For all the positives that social media brings, sometimes those in a position of responsibility need to put their phones and tablets down and walk away.
There is a growing trend in football for common sense to go for a wander as far as Twitter and Instagram are concerned, and the latest inductee into the hall of shame is Fulham’s vice chairman Tony Khan.
He had just watched his side lose 0-3 to Aston Villa on Monday evening, and he didn’t hold back in admonishing his players before – perhaps a touch unprofessionally – revealing his proposed transfer dealings.
“I should and will apologise repeatedly for that performance,” Khan tweeted. “I promise players in and better efforts from this squad.
“We’ve looked to add centre-backs since Wembley. I’m sorry we haven’t [signed any] yet as two got Covid, we lost a free we thought was close and had another issue with a fourth centre-back.”
Chuffed to bits with Khan’s postings, no doubt, was Fulham boss Scott Parker, who played a straight bat when asked about the comments but who privately must have been seething. “I don’t know what’s really been said [by Khan]. I’ve got some sort of idea but that’s the modern day world – people have the forum and the platform to tweet what they want to tweet.
“Helpful? I’m not sure, but that’s up to Tony really.”
It’s the latest in a series of gaffes from players and coaching staff in the beautiful game who let their fingers run wild while tweeting while their brains take a nap, as these examples of social media silliness attest:
Messi Goes In
He always seems like such a nice man, doesn’t he?
But Lionel Messi has a fierce side too, and he let it out when it was confirmed that Barcelona were allowing Luis Suarez to join Atletico Madrid. The Argentine accused the Catalan giants of ‘kicking out’ Suarez, before finishing with another thinly-veiled attack on the club.
“It will be strange to see you with another shirt and much more to face you,” he wrote on his Instagram page. “You deserved the goodbye for what you are: one of the most important players in the club’s history, achieving important things both as a group and individually.
“And not to get kicked out like they did. But the truth is that at this point nothing surprises me.”
Noble Gets Stuck In
Known for his tough tackling on the pitch, Mark Noble went studs up into the West Ham hierarchy on his Twitter feed when they announced the sale of the promising Grady Diangana.
“As captain of this football club I’m gutted, angry and sad that Grady has left, great kid with a great future!!!!!”
Noble wasn’t the only one getting stuck in, with England ace Declan Rice liking Noble’s tweet and Arthur Masuaku replying with two sad face emojis of his own – the most touching of contemporary sentiments.
Rooney Lets Lingard Know He’s There
While not a specific attack on Jesse Lingard individually, Wayne Rooney was in no doubt as to why Manchester United were struggling at times last season – social media was to blame.
Speaking on his own eponymous podcast, the former England international referred to players more focused on their merchandising than their performances – most assumed that was a barb at Jesse Lingard, whose off-field energies are on a par with those on the turf.
“You have got players losing a game and posting something on social media about their new clothing range, their new aftershave, whatever they’re bringing out, which I find remarkable,” Rooney lamented.
The master of the not-subtle social media dig has to be former Barcelona ace Arturo Vidal.
The Chilean hated being a substitute in his latter days at the Nou Camp, and when he emerged from the dug out for only the last few minutes of a Champion League game against Tottenham, he reacted moments after the final whistle blew by posting an angry face emoji on Instagram.
And he was at it again following a La Liga game against Valencia, when again having not been used from the bench he posted a message – later deleted – which read:
“Don’t fight with those who are like Judas, they will hang themselves.”