Wayne Rooney gets sent off playing for England and straight away Twitter is flooded with complaints, people really unhappy with what has happened and obviously feeling they have to get things off their chest sharpish. Except these weren’t England fans slamming Rooney, the majority were United fans getting a defence in early.

Oh here we go again, United player becomes England scapegoat.

For hours it went on. Every criticism of Rooney was drowned out by a higher multiplier of ‘They’ll all Ingerlund this or that’. I couldn’t help feel that the knee-jerk reaction from many on both sides, which seemed almost a reflex reaction, was a little over the top. We’re football fans though and going over the top is our speciality.

Quickly it turned into the inevitable attack on England fans in general and as I saw United fans slate England fans for having a go at Rooney and England fans slate United fans for defending his kick out, one thought gradually made its way to the forefront of my mind. You’re more alike than you’d like to think.

Generalising seems to be the order of the day, England fans were painted as having compared Rooney to Messi one minute and wanting to burn an effigy of him the next. They were snarling, football know-nothings, who delighted in nothing more than having a go at Rooney, with the undercurrent being because he played for Manchester United.

You don’t have to particularly like a player to hope they do well for your team, indeed United fans should know this themselves where Rooney is concerned. The names United fans called their striker, the threats he received, the reluctance to accept him as one of theirs again – is now replaced by criticising others for abusing him.

Let’s be honest here, what Wayne Rooney did was stupid. It happens, it isn’t the end of the world however some people will overreact. If John Terry had done the same then United fans would have taken pleasure in explaining how it was just more evidence to prove John Terry was an idiot, those most outraged about the Rooney criticism would have taken most glee from it. There would have been calls for England to rid themselves of the defender and the media would have reacted with a barely diluted similarity. This is just football, all irrational emotions and partisanship.

Ah but England fans are worse I was told. England fans boo. England fans knock their own players. Manchester United fans have been spoilt by success recently, not much reason to boo for the last couple of decades, yet it has happened. Ryan Giggs has been a victim of the boo boys, but I was told by one Manchester United supporter this was understandable due to his poor form and attitude for a number of years.

The team are champions yet every single game at Old Trafford they’ll be groans and complaints and abuse of individual players, are we seriously supposed to believe this sentiment displayed at a time when the team is incredibly successful wouldn’t turn into widespread booing if they dropped down the table? It’s happened at Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea in recent seasons to name just three. Football support has changed, society has changed.

It’s disingenuous pointing to the barren days of the 70’s and 80’s and using these as a blueprint for how to support a team or as an example of how Manchester United supporters would react to lack of success in these modern times. The club hasn’t been immune from changes in football or society.

Another favourite accusation is that England supporters build up a new player too soon. Probably, we all do as it’s quite exciting to see a fresh young player do well. Indeed it just presents another similarity, Phil Beckenbauer Jones is a good example of that.

Almost everything that can be directed at some England supporters can also be directed at some Manchester United supporters. There’s no special breed of football supporter, every club and country have a whole kaleidoscope of them. The support of England and Manchester United is more alike than many would like to admit.

And do you know what? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.



Follow Annie on Twitter @AnnieEaves

Tags: annie, eaves, england, manchester, rooney, supporters, united, wayne

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While I agree with some of your points, the difference is that UTD fans (and other club fans), will generally moan about the overall performance rather than fixating on an individual mistake.

The England fans often do find a scapegoat rather than trying to understand what went wrong initially.

I'll give you four words to dispel that theory. Michael, Carrick, Dimitar and Berbatov. 



I think Park is kinda right. Those that lambaste Carrick & Berbatov are in the minority of United fans, those that having a go at Roo are in the majority. Nobody is mentioning the 5 YARDS of space (IN THE BOX) Terry gave their striker for the 1st goal or how Capello decided to play Jones in his 1st competitive game for England (and most important game) out of position.
What Rooney did was stupid, people are fair and correct to say that - that's a majority.
A minority will go over the top. If Carrick got sent off in a major game for something similar then many United fans would go over the top.
Indeed, rooney was a silly arse but that doesn't stop our defence from defending, or not as was the case.

The defending was shocking but when a player does something like that, for any club, then that's what's get talked about most.


Gervinho for Arsenal for example. 

Players Rating will be posted by most of the sports sites after every League game.

why dont they follow the same for national teams ? so we can debate abt the blacksheep .

if ur club player get a card will ya moum like this ?

If zidane or Rvp was ter in Rooney position .. they might screwed  A.cole , parker , Barry ..


apart from Rooneys Mess (where he played the anchor role and Linked up for both the goal) , Both the Goal conceded coz of A.cole poor defence .. he is nowhere..


Wazza covering barry and parkers position in midfield .

tho  Hart very good between the goal .. he can easily stoped the first goal.


Last Euro wazza injured , england didnt even qualified .

In world cup qulifiers wazza scored 9 goals and created 12 Assist .


Why  ppl just obssesd with Manutd players  ? :/ 




barry----parker--Milner (worldclass trio)


sub : carrol , henderson,walker,


Go England Go .

I still think Rooney is harshly viewed as a culprit in the first sending off against Portugal.  He simply puts him foot down as that is what we have to do if we want to stay standing up.  He never intended to stamp on Calvalho IMO.


He deserves the flack for the sending off agianst Montenegro (sp)



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