United celebrate the 19th title

Tomorrow morning, I’ll wake up and head in for an English exam that will shape whether I go to university or not. Based on the state my throat is currently in, it’s not looking likely. And bearing in mind I want to study Journalism, that’s not great…

There’s a lot of change going on for me personally at the minute. My topsy turvy year will only become more so before we hit September. Results Day is 18th August – a day that will be plastered across the news as disappointed 18 year-olds open their brown envelopes on TV, before weeping and pretending to have ‘done well’. But my most important day in August isn’t that dreaded Thursday. Oh no. Bring on Saturday 13th August.

For that is when we begin the defence of our Premier League title.

Since last Saturday’s defeat in the Champions League Final, I’ve been gutted. Absolutely gutted. Bearing in mind I was born in 1993, it’s difficult to see United lose in a final, having seen us lift the silverware so often over the past two decades. I went to Fabric London for the MUST event, and stood with 2,000 United fans. The pure euphoria that came with Wayne’s goal is something I’ve never experienced before – there were two women in front of me who were sobbing at half-time, as they thought they’d just seen us win the game. They were still sobbing at the end.

But my new United shirt arrived on Friday. And the shirt I ordered from my girlfriend – a footballing virgin, who didn’t know about MUFC till two years ago – was worn with pride on Friday night. And the new season began at that point.

From what was seen in the papers this morning, this summer will be the most important in Fergie’s illustrious 25-year United career. If all rumours are to be believed, we’ll be signing David De Gea, Ashley Young, Jack Rodwell, Wesley Sneijder, and Xherdan Shaqiri – and that was just from this morning’s back pages. There’ll be plenty shown the door, too.

But the youthful players Sir Alex is aiming for will add a hunger and determination to the squad – one that I can only liken to Antonio Valencia. He joined the club from Wigan, to win trophies. He didn’t want to go to Madrid, as he knew he wouldn’t play. He wanted to come to Old Trafford, to develop as a player, become a first-team regular, and to win trophies and silverware that he could be proud of, and nothing would stop him from achieving these three goals. Which he did, very quickly.

I’ve been a United fan all of my life. I’ve seen us win 12 Premier League titles, and watched us win two Champions League trophies. I’ve also seen us get beat by some really great teams – the FA Cup Final against Arsenal in 2005 sticks out in my mind, as do the two Champions League Final defeats to Barcelona. But I have a sneaky feeling that this upcoming season will define the current squad, and possibly Sir Alex.

Many liken football to religion – the one thing that is a constant through life, an event you attend once a week, and something you believe in day in, day out. And when I wake up in the morning, the first thing that will appear in my head is my English exam. The second?

United.

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