Players on social networking sites – friend or foe?

Twitter. Love it or hate it, it has become a great place to get the latest football news and receive insights from Premier League clubs that you might not otherwise get. It is the tweets from professional players that are of most interest, unless of course you want to get embroiled in the world of the spoof Sam Allardyce (I can highly recommend that you do!). The personality of players really comes out, which isn’t always the best thing for players who are lacking a bit between the ears, and while Tweets many be of great interest to us, they are getting the players themselves into a bit of bother.

The prime example of this is Aldershot’s Marvin Morgan, who was transfer listed and fined two weeks wages after an outburst on Twitter in which he said to the Shots’ fans “I hope you all die”. Morgan was booed during his side’s 2-1 defeat by Hereford and responded angrily on Twitter with a rant that said “Like to thank the fans who booed me off the pitch. Where’s that going to get you! I hope you all die.” Not exactly a great way to get on side with the fans and the statement from Aldershot that said Morgan was foolish was something of an understatement.

It isn’t just Morgan that has got himself into trouble. Newcastle’s Jose Enrique didn’t put himself in new manager Alan Pardew’s good books by saying that he would miss the Tottenham match at White Hart Lane with an injury before the starting XI was even announced. Newcastle responded by saying that they were going to educate the players on how to use Twitter, a meeting that I’m guessing would have gone along the lines of “just keep your mouth shut”.

Even if players aren’t making Twitter gaffes, their mothers are on Facebook really sticking the boot in. Paul Konchesky has been getting a bit of stick at Anfield since his move from Fulham, something Liverpool fans have every right to do. However, his mum Carol was far from happy and on Facebook told the ‘scouse scum’ to ‘stop living off the past’ (you can see the rant in full here). Konchesky must have shook his head in disbelief when he saw that, but I suppose you can say good intentions and all that.

Social networks are a way to show support for players, something that Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas did after teammate Jack Wilshere was dissed by Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli who said “Jack who?” However, I think Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has got it just right with Twitter, with Tweets such as “Oh my days….has any1 else seen what Song has done to his beard??? Not a good look…AT ALL!!” showing just what it should be used for. Social networking is just a bit of fun, and players should steer clear of abusing fans and just have a bit of light-hearted banter!

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