Manchester United being referred to as ‘United’ has always been a bugbear for Newcastle United fans, and now Chris Sutton believes it is ‘disrespectful’.
The Magpies are currently above the Red Devils in the table. Eddie Howe’s side are in fourth with 24 points, with Erik ten Hag’s men a point and a place below them – with a game in hand.
Newcastle are upsetting the apple cart near the top of the table, and could gatecrash the ‘big six’ if they continue their remarkable form.
It’s been a brilliant season so far for the Magpies, who have only lost once in their opening 13 games.
And with Newcastle United above Manchester United, former striker Sutton believes they should have an honour bestowed upon them.
Sutton on calling Newcastle just ‘United’ now
As part of his Premier League predictions for BBC Sport, Sutton discussed why he will now refer to Newcastle as ‘United’ and give Manchester United their full name.
“I annoyed a few Manchester United fans when I suggested to some callers on 606 last week that just referring to them as United is a bit disrespectful when there are so many other Uniteds out there,” he wrote.
“Some of them were really nasty to me on Twitter.
“So I will refer to Manchester United in full here. As far as I am concerned, Newcastle United are above them in the table, so they are the ones who should just be known as United right now.”
True to form, Sutton did call Newcastle ‘United’ in his prediction, and backed the Magpies to win 2-0 against Southampton on Sunday.
Who’s that team we call United
What is the logic behind Manchester United just getting ‘United’? Is it because they have been the top team for so long? Or is it because they can’t just be called ‘Manchester’ due to their noisy neighbours?
Regardless, it has always irked Newcastle fans in years gone by – and it probably bothers the likes of Sheffield United, West Ham United, Leeds United – even Torquay United.
It’s almost second nature now; people call Man United ‘United’ without even thinking. But Sutton thinks that should change as long as Newcastle are on top.
His stance must amuse fans, especially given how much he used to irritate the Toon Army back when Steve Bruce was manager. It’s interesting to see how many people have suddenly changed their tune.
It feels like Sutton is simply on the windup. He might have to change which team he calls ‘United’ depending on results this weekend anyway.
But there is only one United for us and that’s the one in black and white.