Oddman

Club loyalty? A self deprecating take on why we care.

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Wot? 

That turned our a lot longer than I expected. Working on trimming it down. :facepalm:

Feel free to discuss any issues of club loyalty, how you see it, examples of good and bad outs, why we should hate Rooney, whether you hate Dave, which transfers hurt, go wild.

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Is there still that kind of player nowadays?

Not unless you play for Barca, Real, Bayern etc a club where there is little to no higher tier to go to. 
If you play at the top, why would you want to leave? Only real reason is minutes. 
Players who are playing most games at those clubs, would likely stay there as long as they can.
But it isn't because they are loyal, it's because pragmatically, it is the best thing for them.

I think most supporters don't realise or want to accept that we are currently, no longer at the apex tier anymore.

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Not unless you play for Barca, Real, Bayern etc a club where there is little to no higher tier to go to. If you play at the top, why would you want to leave? Only real reason is minutes. 
Players who are playing most games at those clubs, would likely stay there as long as they can.
But it isn't because they are loyal, it's because pragmatically, it is the best thing for them.

I think most supporters don't realise or want to accept that we are currently, no longer at the apex tier anymore.

We never were.

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A good write up and I think you summed it up just as it is. 

I've been thinking about why we enter these 'relationships' with these players in the first place and I think it can be summed up by four categories:

  • Character - or a better term, their personality. Humble (Herrera?), egotistical (Eric), badass (Vidic), nutcase (Keane); there are many and we can each be drawn to them for whatever our own personal reasons might be. Aspiration, admiration or appreciation. We often like a good character and without them, a team might seem a bit robotic.
  • Looks - I know this wont apply to many people, but I think certainly it's a factor to be considered. Thousands of people almost mimic footballers as a means of being relevant with their latest hairstyles or tattoos (Beckham much..?). Or those who just fall in love with a small bearded Spanish man (:whistle:) or even, aspiring body builders who might look up to the physical specimen that is Ronaldo. Also in this category I think you can mention playing stlye and perhaps trying to 'copy their game' in your sunday league team.
  • Ability - Some players just take your breath away to watch. Everything is magic and you perhaps for a moment thinks it's reasonable that they get paid hundreds of thousands a week. These guys make the game worth watching. You can also include accolades won under this category. Such as someone playing a part in a trophy winning campaign (or any contribution. Obviously varies from club to club as some clubs don't win anything)
  • Loyalty - Finally, loyalty. It's something which as you mentioned, is becoming something which is less and less occurring. I won't go into that because I think you summed it up well enough. But we might just love a player because of how loyal they were. Giggs, for example (who also had ability in his locker, which you touched upon)

With that said, I think they make up the foundations of whether we are still in 'love' with a player regardless of how they depart the club and obviously, it's very dependant on the individual fan. An example;

Schmeichel is one of our greatest ever Goalkeepers and is generally accepted as a club legend. However, he ended his career at Manchester City. For some fans, that is unforgivable. They can respect his ability, but that ended when he signed for our rivals because ultimately, they value the club and only the club beyond any of the 4 categories above. Alternatively, there are many people who don't care about his career path because they value his ability and contribution whilst he was at United and will regard him as a Club Legend. Schweinsteiger being a very relevant example also for Bayern fans.

And this example carries across all players. Some might respect De Gea for him ability, but if it's only his ability that gives him merit (as opposed to his lack of loyalty or character..) him leaving for Madrid will see many fans fall out of love with him. Whereas Ronaldo had vast ability and he left the club in a way that showed respect, which is why so many of us would have him back in a heartbeat (being the worlds best player helps I suppose haha). What's important is respect though. Providing they show they appreciate what they have achieved with the club, it will go a long way towards keeping us fans connected with the club (and thus proves why Dortmund fans welcomes Kagawa back but would assumingly kill themselves than see Mario back). 

Di Maria had ability but he showed no respect, at all. Perhaps that's the Managers fault but I think for the vast majority of fans, they couldn't give a damn about him anymore. Welbeck, for me, I still like. I feel he was loyal to the club and just wasn't fancied by the club in a way similar to Rafael. He joined a rival team but I can respect that his comments were made to try and ease his arrival at Arsenal because there are probably many who felt sick at him signing. His hands were forced so to speak. If Ferguson remained, I bet he would still be here now.

That's what I have to say about that :laugh: That's without even considering Players and Loyalty but I think you hit the nail on the head with that. Hope you don't think I hijacked your thread or anything :d 

 

 

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Not unless you play for Barca, Real, Bayern etc a club where there is little to no higher tier to go to. If you play at the top, why would you want to leave? Only real reason is minutes. 

 

It varies depending on nationality and the individual. United are as big if not bigger for British players. I don't for a minute believe that an British player would leave United for one of the Spanish clubs by choice. The likes of Rooney, Scholes, Giggs and Ferdinand have all been good enough to play for Real or Barca but would they have ever moved? I don't think so, unless they'd have been told that they weren't wanted (like Beckham who would never have left United if it was his call). Other players who would have been good enough to play for one of the big two in Spain like Ashley Cole, Terry, Lampard and Gerrard haven't went there either. . . For players of a Latin extraction however - Spaniards like De Gea or the likes of Ronaldo, the draw and lifestyle of the biggest clubs in Spain is there.

I don't think there is any cut and dried "club A is more attractive than club B". I watched Owen Hargreaves talking to Schweinsteiger on BT Sport a couple of weeks ago where he was telling him that he left Bayern to come to United because Bayern "didn't have a club that could win the Champions League". Things fluctuate. Real and Barca will always be attractive because of the lifestyle and weather in Spain and that will always be an advantage for players from warmer countries.

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Two things that really draw me to a player:

1: Sheer bloody hard work and the single minded determination to give everything he has for the club, that's why I loved Robbo, Keano, Patrice - It's why I don't want to see the flaws in Jones. When I played myself, I was 100% zeroed in on winning that tackle, that 50 / 50 and that game - and yeah sometimes it ended in red mist, or a mistimed challenge. I want a player to realise just what that shirt means to me - and all the other billions of United fans. (Romantic, maybe - but I'm being honest here) As many of you might have noticed - I'm absolute when it comes to United, you're either with us, or you're against us. And yeah, I take it to extremes sometimes - speaking through passion rather than maybe thinking things through, but in short that's what this club does to me. The epitome of someone who "got the club" straight away was Patrice Evra - every time he spoke, I was thinking to myself "fuck yeah - he gets it". When Keano ranted and called people out for lagging - I was clapping my hands and thinking it needed to be said (shame he became so bitter in the end) I've been a "Manchester United fan" since I was 4, it's (aside from being a husband and a father) what defines me. Ask anyone to describe me, and probably the first thing they'll say is "He's obsessed with Manchester United".

I want a bit of that to rub off on any player who is blessed to pull on that shirt. From the under 8 in the academy, all the way to Wayne Rooney. They're carrying our hopes, and our dreams - and all I ask is they remember that.

2: The "X" factor. Something that marks them out as special, be it the cool arrogance of Cantona, the precision of Beckham - or the dazzling showmanship of Ronaldo (again why I'm drawn to players like Memphis) a spark to make an ordinary game extraordinary.

Anyway, that dragged on a bit, sorry. :laugh:

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 Loyalty in the modern football !? I will mention with pleasure and nostalgia  a great players likes of  Giggs,Scholes, Francesco Totti,Gigi Buffon , Del Piero ,Maldini ,Fernando Jero , Casillas, Raul ,John Terry,Lampard .

Juventus were dropped in the lower league ,but their squad with all the seniority players remained loyal .....Not always the ambition for performing at the highest level or a bigger salary was a main factor for  their choice.

If I missed somebody the list could be extended with Your help .... Some clubs a crying their players to show more loyalty ,but one look again at the same list and I see  a huge amount  of Icons   smashed at their last days . 

Fernando Jero- kicked from the president for not celebrating the CL title.....!?

Raul......removed from Mou ,Terry - subbed at front of World for couple of mistakes.....

 

Players who are playing most games at those clubs, would likely stay there as long as they can.
But it isn't because they are loyal, it's because pragmatically, it is the best thing for them.

 If I get for example Totti or Buffon or Del Piero this is  absolutely wrong  .  I am sorry ,but they had a lot of opportunities to play for richest teams and grab more money and silverware    ,but somehow remained loyal thinking not pragmatically. 

Edited by Pap1918

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It varies depending on nationality and the individual. United are as big if not bigger for British players. I don't for a minute believe that an British player would leave United for one of the Spanish clubs by choice. The likes of Rooney, Scholes, Giggs and Ferdinand have all been good enough to play for Real or Barca but would they have ever moved? I don't think so, unless they'd have been told that they weren't wanted (like Beckham who would never have left United if it was his call). Other players who would have been good enough to play for one of the big two in Spain like Ashley Cole, Terry, Lampard and Gerrard haven't went there either. . . For players of a Latin extraction however - Spaniards like De Gea or the likes of Ronaldo, the draw and lifestyle of the biggest clubs in Spain is there.

I don't think there is any cut and dried "club A is more attractive than club B". I watched Owen Hargreaves talking to Schweinsteiger on BT Sport a couple of weeks ago where he was telling him that he left Bayern to come to United because Bayern "didn't have a club that could win the Champions League". Things fluctuate. Real and Barca will always be attractive because of the lifestyle and weather in Spain and that will always be an advantage for players from warmer countries.

only a handful of players have been good enough,for whatever reason,they didn't go or indicate they would.....money,family,scared to be among equals and may not play as often as they are or did,could just be some of the reasons.........I personally,if I had been good enough to play at the very highest level,would've had zero problem leaving United,for Italy {I'm an old fucker,they ruled the roost during 'my prime years'

 

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only a handful of players have been good enough,for whatever reason,they didn't go or indicate they would.....money,family,scared to be among equals and may not play as often as they are or did,could just be some of the reasons.........I personally,if I had been good enough to play at the very highest level,would've had zero problem leaving United,for Italy {I'm an old fucker,they ruled the roost during 'my prime years'

 

If I was a player I'd move from any club to go to United if they were in for me. I don't care if it was Real, Barca, Juve whoever. To me, I can understand if you're playing for Everton or West Ham that those clubs can't offer you everything you need, but United can.

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 Loyalty in the modern football !? I will mention with pleasure and nostalgia  a great players likes of  Giggs,Scholes, Francesco Totti,Gigi Buffon , Del Piero ,Maldini ,Fernando Jero , Casillas, Raul ,John Terry,Lampard .

Juventus were dropped in the lower league ,but their squad with all the seniority players remained loyal .....Not always the ambition for performing at the highest level or a bigger salary was a main factor for  their choice.

If I missed somebody the list could be extended with Your help .... Some clubs a crying their players to show more loyalty ,but one look again at the same list and I see  a huge amount  of Icons   smashed at their last days . 

Fernando Jero- kicked from the president for not celebrating the CL title.....!?

Raul......removed from Mou ,Terry - subbed at front of World for couple of mistakes.....

 

 If I get for example Totti or Buffon or Del Piero this is  absolutely wrong  .  I am sorry ,but they had a lot of opportunities to play for richest teams and grab more money and silverware    ,but somehow remained loyal thinking not pragmatically. 

Modern nostalgia? Eh?

Casillas, Giggs, Scholes, Maldini, Raul, not to disregard their loyalty at all, but it's a lot easier to be 'loyal' when you're at the top tier. There isn't a huge leap from one top tier club to another. Either way you are a star, earn huge money, live in a first world nation with all the comforts of football stardom. When there isn't a huge gap between the club you're at and the other option, there's less incentive to take risks. You consider other things than money, living near your family, friends and relatives, keeping your kids in the same school. If the money and glamour is much the same, then playing local is always a big second consideration. 

Sure, Juve dropped down, (and a lot of players did in fact leave) but why did they drop? It was a punishment, not because they were in decline. They were sure to bounce back again. Things could have been very different if they spent three season in Serie B, don't you think?

Buffon and Del Piero? Buffon found it a lot easier to be loyal to Juve than to Parma, don't you think? Not like Del Pierro is a one-club man either, and again, both played for the biggest club in what used to be the biggest league, and is still a top 5 league. 


Totti is somewhat an exception to the rule, but you also have to consider Serie A used to be the best league in the world. There was in fact a time, many a player would have chosen Serie A over La Liga. While of course, Roma has never been the strongest club in Serie A, they have often been near the top. If they gave medals for runners up, Roma's trophy room would be as stacked as Arsenal's 4th place shelf. It's not as if he'd pledged his life to Empoli, or chose playing in Serie D. Still, Totti can indeed be considered one of the most loyal players to still kick a ball. A very rare breed.

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I'm sure even John from Liverpool would choose Barcleona over Liverool FC if they were in for him as a 17 year old.

Manchester United being tagged as the biggest club in the world has always been hilarious. Especially back in the early 90's. You had Scholes calling us that in an interview when he made his debut for the first team. They hadn't done anything in Europe for the best part of 20 years bar that one night in Rotterdam. :laugh:

The Premier League, it's TV revenue and the exposure it brought the club is what made Manchester United Football Club a force once again. The timing of our first title under Sir Alex, absolutely perfect. The World and pariculsrly Asia wouldn't have seen half our games 6 or 7 years earlier. Liverpool were unfortunate in that regard. Their late 70's and 80's of dominance came a little too soon. Easy to say in hindsight of course. You wouldn't trade the memories and trophies for where United are now if you were alive or present during that period. Four European Cups is four European Cups at the end of the day.

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