Thursday, August 11

Has Twitter brought us closer to the players?

By @15yearoldgooner

Throughout last season, Twitter was a hot topic amongst people in football after several controversial moments on the social networking site, and as we draw closer to the new season, the debate about the microblogging service rages on.

Events such as Ryan Babel retweeting a picture of referee Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt, and later being fined for it by the FA, and Joey Barton’s row with Newcastle which centred around his controversial tweets have led for calls for Twitter to be banned in football.

Us Arsenal fans are very familiar with Twitter. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were the most well-represented Premier League club on the site – Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Robin van Persie, Jack Wilshere and Wojciech Szczesny, among a few others, all have verified accounts.

It’s a way of the players to keep in touch with the fans in the modern world where the relationship between professionals and supporters is growing more and more strained. It’s been a way of garnering good publicity too – supposedly out of the kindness of his heart, Jack’s been spending a lot of time with a young cancer sufferer Jack Marshall, who has taken Twitter by storm in an attempt to gain publicity for fellow sufferers.

However, there is a bad side of Twitter. It gives the fans platform to abuse the players, and it’s been a source of massive hysteria and paranoia. People have used Fabregas and Nasri’s relative silences on the social networking site as a reason pointing towards their impending exits, when in reality a statement like that would never come on Twitter with deals still in the balance.

And it seems like Arsenal have become wary of the dangers of Twitter by limiting our players’ activity on the site. Denilson was once the most active player on there, until suddenly he stopped tweeting. Then as soon as he moved to Sao Paolo, he was back tweeting – surely not a coincidence.

So while there are obvious good sides to having Arsenal players on Twitter, there are obvious down-sides too – another is that some players are susceptible to posting knee-jerk comments in the heat of the moment which they may later get into trouble for. I think the current state of affairs, with players seemingly limited to what they can and can’t tweet, is probably a fair balance.


Real Social Dad said...

When the we used to drink with the players in the pub was more protection of the players as it takes a bit more balls to say cheap threats to their face then these keyboard warriors do on twitter.

Ann Patey said...

I love being able to interact with the team and if we are winning the players can probably laugh off the Twitter abuse but if we're on a losing streak it can't be good to be on the receiving end. It's a tough question with no right or wrong answer.

Ann Patey

Post a Comment

< Ottawa Wedding Empanada Recipe