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To Twitter Or Not To Twitter
Greg (Tottenham Hotspur) 2 years ago
The idea of celebrities on Twitter is that they can cut out the middle-man. That instead of having their words twisted by journalists and tabloids and the whole media circus, they can talk directly to the public. They can take control of how the public perceives them and overturn some of the misconceptions. It's a noble idea and sometimes it works. Obviously, it helps if the celebrity can spell, has a few original ideas in their head and has some vague sense of empathy with other human beings: which brings us onto footballers on Twitter.

I don't follow many footballers on Twitter. There's a reason for this. I do try, but I normally last about two days following a footballer before I give up, exasperated by their grammar, spelling and general inability to type a coherent sentence. To be fair, there's no particular reason they should be good writers, any more than I should be a world-class footballer. It's not what they are paid for. No, the real reason I unfollow them is that as a rule, they are soul-crushingly boring.

Part of this is because they are told to be boring. Modern footballers have media training, which allows them to conduct interviews in which they state over and over that a) they're not looking beyond the next game b) it doesn't matter who scored the goals, all that matters in the three points and c) they are totally behind the manager. This same media training presumably extends to managers and chairmen telling players not to say anything on Twitter that might get them into trouble or tip off rival teams and managers.

So what we're left with, most of the time, is men in their twenties, most of whom have very little experience of the world outside football, tweeting each other "banter", explaining why the handball was harsh or telling the world that they've just finished a training session. It's not much fun to read.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule: Joey Barton's quest to annoy every living human on Earth has been aided hugely by Twitter, allowing him to wind people up on the Internet as well as on the field.
Rio Ferdinand seems to view Twitter as a way to further his own brand as some kind of multimedia mogul. (Perhaps the lowest point in Twitter history is reading Piers Morgan attempt "banter" with Ferdinand, Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney and other Manchester United players. It is like watching a load of drunken badgers trying to paint the Sistine chapel).

There are some footballers who are good at Twitter. Spurs left back Benoit Assou-Ekotto is unintentionally hilarious, tweeting about his love of satay and posting a photo in which he is trying to lick a policeman's back. Journeyman Rohan Ricketts gives a really good insight into the life of a jobbing footballer and Barnsley reserve goalkeeper David Preece comes across as a normal human being.

The idea is that Twitter can bridge the gap between fans and players. I find the opposite happens. The more I read footballer's tweets the more I realise how little I have in common with them. I don't tweet hip hop lyrics. I don't drive a fast car. I don't watch the same TV shows as them. They don't read the same books as me. We're unlikely to have a conversation about our favourite Woody Allen films. It makes me realise that the reason I like a footballer, whether it be Gareth Bale or Lionel Messi or Ledley King, is because they are good at football. Within that narrow context, they are amazing at what they do, and I am happy to leave it at that. I don't want to know about their love of Jay-Z or what comedian they find funny - I want to see them doing what they do best, on the pitch.

Blog by Greg



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Rubin (Inter Milan) 2 years ago
Another great article. Keep them coming Greg. I love reading them
Ruskin (Liverpool) 2 years ago
What better way to get a message across, if it improves their spelling then bonus. Take Barton in particular, has a great talent fast becoming a clone of Robbie Savage, only with a scouse accent. Stars of T. V. Or radio and twitter. Harry Rednapp the third most succesfull manager after bob paisley, then brian clough, has said in court recently that he can, t spell, never had a education, his education was the sport he loves along with the rest of that great family. You now have to listen too commentators expressing their own personal opinions on the masses, who quite frankly can only take the moral high ground on text book passes and shots and who haven, t a hope of emulating most of the players in the F. A. Iam Ruskin AND that's MY CALL. Great article
FootyRulz (Chelsea) 2 years ago
Stuart Holden's also pretty interesting to follow on Twitter
Achiox (Manchester United) 2 years ago
"It is like watching a load of drunken badgers trying to paint the Sistine chapel. "

Haha, ace!

Just visited Joey Barton's Twitter too (as a non-Twitter user).... Hahaha! Thought it was some kind of April Fools' Joke. Too bad it's the end of January. Oh well, looking for more laughs on Ferdinand and Rooney!

Have to admit Assou-Ekotto is pretty entertaining too - abusing the phrase LOL never hurts!

LOL!



   
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