Being a Manchester United fan can get annoying at times. Although they win a lot, you often find yourself noticing that when they lose, even people who don't support the opposition are happy about it. It's similar to supporting Miami Heat, or The New York Yankees. In more local terms, it would be like someone watching Origin for the first time in the last 4 years and declaring themselves a die hard Maroons fan. Because you support such a big club, you get labeled as a "glory hunter" who cares nothing for the beauty of the sport and only for teams that always win.
This isn't true; not in my case anyway. First of all, anyone who knows me knows that I stick by my teams whether they dominate or they are being useless. I'm not abandoning The Blues for example, although I do wish teams could withdraw from a season and wait until the next one. I support Sydney Roosters too, and I had a bit of a whirlwind with them recently; wooden spoon one year, runners-up the next, back to bottom half finish the year after that, and this season has yet to really gain any momentum at all. The point is though, I'm not ditching them, and I never will.
In fact, when I first started supporting Manchester United, they were in the middle of a trophy drought, having not won the Premiership for 3 seasons. It was during a time when people were questioning the continuing management of Sir Alex, and all the talk was that this was the end of the footballing empire known as Manchester United. And, if you must know, the only reason I started supporting them in the first place was because a friend of mine showed me a video of a goal Ryan Giggs scored over 10 years ago, and my first thought was "Well, I don't know who this guy is or who he plays for, but I like him." Actually no, I lie, my first thought was that he looked a lot like Leon McDonald, but that was a close second.
Now, I've never been to Manchester, but I can tell you that I'm more than just a plastic fan. I'm not just a guy who looked up the Rooney bicycle kick just because it was on the news; I was up watching it live when it happened in the early hours of the morning, as I always am when United games are on. I'm not someone who ditched them after they sold their best player ever Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid, because I knew that no one man is bigger than the club, and I stuck around through fruitless times before United won back the League without him.
So why am I saying all this? Simple: Manchester City won the Premier League in the season just finished, and they did the double over United in the process (every team faces each other twice, and City beat United both home and away). One of those two games was the one now dubbed by many 'The Demolition Derby', where City spanked United 6-1 on their own ground. City have more money, an all-round better squad, and all the momentum. All the talk now is about the new kings of Manchester. City are now officially the favourites in the Manchester head-to-heads, and no one can really argue with that. In the process, people expect all the glory hunting plastic fans of United to fall away, and magically become City supporters because they are the new big boys in town.
Haven't we been here before though? When the "Arsenal Invincibles" conquered England, that was supposed to be end of United. And when Jose Mourinho's powerful Chelsea dominated the Premier League, everyone agreed that Sir Alex's time as a winning manager had come to an end. But time and time again, we see Manchester United bounce back, and so they shall again*. And more to the point, time and time again, the real United fans (whether they are Mancunian or from anywhere else) will be there through the good times and the bad.
Maybe it's true that for every proper fan there are 9 plastic ones, but if I'm not one of said fakers, I'm fine with that. Bring on the new season.
* In any case, my opinion is that the new threat posed by City is not as great as past obstacles. They won the Premier League on goal difference, with the best team they've had in years, against quite possibly the worst Manchester United team in years (Rooney is world class, most of the rest are either too old or too young). Now that Financial Fair Play will be put into effect, City have to cut their spending. On top of that, most of United's players are young and growing; this is a squad built for the future. City may soon have their hands cuffed when trying to buy superstars, but nothing will never stop United's ability to breed them.