The Theatre of Dreams — what an epic label for a stadium, a modern-day coliseum for the beautiful game. Manchester United, the names of greats dribbling off the tongue, a club as synonymous with football as David Hasselhoff is with Baywatch and power ballads.
Watching games with Manchester United supporters has never been that exciting — there’s always an air of suffocating confidence in the room. Not to say they haven’t had anxious moments in the past, but those used to come in the form of nail-biting last-ditch thrillers against Europe’s footballing elite, not in 2-2 draws with the lumbering clubs at the bottom of the Premier League table. This season has changed the atmosphere in pubs and around bum-moulded sofas worldwide. The air is just as tense, but the confidence has shifted into an oppressive uncertainty. If the club stays where it is, it will be its lowest placing in the history of its time in the Premier League (which sounds worse than it is, as it was called Division 1 up until 1992).