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Manchester United: Wanting your team to lose – Is it acceptable?

Yesterday, Manchester United surprised the Premier League. A sentence that has normally been used in a bad way rather than good for several years now. They managed to beat Tottenham 2-1 at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho couldn’t get revenge on his former side like we all expected him to. The tactically suspect and inexperienced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now bought himself more time at the Red Devils. As a result, the victory could be ‘bitter-sweet’ for some fans.

The Norwegian’s permanent appointment hasn’t improved the side. In fact they’ve gone backwards since he’s been ‘at the wheel’. The win, as aforementioned, came as a shock for many. A brace from Marcus Rashford was enough for an impressive United side on the night to see out an uninspiring Spurs. Plenty of work for the Special One to do.

Manchester United

Short term pain, long term gain?

But what was interesting was seeing some fans online wanting their team to lose this game and the Manchester derby over the weekend. Typically, an attitude like this is looked down on by fans. The idea of wanting the team you’ve supported since your childhood to lose a game is unthinkable for most fans. Casuals, hard core, anyone.

Hypothetically, let’s say Solskjaer got beaten by Tottenham against his predecessor, followed by a hammering at the Etihad on Saturday. It’s popular opinion that the former striker would be out of the door. As unambitious and out of touch the Glazer family are, surely they wouldn’t persist with a manager with a sub 30% Premier League win rate?

A large number of Manchester United fans would consider that the correct decision. As much as they love their treble winning goal scorer, his time in management has been completely unconvincing. So is wishing your team and your manager to lose wrong? Is this opinion acceptable?

Manchester United

Manchester United support – Two sides

On one hand rationally it makes sense. Short term pain leads to long term gain. With Solskjaer sacked, there’s a good chance Mauricio Pochettino would be appointed. Someone with a track record of rebuilding sides. Certainly a better manager than Ole. Instead now after this win, he’s likely to now be given more time. Despite being 3 points away from 13th place and 8 points away from the Top 4. When you put it like that, it makes sense.

However on the other hand, morally wanting your club to lose in unfathomable for most fans. Through thick and thin, supporting your boyhood club is a must. Otherwise you’re not considered a ‘true fan’. Classic Twitter. This is a very subjective topic. Some fans, despite sharing the opinion he’s not right for the job, will continue backing him and cheering the team on to win. Something you have to respect considering the Ed Woodward’s views on the matter. Giving someone time only works when there’s a vision or signs of progress. As a neutral, yesterday’s game seems like an anomaly when looking over his whole period in charge.

Where do you stand on this matter? Let us know on Twitter @TasteofFtbl

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