A lot has been said recently about social media in football, and it’s often been for the wrong reasons. Twitter for most footballers seems to be the platform of choice, it is for me too, and we’re now seeing more managers become active on there also.
Wednesday fans will be aware that Garry Monk uses Twitter, especially after his first tweet since being announced as our new manager, but is this a good thing, or a is it something managers should avoid?
On seeing the new manager’s initial tweet thanking everyone for the welcome, I did check the comments as I was sure some of our fan base would have warned Garry Monk about what to expect from a select few of our lot on social media. As a result, I started thinking about the positives and negatives which could develop as a result of a manager using Twitter.
I think the first thing to note is that there are members of the Wednesday fanbase who overstep the mark at times when it comes to what they say online. While this is the minority, with these people often being called out by decent supporters, it is the minority at times who seem to shout the loudest and therefore get noticed, gaining the attention they crave for all the wrong reasons.
Wednesday won’t win every game, and they won’t turn in epic performances week in week out, so criticism is sure to be fired in the manager’s direction at times, and more so when he’s active on Twitter. I don’t think criticism is necessarily a bad thing, and neither are opinions, as long as they’re put across respectfully.
Carlos and Lee Bullen have both received hammer during their time at Wednesday, and some of it did cross the line, in my opinion. What you will find are people who seem to believe being blocked by a football manager or player is something to be proud of, with the same people then going on to criticise them for blocking people.
A person’s timeline is theirs to use however they see fit. If they don’t wish to allow specific users who may be disrespectful towards them, or continually hammering them, to be able to interact with them anymore, then that’s their choice entirely.
In an era where mental health is a big deal, I think getting criticised continuously is only going to affect someone negatively. So, the block or mute button is often the perfect solution. I don’t think somebody should necessarily be pulled up for deciding on a course of action which is best for them.
There are, of course, positives which come with a manager being on social media. I feel it’s essential for there to be a connection between everyone when it comes to a football club, and social media is perhaps now the most direct way to make that happen.
As Wednesday fans, we naturally have a thirst for the goings-on at the club, so with the manager being active on Twitter we may get access to a bit more from the inside. A glance at Garry Monk’s timeline also shows he regularly updates supporters with his thoughts and opinions along the way too, which should prove to be entertaining throughout the season.
Something I noticed previously about our new manager via Twitter is that he’s very community-focused and keen to make an impact in that respect. It’s another way in which being on social media can be a positive, especially as it will help to raise awareness when it comes to fundraising activities and events.
The positives of a manager and more specifically Garry Monk, being on Twitter do outweigh the negatives. While there will undoubtedly be supporters who cross the line or some who seem to have an agenda because we didn’t hire Danny Cowley or another manager, they do make up a small minority.
There will always be differences of opinion on Twitter, especially where football is concerned, and it would be great if things were kept respectful for the most part. Everyone is guilty of losing their rag now and again, I included, but even then, there’s a right way and a wrong way.
We all want the same thing, after all.