Although my dear Mum started supporting Manchester United ever since the Munich Air-crash in the 50s, I've never been their biggest fan. Dad was born in Tottenham, so has supported Spurs ever since.
There's no doubt that they're a good team, and play to win, which obviously is as much down to Ferguson's management style as the fact that, even with Ronaldo still injured, they have a strong squad.
It was therefore good to see them lose 2-1 last evening in Monaco in the European Super Cup against FC Zenit St Petersburg. They were well and truly beaten, and even if Ronaldo had been playing, the other side still missed quite a few chances.
After the first FC Zenit goal, Man U started their usual trick of playing less than wholesomely, with a few yellow cards to boot. Whatever possessed Scholes to handle the ball into the net, a couple of minutes before the end, and when he was already on a yellow, defies logic. I suppose it could be argued that it was divine justice for the number of fouls and bad tackles he gets away with, using the excuse that he's 'not a defender' of course!
But what really summed up the whole rationale of Man U was at the end, as they walked up and collected their loser's medals from Michel Platini. Even before they had crossed the stage and were on their way down the steps, they'd all taken them off unceremoniously, following Ferguson's bad example. This is what gets to people, and makes Man U probably one of the most hated teams around - simply poor sportsmanship, and the inability to take defeat squarely on the chin, when it is deserved.
And, as in every organisation, the example comes from the top, so the players are merely clones of their manager, in terms of their display of poor playing spirit. Let's hope Arsenal and Chelsea et alia give them a good run for their money in the Premiership this season!