When your team plays badly, you have to accept that and move on to the next game. When your team plays badly, concedes six soft goals and professional footballers go straight on to social media sites to goad fans then you know that something isn’t right.
I’m on Twitter myself and follow many players and fans who support Aston Villa. If you were to analyse the positive messages from the start of season from them, about the new players we had brought in and how wonderful Sherwood was going to be, you would’ve expected that the Villans were going to finish mid-table. Now the opinions of those same people have changed massively. It seems to be Stan Collymore’s mission to argue with our fans. This is something that we don’t need at the moment. Not everyone agrees, which is fair enough. When Collymore wants to express his views, it’s as if he wants to be different from everyone else, causing stupid arguments. It not only means Villa fans argue with each other but that, as a club, we don’t seem very united at a time when unity is needed.
I’m sure we all know about the Lescott tweet. I truly believe that professional footballers should be fined massive amounts of money if they upset fans due to ffensive tweets. It shouldn’t be part of the modern game: it doesn’t help the player, the fans or the club. If players have opinions on something then they should keep them to themselves. I’m all for players and former players being on social media but there have to be boundaries as at the end of the day they are meant to be role models and they represent the club. Bickering between fans and players isn’t going to help get us the next generation of supporters to Villa Park – and neither is the football currently being served up. Likewise, it won’t attract buyers. If we want a wealthy owner to buy our club, we need to show that we have great potential and that the money is going to be worth the investment.
Social media scares me: someone can so easily cause a huge argument with one short message. It wouldn’t have been a problem a decade ago and while clubs can’t stop individuals from posting things on the internet but clubs and professionals have to understand that people will respond to those messages and potentially cause a storm. If the club want to stop this sort of abuse then make the rules plain and simple when players arrives at the club so they know the consequences that follow if they break these rules. Hopefully, this way the fans won’t react aggressively towards the players. I’m sure if Lescott hadn’t ‘accidentally’ posted that picture then he wouldn’t have received the abuse that he did but he should have known better and certainly shouldn’t have fanned the flames with an excuse that insulted fans’ intelligence. We have had too much pain this season and we don’t need any more.