Manchester United: 10 Reasons Why Reds Fans Hate Liverpool
First, can I make clear that I do not personally hate any team, including Liverpool. However, there are some I resent and some for whom I have a deep dislike, for a variety of reasons.
But I don't dislike Spurs, Aston Villa or Newcastle and a number of others because they aren't and never will be a threat to United.
Nobody is able to say with certainty what started the intense inter-club hatred. It may stem from history centuries ago; it may have been stoked by Liverpool's success in the 1970s and 1980s; and inflamed by Liverpool supporters' inability to cope with their lack of success since then.
It isn't helped by the behaviour of some elements of each set of fans, although it may have become less intense for some United fans since their "noisy neighbours" became a credible force in football.
Sir Alex has always referred to Liverpool vs. Manchester United matches as the biggest of the season. In their context, that is unlikely to change.
Everyone will have their own views about "Why United Fans Hate Liverpool" and the specific things they hate. This article puts forward 10 possibilities. Please add your own opinions in the comments.
They Keep Banging on About the Past
Many of you are too young to remember this day. It was the last time Liverpool won the top division title in England. It was the First Division Championship of the Football League in 1990 which means—that's right—they've never won the Premier League.
But that doesn't stop Liverpool supporters banging on and on about the past—and of course the number of times they've won the European Cup or the Champions League.
So just to put the record straight:
Manchester United have won the top division 19 times (including 12 Premier League titles in only 20 years);
Liverpool have won 18, including their last triumph in 1990. And the manager was—Kenny Dalglish—another reason to hate Liverpool.
United have also won 60 major trophies to Liverpool's 58.
So beware if you run into a Liverpool fan. And whatever you do, don't gloat about how many titles United have won, because it'll be like listening to a stuck record...or a recording of "All Our Yesterdays."
How do you ruin a classic pop song?
Give it to 3,000 Liverpool fans to sing. It's like a wannabe group audition on the X Factor. Hardly a note in tune, but sung with great passion.
And United fans hate it.
If you go to Anfield you have to put up with it...along with "Fields of Anfield Road."
They've sung it for years and it's their strongest connection with the distant glory days of the past that many of their younger fans don't even remember.
Matters were brought to a head in 2004, when it was discovered that YNWA was originally a Manchester United song, sung by thousands of Red Devils fans after the Munich Air Disaster and five years before Gerry Marsden recorded it.
It was originally written for the 1945 musical Carousel and United supporters adopted it to commemorate the young lives of Duncan Edwards and the rest of the flowering youth that died in 1958.
Then it was nicked by Liverpool.
Munich Chants and Alan Smith
The Munich Air Crash was 53 years ago. But that doesn't stop some Liverpool fans' disgusting singing at Manchester United matches.
To be fair, there is a growing movement from within Liverpool to try and stop it, but bringing an inflated plane to a match inflamed matters further.
It's hard to know why these things happen. The song started after the Crash and, to a large extent, had subsided by 1993. Unfortunately, it has to be admitted that chanting about Hillsborough led to some Liverpool fans restarting the song.
There is no excuse for any self-respecting fan to sing about human tragedy befalling the opposition. Unfortunately, a section of so-called Liverpool supporters let the side down in February 2006.
In the match at Anfield, Manchester United's Alan Smith suffered a sickening leg break and dislocation that were seen on nationwide TV. It was potentially career threatening and was in fact an accident.
On his way to hospital, the ambulance in which he and a Manchester United official were travelling was almost overturned by Liverpool fans who came out of a pub on the route.
What made that match even more memorable was that sections of the Kop threw cups of human excrement at United supporters.
Are these enough reasons to hate Liverpool?
If ever any Liverpool player has been more vilified than Steven Gerrard, let me know.
There is no denying he has been a world class player who recently has largely failed to fulfil his potential for England.
He has also let himself down with some of his behaviour and antics in matches against United and others. He leads from the front and has committed questionable fouls and, at times, got away with them, which only serves to inflame matters more.
He is Liverpool born and bred like Jamie Carragher.
In 2009, he was tried for an alleged assault and acquitted. This did little for his reputation with the public at large or Red Devils fans.
There is no doubt that, when he retires, he will be remembered as one of the greatest Liverpool players to ever lace his boots. He will be recalled just as long by United fans as their most vilified opposition player, whether by word, chant or song.
Jamie Carragher is a "one club player" who has made 676 appearances for Liverpool. That is 676 too many for United supporters.
For an example why, you need look no further than last season and a horror tackle on Luis Nani. The video shows that Carragher's studs were raised as he slid in and punctured the United man's shin guard, leaving a deep wound in his leg.
To his credit, Carragher is alleged to have tried to apologise to Nani but been prevented by United officials. To inflame matters further, Liverpool fans jeered and booed Nani. Even afterwards, postings on the internet attacked the United player for overreacting.
Jamie Carragher is an uncompromising defender who was born in Liverpool. In his autobiography, for example, he tells of how he "did" Rigobert Song in training.
He has also been arrested and cautioned for assault in 2008.
He epitomises much that United fans hate about Liverpool and won't be missed by them when he retires.
Rafa Benitez and Kenny Dalglish
By the end of his tenure at Liverpool, Rafa Benitez had become a figure of fun.
Whether through his ridiculous outbursts, or his burgeoning figure, which he put down to a love of English food, he made himself look silly—not least as Liverpool's performances started to slide.
By the time he left, even Liverpool fans hated him.
He added fuel to the flames when he launched an astonishing attack on Sir Alex in January 2009, which only made him look more stupid.
Later that year, having taken Liverpool to within one match of winning a title for the first time in 19 years, but facing United equalling the Liverpool record of 18 wins if he didn't, he came out with another outburst.
A year later, they finished seventh, missed out on the Champions League and Benitez was gone.
After a false start with Roy Hodgson, Liverpool reverted to the manager and cult hero who had brought them their last success in 1990 - Kenny Dalglish.
Even after United had won their 19th title and "knocked Liverpool off their perch," Dalglish's appointment also served to upset United fans, not just because all the chatter about the past reached another crescendo.
To date, Dalglish has won nothing. He's got rid of the despised Fernando Torres, leaving Reds fans with one less figure of fun.
With his youthful smirk he appears to sum up for United fans the arrogance and unwarranted smugness of Liverpool fans. Nor did they ever like Sammy Lee.
What made matters worse last season was that, after Wayne Rooney had been banned for swearing into a camera, Dalglish wasn't even cited for clearly using the f*** word at Arsene Wenger only days later. The FA explained this away by saying that Dalglish had not sworn directly into the camera.
Everything About Liverpool
For most of the time that Liverpool were winning almost everything in the 1970s and 1980s, United were winning almost nothing.
Week after week, Red Devils fans had to stomach gloating Liverpool players and managers on TV and supporters everywhere else, greedily revelling in their success.
There is no doubt that Liverpool for part of that period were the greatest team in the world, but they are nowhere near it now. But United supporters never quit and kept turning up at Old Trafford in great numbers, for years, never losing belief and keeping the faith. Now they have their rewards.
So as well as all Liverpool's successes, United's shortcomings became associated for years with the Scouse accent banging on and on.
And it's never stopped. It may have abated, but many United fans hate everything to do with Liverpool and their fans—the culture, the accent, the idiosyncracies, the misplaced and undeserved arrogance and the disrespect for everything United has achieved, its traditions and its history.
Yes, the feeling is mutual and that is why Saturday's match and every future contest between the two clubs will remain the biggest match of the season whatever City achieve.
Many people have wondered when and how the rivalry started and why it intensified. Some football historians have speculated that it was originally down to the commercial rivalry between two of the major cities in the North of England, at opposite ends of the East Lancs Road, only 33 miles apart.
Liverpool's rise to greatness was on the back of a major world port. Manchester's was based on cotton and its merchants depended on Liverpool's port for imported raw materials and exported finished product.
Once the Manchester Ship Canal was built, the city no longer needed to rely on their West Lancs neighbours, whose economy suffered as a result.
The two cities have recently seen a resurgence, with Manchester hosting the Commonwealth Games and Liverpool winning the European Capital of Culture.
And both clubs can count themselves as among the greatest clubs ever in Europe, if not the world. Between them they have won almost 120 trophies.
The trouble is that, just as much as Liverpool's success stuck in the throats of United supporters in the 1970s and 1980s, so the Red Devils astonishing resurgence under Sir Alex Ferguson hurts the Scousers.
It's hard to bear and even though United have every reason to gloat, Liverpool fans never allow them to forget the years when they won everything, nor their five European triumphs to United's three.
Whether posted on the internet or chanted on the terraces, the incessant reminder of past glories is constantly recycled. If Liverpool start winning again, the noise will be deafening and the resentment by Red Devils fans even greater.
Because Wazza and
On 22 January 2006, Gary Neville (nicknamed "Busy Busy"), ran to the Liverpool fans and celebrated a United win by kissing the badge on his shirt. Wayne Rooney was pretty pleased too, as he ran to the cameras.
Another thing they have in common is that they both hate Liverpool and have gone on record saying so. That on its own makes them heroes with Red Devils fans.
Gary made his statement in September 2009, deriding Manchester City at the same time.
Wayne's comments made six months earlier had to be removed from the Manchester United official website for fear of inflaming rivalries at the forthcoming match between the two teams.
Which just about sums things up...
Because They Do
There are even Facebook pages dedicated to those who hate Liverpool.
Why do United fans hate Liverpool? Because they do.
There have been fans forums on the topic and common themes, such as arrogance and the constant banging on about the past.
The simple fact is that for many United fans it's part of their DNA. Even those too young to remember the Liverpool glory days hate their Merseyside rivals with a vengeance.
In fact it is much more vehement than that towards City, despite the resurgence of the "noisy neighbours."
There seems to be too much history and reinforcement for it to abate in the foreseeable future. It will be there in oceans and torrents not only on Saturday, but also in the build-up to the match.
If you have any different views, please comment on this article, which has been written with an honesty of intent and actually no hatred on my part, because frankly I don't see Liverpool as a threat any time soon.