Hi, I’m Sabaa. As a long-time listener of the pod, I finally decided to do something about my love for United and join the American Red Devils. (So, thanks, COVID-19?)
I’m here to provide post-match recaps for MUWFC. We know about the disparities between the men’s and women’s game, but I’m not going to get into that. Instead, I’ll be focusing on the team that got promoted to the FAWSL in their first season back in professional football.
Why Manchester United?
I grew up in Ottawa, Canada, where I lived for hockey and the Ottawa Senators (this is relevant, I promise). Hockey was the most important thing I lost when my family moved to Asia. Thankfully, I found football and spent weekends watching the Premier League with my cousin. The first match I remember watching involved a team in red, white, and black losing badly to a team in white and navy blue.
“I want the guys in red to win, they’re wearing the Senators colours. The other team‘s already won, though, right?” I remember asking my cousin. “Don’t bet on it, there’s still an entire 45min left to play,” he replied. I’m glad I listened to him. That was the day I learned the importance of seeing a match through to the end. It was 29th September, 2001, and it was the day that Man United came back to beat Spurs 5-3 at White Hart Lane.
I didn’t know it at the time, but that 5-3 win over Spurs is what got me. I remember hearing Noel Gallagher say, “[a] team chooses you, and that’s it forever,” and for the first time I found myself agreeing with a City supporter. That’s exactly how I felt, though, there was no going back, and no changing my mind. Even as a kid back then, I knew a thing or two about loyalty (read: you just don’t switch teams). Also, we played entertaining football and left everything on the field. Winning felt that much sweeter — and losing felt that much worse — because we always showed up looking for the win regardless of our opponents.
Manchester United Today
While I miss Fergie’s reign, I know that our current form is part of being a football fan. I’m especially excited about our youth teams, and the Academy players, and our women’s team. It’d be fantastic if the men’s team just won everything, but our current form is exactly what will make the victories feel amazing when we get back to winning. When, not if, because of course we’ll be back on top.