Why I hate Manchester United fans

I don't really despise any of United's players these days. Roy 'thug' Keane has moved into management, for example, and Eric 'thug' Cantona has disappeared up his own arse - one of the few destinations less appealing than Sunderland. The current players aren't particularly irritating. Ronaldo may be a stepover queen but he is admittedly talented and not especially malicious.

The manager remains pompous and petulant but the fawning from the media and the favouritism from referees is no less sickening than that received by Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal.

No, the most annoying thing about United remains their fans and there is no better example of that than the one provided by Pete Boyle, of Red Issue, in today's Observer. Griping about Blackburn, who yesterday had the temerity to give United a game, Boyle whines:

"I didn't mind how Boro played us, they have a real go at everyone, but Rovers rolled over at Liverpool then played like that."

How magnanimous of you not to "mind" how Boro played. As if "minding" another team's performance has anything to do with it. Rovers, eh? They've got a nerve. Having a bad game against Liverpool and then playing well against United. It's so unfair! They probably did it deliberately, just to annoy you.

This then is the crux of the United fans' arrogance: it's all about them. The Premier league's other 16 clubs are, according to those of the United heartlands - Essex, Cornwall and the Home Counties - just there to make up numbers. They're not supposed to try.

The implication that Blackburn are good enough to decide when to give a top team a tough game is particularly funny. How far into paranoia have United supporters sunk?

Memo to United fans: try taking a season out from the Disneyland experience you call being a fan and have a go at being a proper football supporter. You might learn a little humility.