It must be every football-mad parent’s worst nightmare: finding out that your child either supports or wants to play for a club you dislike when they grow up.
And it seems this is precisely what’s happened to former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.
The retired centre-back, who now works as a pundit for BT Sport, posted on Instagram this morning after one of his kids made a football poster with a giant Arsenal badge in the middle of it.
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“What is that doing on my boys poster!??!” Rio wrote in the caption. “Said he doesnt support em but wants to play for them at the Emirates😤”
There’s a little nod to Man United, the team Ferdinand holds closest to his heart following his 12-year association with the Red Devils, with a photograph of David de Gea tucked away in the bottom left-hand corner.
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Arsenal are more attractive than United right now
But Arsenal have clearly taken centre stage.
Perhaps his son is a little worried about how his dad might react if he says he *does* support Arsenal.
And who could blame him if he does?
The Gunners play attractive football, have some terrific players and could finish this season as Premier League champions for the first time since 2004.
For the next generation, Arsenal are currently a far more attractive team to support than say, erm, Manchester United.
Many kids who didn’t grow up with a strong connection to their local clubs in the 1990s and early 2000s were captivated by the football of Sir Alex Ferguson’s United and subsequently started to support them.
These days, it seems children are more likely to follow the likes of Arsenal or Manchester City - because of the football they play and their chances of winning major honours.
Kids turning away from United in post-Fergie era?
More worrying, perhaps, is the fact that even kids like Rio Ferdinand’s son, who do have a strong connection with Manchester United, are being drawn to other clubs.
United have been, for the most part, dire in this post-Ferguson era.
The football produced under both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal has been tolerable at best and nigh-on soul-destroying at its worst.
Ferdinand: United have gone backwards under Van Gaal
"Given LVG loads of time...the team have gone backwards since his arrival,” Ferdinand himself admitted on Twitter last weekend. “The style of football has no resemblence (sic) to @manutd at all."
Ferdinand has echoed the sentiments of 99 per cent of Manchester United fans here.
Few tears will be shed if Van Gaal does part company with the Red Devils this summer following a second successive underwhelming campaign under his management.
Manchester United fans: are you bored by the football on display at Old Trafford? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
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