I apologise for quoting David Cameron in the title there, I promise it’s a one off. But trust me, it is relevant as the fast becoming infamous social media site has again been landing footballers in trouble.
Of course, I’m referring to Ashley Cole, who demonstrated for all to see that his squad number is greater than his IQ with an outrageous tweet slagging off the FA. He then had the audacity to delete it, as if nobody had noticed and everyone would treat him as if nothing had happened.
I suppose we shouldn’t expect any more etiquette from him, after all, this is a person who struggles to finish a training session without shooting a kid with an air rifle. Whilst the challenge of leaving the house without committing adultery is one he’s spectacularly failed almost as badly as his partner in crime Mr Terry. That was despite him having the stunning Cheryl Cole as his wife. Cole has now taken to the realms of twitter to express how much of a bar steward he truly is. You don’t need to be a genius to see where people get their generalised image of a modern day footballer from.
To top it all off, Cole took to twitter once again during the weekend, retweeting a statement of stick towards Alan Shearer, who criticised him on Match of the Day. This is a tough situation to be in as a bystander, who do you dislike most, Cole or Shearer? That’s like asking who you’d prefer to win in a fight, Adolf Hitler or Sepp Blatter?
Shearer suggested that Cole should be severely punished by being banned for Friday’s England match, I mean, is that really a deterrent for your modern day footballer nowadays? Cole didn’t receive this very well and pointed back to a case in 1998 whereby Alan Shearer kicked Neil Lennon in the head, but the FA didn’t prosecute. If you believe the conspiracy theories, they did it because they wanted to get on the right side of Shearer before the 1998 world cup.
As Cole quite rightly stated, kids in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Which is correct, but a disgraced footballer who’s cowardly enough to slag off the FA on twitter and then delete it should probably be keeping a low profile for the time being.
Sorry for sounding like a stingy old parent, but why are footballers so thick that they seem to not think before they type things? It’s as if they instantly bypass the thought process which allows them to realise ‘this could get me in trouble’ and rush to the ‘send’ button as quickly as possible. Like Shearer said though, what’s a £100k fine to someone who earns that with every six out of ten performance they produce?
It’s not as if Cole and co haven’t been warned, there have been many before them that have made similar errors.
Take Rio Ferdinand for instance, maybe topically, he called Ashley Cole a ‘choc ice’ only months ago, and got in hot water with the FA for it. I’m not sure on what grounds though, how can someone be racist to someone of the same race as them?
Ryan Babel was also given a £100k fine in January 2011 for posting a photoshopped picture of Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt. Whilst rather humorous for everyone else, the FA didn’t see the funny side and neither did Kenny Dalglish, who shipped him out of Anfield before his I Phone could refresh the page.
Even Sunderland’s James McClean, who’s barely been a footballer five minutes, had the cheek to take to twitter to rant at Giovanni Trappatoni, a well respected national manager, for leaving him out of the Ireland team. Can you imagine if somebody like Leighton Baines did that to Paul Jewell? I think Jewell would have scared Bainesy so much he’d still be in hiding.
And then we get onto the nation’s favourite sweetheart Joey Barton. Although more intellectual than people give him credit for, Joey doesn’t often help himself with his tweets. When he’s not quoting the Smiths (which is harmless enough I suppose) he’s ranting at somebody for something petulant. For instance, only yesterday he told followers to ‘go f*ck yourselves’ for confusing ‘le classico’ with ‘el clasico’. Ahh, the most terrible of errors.
He also gave the media a telling off for referring to him as ‘Joey’ rather than his preferred ‘Joseph’. As clearly demonstrated by his twitter username, “Joey7Barton.” Something doesn’t make sense there.
It’s not just players at fault though, sometimes they can (incredibly) be victims of twitter.
Take Darron Gibson for example, in April 2011 he joined the bandwagon led by teammates Rio and Wayne, and swiftly jumped off after two hours. Gibson was forced to cancel his account after receiving a mountainous torrent of abuse from United fans who were clearly much better footballers than him and had the right to label him as s**t from their council houses in Moss Side. Gibson is now earning forty odd grand a week at Everton whilst those Stella swigging chavs are probably still the same unemployed scum of the earth that they were eighteen months ago.
Don’t get me wrong, I like twitter. I use it myself, and have even been tweeted by Jason Roberts and Nathan Ellington in the past (don’t get too jealous). It’s a great tool for connecting fans with players but when foolish idiots abuse it, it puts it all in jeopardy. I’m surprised top flight clubs haven’t banned it to be honest, citing it as more trouble than it’s worth. Do Chelsea really need all this negative publicity that’s surrounding the club? Probably not, but then again, it’s nothing new. They’d probably all run back to Facebook anyway.