Why do Tottenham supporters think they have the right to abuse Spurs players on Twitter. Tonight, Brad Friedel was the subject of abuse, a few weeks ago it was Kyle Walker after the home defeat to Chelsea who was targeted. Why would any Tottenham fan want to abuse a player from his own team? No player from any team should be subject to abuse. Football is all about opinions and nowadays there are so many ways of expressing those views – on radio phone in shows, on Twitter, by writing a blog and on Facebook. It is quite acceptable to express a view but there is no need for anyone to be abusive or down right rude.
Every club has so-called fans who think they have the right to do this regardless of who they may offend. Fortunately, it is only a small minority who are involved in such practices but even that small number is too many. After every match, especially a defeat, you can hear a wide range of opinions on the radio phone-in shows and at times they can get very heated but at least there’s an impartial host there to control the discussion. On Twitter, however, there is no controlling voice or moderator. I’m sure whichever side loses tomorrow in the north London derby, their fans will take to Twitter immediately after the game to vent their anger and frustrations on whoever has displeased them during the game. No-one will be safe from it – players, manager or the officials.
Writing this HotspurHQ blog each day I offer views and opinions on the manager, players and happenings at Tottenham. They are my views but only that and I hope they are expressed in a constructive manner to generate some discussion. Everyone has opinions on who should be selected for the team but only the manager knows what’s happening each day on the training pitch or how players are reacting to certain situations so it is only right that he makes the decisions – after all, it’s his job that’s on the line.
Brad Friedel responded to the abuse he received today – Good!
When Kyle Walker received abuse, he decided to close down his account but, I think, has now reopened it. It’s good that players take some time to react with supporters. Older supporters told of times in the 1940s and 1950s when the players travelled to and from White Hart Lane on the buses with the fans but we’ve long moved away from that situation. It would be a terrible shame if players were forced to close down Twitter accounts for fear of becoming the target of abuse from certain sections of the fans. Ordinary supporters appreciate the contact made through Twitter and there are a number of Spurs players who tweet including Friedel, Walker, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Aaron Lennon, Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul, Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor as well as many of the younger and Academy players. Many former players also contribute to the debate about Spurs with their contribution and interaction with supporters – Micky Hazard, Graham Roberts, Gary Lineker and Chris Waddle. Long may they all continue to do so without becoming the target of opinionated and abusive ‘fans’.
How would John Pratt have coped at Tottenham if there had been Twitter in his day? It was a long time before Pratt was accepted by Tottenham fans but he went on to make 415 appearances for the club and scored 49 goals during eleven years at White Hart Lane. He was part of the 1972 UEFA Cup winning squad and in the 1973 League Cup winning team. He has his own Tribute page on the best and most informative of Tottenham websites, Topspurs. If Twitter had been around in the 1970s, Pratt might never have had the chance to develop as a player for Spurs. There are many other players who could be included in that category of players who were not the fans favourites but at least they only had to put up with the catcalls from the terraces.
First it was the booing at White Hart Lane when results didn’t go as had been hoped and now supporters abusing players on Twitter. Those involved in such practices are letting every Tottenham supporter down. What is achieved by such behaviour? Nothing! No player ever goes out to do less than his best and be fully committed to the cause of the team.
Supporters need to step back before pressing the return key and sending off their instant thoughts on everything that goes on with Spurs.