To all my fellow disillusioned Manchester United supporters:
My name is Cameron Toh (my friends call me Toh or C. Toh), and I’m thrilled to start contributing to the blog. It’s been so much fun interacting with many of you on the Discord server, and I’m looking forward to sharing more in-depth thoughts and analysis on the best football team in the world.
The Evolution of My Manchester United Fandom
My United fandom is mostly the result of luck and coincidence (a.k.a. destiny, I suppose). My first experience watching football was at seven years old during the 2002 World Cup, a really exciting time personally as my mom’s side of the family is Korean. We found ourselves glued to the TV filled with pride watching a young Park Ji-sung lead an upstart South Korea on a shocking run to the semifinals in his home World Cup. Fast forward three years later, I was flipping through the channels one Saturday morning and stumbled upon my football hero kicking a ball around the pitch in a different red jersey, for some team called Manchester United. Naturally, I decided right then and there to become a United fan, and the rest, as the people like to say, is history.
Growing up in the middle of New York City as a rabid New York Yankees fan, I had unreasonably high expectations for all of my favorite teams: win the championship or bust. This was no different with Manchester United, and boy did they not disappoint. From that magical night in Moscow in 2008 to Robin van Persie’s heroics during the 2012-13 Premier League campaign, my teenage years were filled with the joy of watching Gary Neville and Nemanja Vidic lift trophy after trophy after trophy. Moreover, I loved watching those United squads made up of men who put the badge above everything else. Players such as Park, Vidic, Wayne Rooney, and Paul Scholes realized that commitment to a team-first mentality was the only way to achieve a sustained run of winning, an attitude I can only wish many of the current Manchester United squad members would take on.
These days, as the shift from Fergie Time FC to Social Media Engagement FC continues, it pains me to see this fabled institution slowly decay due to apathy and mismanagement from the top. The failure to recognize that the Manchester United brand is defined first and foremost by winning trophies has left me sad, frustrated, and at times, hopeless. It’s a dream of mine to attend a Champions League match at Old Trafford one day. Let’s hope I won’t have to wait too long to even have that opportunity again.
My Role at the Blog
As for what you can expect from me, I love watching the matches as much as anyone, but I’m much more interested in the intersection between football and business, economics, politics, cultural exchange, etc. and hope to write some features on those topics (Super League retrospective, anyone?). You can also follow me on Twitter, where you can find me taking Manchester United, US Soccer, the New York Yankees, and Formula 1 way too seriously. I’d like to thank Alex and John for giving me the opportunity to become more involved in the American Red Devils community and can’t wait to get started!
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