those two extremes come Gordon Strachan, Paul Ince, Mark Hughes, Andrew Cole, Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce, Peter Schmeichel, Alan Brazil, Steve Coppell, Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy and countless others. Basically, United on your CV is good enough for most media gigs. We've even seen Clayton Blackmore on telly. Clayton Blackmore! We very much hope that Sir Ferguson can be lured into a TV studio and can only imagine that chequebooks will be flexed sooner or later. His autobiography, out next month and ghost-written by the estimable Paul Hayward, may mean a lot of TV time and hopefully a lot of dirt dished.


Celebrity followers
Obviously nothing succeeds like success, so there's plenty to choose from. So what, possibly, is the excuse for this list of Ten Famous Man United fans from a downmarket click-bait football website: Kym Marsh, Ulrikka Jonsson, Thom Yorke, Gary Rhodes, Ian McShane, Steve Coogan, Justin Timberlake, Russell Watson, Usain Bolt and - at number one - Eamonn Holmes. That has to be a dig, right? Are they really the most glittering stars in the United firmament?


Back page leaders?
Still got the biggest balls of all, but the gap's definitely narrowed in terms of their media dominance. The hysteria of Liverpool, the billions of City, the Roman-Jose soap opera at Chelsea and the tightness of Arsenal are all bona-fide back-page bankers in their own right these days. But for glamour and global pull, you can't beat a bit of United. Fans of the business pages have had plenty to get their teeth into as well, what with the Glazers. However, a new manager means new power struggles. Fergie's loyal brown-nosers may not always be Moyes's men, so expect a shifting of the journo tectonic plates this season as new alliances are formed and old ones jettisoned.


Gaffer's media skills
Debatable. Sometimes looks like a junior school boy who has just gone up to the Big School. Everything about him is still defined by He Who Came Before. The sense remains that he got the gig in large part (solely?) because Sir Redface anointed him, and because some Scary Scotsman continuity was required. Interestingly, Moyes already seems far less intimidating a man than he did at Everton. Perhaps he is cowed by the scale of the job. The football media, having had a quarter of a century of being brutally kept in line by Sir, is ready and waiting for United to fail. Or even fall? What a story it could be.


Vox pop cliché fan
The Surrey Red needs no introduction, and has long been held up as everything that is wrong with the Premier League, and indeed the world. Back in the early 2000s, Football365 designer David Tarbox built a spoof website for a deranged Super Manchester Reds superfan from Thailand. You'd think that calling him Kok Wee http://www.geocities.ws/kok_kokwee/ might have given the game away, but you'd be surprised how many thought he was real. Anyhow, back then, there was only one club that a hysterical, plastic obsessive could possibly support. These days, Kok could equally well be Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal or City. Point being: United were the first club to really sell themselves to the world, and they did it the best. The sneers of others are the sneers of jealousy. Without the Kok Wees of this world, United would be just another big team in the north west of England.

Often unconsidered is how the Mancunian natives feel about people who may never come within 100 miles of the city identifying themselves as diehard fans. The Manchester Red tends to adopt an air of lofty superiority, specifically over the vulgar, jealous Blues, but generally over fans of all other English teams. He, of course, Hates Scousers.


Keyboard warrior ferocity
Due to the legendary sensitivities 40 miles to the west, United's paranoid fans sometimes pale by comparison, but they can go toe to toe with many Scousers when it comes to that strange mix of self-regard and paranoia. Worst examples paint the club as a downtrodden, persecuted underdog that everyone hates and act like this is a terrible burden they have to bear while bravely collecting endless amounts of silverware. This has spawned a cliché of its own: the ABU, which is now deployed as a defence mechanism against any criticism at all, as though not being hypnotised into obedience by the club means you are its sworn enemy.

Many haven't realised that not thinking United are the best at everything all the time, or that they only employ people who are brilliant, isn't the same as being unreasonably biased against the club.

Easily wound-up by accusations of being a glory hunter. Even though many of them obviously are: you're not telling us that the clubs who win more stuff are just accidentally the best supported, are you? Read below-the-line comments for good examples of this.


Club's brand
Glamour, tradition, history, Munich, attacking football, selling poly-cotton club-logo duvet covers to people in the Far East. Sir Matt. Sir Bobby, Sir Alex, Sir Mix-a-Lot. United is iconic. Whether its Bestie, Worstie or Alrighty. The United brand is indivisible from some of its players, who were football and cultural icons not just of the club but of their era. Even when they sign rubbish players like Djemba-Djemba or Ted MacDougal, they go on to be icons of a special kind of failure.


Outsider's view
The plastic's plastics. A club supported all over the world, just not in Manchester. Only has so many fans because of their success, yet try telling any of their fans this and they go mental. Annoying presence of United shirts on every high street. Kids who support them despite parents' allegiances to small unfashionable clubs are often held up as sign of contemporary cultural apocalypse and also general twattishness. Timed their run perfectly with the emergence of the Premier League, and were way smarter than their rivals commercially. The masters of merch and image manipulation, despite having some legendary drinkers and shaggers at the club over the years.


Archetypal news stories
'Moyes, still in Ferguson's shadow, dies aged 94'

'Rooney demands move, settles for more money, nobody wants him anymore'

'Manchester United launch own brand of tampon'

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

Read Johnny's book, 'The Meat Fix' here

Alan on The Ashes and more here.

Follow Alan on Twitter here or Johnny here.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

A

ll he wants are sharks with frickin lazers on their heads. Is that too much to ask?

mufc phil
Bomb threat on FIFA D-day

W

hy is the dinosaur trying to hold on to this.... Just leave... No one wants you in this position you corrupt loser. Let someone else take over....

arsenal121
Defiant Sepp blames minority

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Craig Cathcart out to build on a special 12 months

Northern Ireland and Watford defender Craig Cathcart wants to build on a memorable year for club and country.

Tim Sherwood defends Arsene Wenger's record at Arsenal

Tim Sherwood has praised Arsene Wenger's Arsenal record ahead of the FA Cup final after past criticism of the Frenchman.

Arsene Wenger keen to focus on future ahead of FA Cup final

Arsene Wenger will continue to look to the future, rather than reflect on past glories, if Arsenal can win his sixth FA Cup.

Mail Box

Players Must Stand Up For Qatar Boycott

Players, not bureaucrats, hold the key to boycotting Qatar. Also in the afternoon mailbox: Wenger is right to rotate, Zlatan can dribble, and it's Barca v Ajax in the budget final...

What Would You Do If You Were Blatter?

Step into Sepp's shoes, is the invitation from one mailboxer. Also: United already have their new number one, Rodgers deserves time, and the best Budget XI so far...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company