It was one fine night, as usual, like any other night.. I was out with my good friend Hamzah to watch just another football match. I can vaguely recall it was Man Utd against who, but that one will for sure be a night to remember. Hamzah, being the true genuine fan of football, Red Devil inside out, left and right, is always a good mate to have some chatter over the English Premier League matches. With every tactics deployed, all the greats that carved their name in the devil’s hall of fame, all the 4-4-2 magazines flipped, he is there all the way.
Back to our outing that one night, Hamzah invited one of his friends, Rushdi (not his real name) to join our EPL session. And he brought a friend along, Kamil (not his real name either) to support their ‘beloved’ team, Manchester United. We were talking and discussing about all the happenings of the EPL all the way. The match was tight and Manchester was struggling to score as their opponent defended well. And then Kamil (still not his real name) started giving his opinion about the match. “Hey.. ape laaa Ferguson ni.. asyik main 5 orang kat tengah.. Aku dah cakap.. Manchester mana bleh main 4-5-2.. Liverpool bleh laa main 5 orang kat tengah. Manchester patut main 4 midfield je..”. Hamzah and I looked at each other, we were strucked in awe by his analysis of the match. Rushdi added “A’ah laa.. Man U mana bleh main 5 orang kat tengah.. tak kena gaya”. And then he added some trash talk about Chelsea. Well, being a Chelsea fan, its inevitable to get some trash talk from envied rival fans. But somehow his trash talk doesn’t affect me at all.. I smiled.
I raised an eyebrow to Hamzah, and he just smiled also. We agreed on something at that moment. Rushdi and Kamil kept on with their trash talk.. Trying to provoke me in trashing Man U in return. They kept repeating it on and on.. about reverting to 4 midfields and Ferguson is an idiot to deploy 4-5-2 which only Liverpool can pull out. I laughed.. and say “Chelsea can always work something out, with 4-4-2 or even 4-3-3, if I count it right laaa..”. I dropped some hint. The pair replied by saying “Cuba laa Chelsea try and be adventurous sket.. main 4-5-2 macam Liverpool.. mana tau bleh jadi champion balik”. I smelled sarcasm there.. but somehow.. I’m not affected. Hamzah’s smiled, of some sort of an embarrassment. “I have to do something” was written all over his face. So Hamzah added before the pair could reply “Hmm… maybe kalo Van Der Sar naik atas bleh laa kot main 4-5-2”. Still, persistently the pair argued on why do they need Van Der Sar to come up and trying to trash talk Hamzah of not being a true football fan and tried to back a Chelsea fan. That was it, I need to say it directly now “Hmm.. cuba kau kira berapa orang ada dalam padang kalau kau main 4-5-2”. Immediately they replied, “11 laa.. ko ingat kitaorang ni bodo sangat ke??”. I laughed and Hamzah laughed as well..
They kept nagging bout how they love Man U and stuffs and it went on for quite sometime until Rushdi realized.. “a’ah laaa.. kalau 4-5-2 dah 11 orang.. sape nak jadi gol keeper?”. There you go.. FINALLY!!! Baru nak sedar.. =D After that, they learned to keep their mouth shut and we talked about something else. Where did all the “Glory, glory Man United” go?? The jersey is still on their body but their mouth is talking about studies and how’s life and all. On the way back, Hamzah and I have quite a discussion on that incident. Being a true devil himself, Hamzah had to admit that there are a lot of wannabes who supported Man Utd to follow the bandwagon. And somewhat a safe choice in football where in reality, they don’t know shit about it. As for me, personally I respect all the great individuals in Man Utd FC, but the club as a brand, I’m against it. And I have to admit as well, that nowadays, Chelsea is pulling that kind of crowds also due to the overwhelming improvement they’ve made throughout all these years. Being a true Blue myself, I sometime miss the good ol’ days. We were mid-tablers but still with genuine love of the game and team with greats like Zola the magician, Gullit, Desailly, Vialli, Tore Andre Flo, Casiraghi (even for just a while)..
So, the love of the game can never be faked for the sake of being in the 'in' crowd. If you love em, you just love em.. regardless on where they finish at the end of the season. And guys.. please don’t convert your girlfriends into football wannabes, it’s a disgrace. And if they try to learn to watch football because of you, just say “If you love em, u just love em.. It’s not going to affect how much I love you”. =D