Cockney Reds

There are 13 professional clubs in London. 14 if you include Watford who train next to Arsenal at London Colney. London’s population of 8 million people, therefore, have plenty of choice in what club they wish to support and follow. So why do some, like David Beckham, become Manchester United fans or “Cockney Reds”?

Comparing the cities of London and Manchester is like comparing New York City with Cleveland, Ohio. Both cities reside in the same country, use the same currency and adhere to the same laws but that’s about it.

Manchester has no theatre district. It has one airport compared to London’s five. They eat black pudding and mushy peas in Manchester. True, they do have very good Indian and Pakistani restaurants but so does London and more. Brick Lane will attest to that.

What Manchester has that London doesn’t is misguided arrogance. They think that they are the capital of the north. The competition isn’t that high though is it. Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Hull, Stoke-on-Trent, Sheffield and Birmingham. You will live a better life in Atlanta or Orlando – cities that American’s look down at – than you would in any of those dark northern armpits.

London knows that it will always be the number one city in the UK. That’s why it looks at New York, Hong Kong or Paris as it’s competition. In the 1990’s, Manchester twice failed to win the vote to host the Olymics. London won their bid at first time of asking.

True, Manchester has a music scene. But so does Nashville, Tennessee. I don’t like bands like Oasis and I hate country music. Plus, if Manchester is so good, why do Oasis live in Primrose Hill, London?

The man that sums up Manchester is boxer Ricky Hatton. He’s a good fighter. An ex-world champion but is he a world class fighter? Watch his last pathetic fight against Manny Pacquiao or his defeat to Floyd Mayweather. The answer is a resounding no. But the hype that he creates made me believe that he was not only world class but unbeatable. I was duped.

Before yesterday’s Champions League final, the hype surrounding Manchester United went into orbit. Not only were they going to beat Barcelona, but Man U were going to create history by winning back-to-back Champions League finals. Remember no other team has done this we were told. This epic feat would be more remarkable than Armstrong landing on the moon or the Wright brothers inventing flight. It’s a shame Barcelona didn’t read the script.

On Sky Sports and ESPN, the coverage before the game was all about ugly Man U fans arriving in Rome, draped in flags and scarves boasting to the cameras the margin by which they were going to win. Even the Man U players joined in, boasting that they could not wait to create history.

They make me sick.

This arrogance that Man U have is a reason why I feel so great when they get beaten. Yesterday was a sight to enjoy. Man U fans everywhere gutted. What they seem to forget is that they were lucky when they won the Champions League in 1999 and 20008. Two fluke goals in 1999 and penalty shoot-out in 2008 is no way to become Champions of Europe.

But the fact is that Man United have won the UEFA Champions League. London clubs have not.

Until this matter is addressed – either by Arsenal or Chelsea – then more Londoners will become Cockney Reds and thus despised by yours truly.

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