Why twitter has made it impossible to be a football fan

Before the internet it must’ve been pretty easy to be a football fan. You’d go to the match, then you’d go to the pub to discuss it.

This is probably simplifying things, as I’m sure many people skipped the pub to have a huge fight.

Nowadays we watch the match, phones in hand, barely looking at the game, focusing more on tweeting opinions as the game progresses. White hot thoughts on every incident, that an hour later read as contextless nonsense.

Then when the game is over you have to deal with the vast range of views. The doom and gloom: “that was a disgraceful bag of shit” and the ceaselessly positive “thought we were unlucky, and our right back did rather well”

Then you voice your own opinion “for a bag of shit at least it wasn’t too putrid” which is met with “were we at the same game?” or “nicely put, hate all these doom and gloom merchants”

Opinions become even harder to voice when you’re dealing with statisticians. “He’s awful” is usually met with “erm I think you’ll find he completed 95% of his passes” or “I am going to come to your house and brutally murder you, how dare you express an opinion that isn’t at least sponsored by opta”

Then there’s the way you show your support. You can’t wear a shirt, because you’ll be a hooligan, you can’t let your kid wear a full kit because your 5 year old will be a “full kit wanker” & don’t sing to loudly or you’ll upset someone nearby, and they’ll write a strongly worded post about the arsehole who sang all game and really ruined the atmosphere.

You aren’t allowed to like pundits as they know nothing, you can’t say it’s a game of two halves without being smacked in the face by football cliches, and if you wrongly predict anything some little Herbert will trawl through your account to retweet this. “Your failure to accurately predict the future greatly amuses me”

All in all twitter makes it hard to be a football fan, as too many people are judging us for how we go about it.

Suppose I could just ignore it all…yeah good plan

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Tough on Clough

For a year or so I’ve been telling people that Derby County are a great club, and provide a model that many Championship clubs should follow.

After last night I’d say forget that. In sacking Nigel Clough, Derby County have undone 4 years of excellent work, and made the sort of decision more in keeping with their hated rivals Nottingham Forest.

It’s too easy to say that Derby weren’t making progress, and in terms of league placings they possibly weren’t, but this was never a short term project, never about fluking a promotion, like the one that got them into so much mess in the first place.

Derby County’s disastrous season in the Premier League should act as a warning sign for all clubs. Short term gain for long term pain.

Clough took over a shambles of a club, with terrible players on huge wages, and slowly he dismantled Paul Jewell’s poorly assembled squad, and carved a club in his own image.

Progress wasn’t always considerable, but the team was full of youth team graduates and free signings, played football in the right way, and were always moving in the right direction.

If Nigel Clough had been given this season, and hadn’t pushed the club on, then the time might have been right to go in another direction, as it is they’ve pulled the trigger too soon.

I might be wrong, but I suspect that Derby might start longing for the steady progression made under Nigel Clough, as they inevitably undo his work by taking a punt on an expensive big name manager.

If you post a blog on twitter, will anybody be around to read it

I’ll be honest, as I believe that’s the best approach, but every time I tweet anything I’m hoping to see a long stream of retweets.

Saying something that strikes a chord with people is arguably the best thing about twitter. Whether it’s funny, insightful, or just a furious rant, it’s good to see that people concur with your thoughts.

So, continuing with my honesty tact; every time I post a blog I hope for a huge reaction and a readership of millions.

It’s absurd, but it’s the childish hope that you’ll be discovered after doing very little work, and then be propelled to stardom that makes you try anything.

For a brief period, around 2010, anything I posted received a large volume of praise & a lot of readers. For a brief period I thought I could achieve my goal of being a football journalist. The praise obviously made me delirious.

I’m not sure when things changed though, but change it has. I get very few retweets, posts rarely get any kind of readership, and as a result the motivation to write has diminished.

It’s no bad thing, and the reasons for it are plentiful, but it seems everyone has a blog these days & rather than spread the word about others they focus on promoting their own.

This over saturation leads to people carefully selecting what they read. Nobody wants to read 18 strikingly similar pieces about their clubs new signing, for example.

There is also a lack of genuinely interesting stuff out there, and unless you’re an original thinker or very funny on a consistent basis, it’s not likely too many will read what you post.

It’s seen many great bloggers retire, some post rarely, and although the quality still remains, the passion and the drive appears to have gone.

I had my time in the spotlight, but like a tv soap actor who pursued his dream of being a pop star only to fail after one song, I just live in hope that people don’t realise it’s me serving them in Burger King.

Why should we help the Premier League? They’ve damaged enough talent already

Not my snappiest title ever, and in truth I’ll probably hone it later.

A good friend is a Derby County fan, and often speaks highly of Will Hughes. An English footballer with a Spanish football brain, by all accounts.

Humour me for 90 seconds, please. Hypothetical situation coming up.

Now let’s say Hughes, still only 18, signs for Liverpool. How is that going to go down?

“I’ve always been a Liverpool fan deep down” says a beaming Hughes, squirming because Brendan Rogers has his arm around him a little too tightly.

A few games go by, and Hughes is yet to play. He gets his chance in the league cup, but a midfield of Hughes & Joe Allen doesn’t quite dominate and Liverpool are out.

Six months later he’s made a handful of appearances, but never got a run of games & is being considered a flop by some at Anfield.

Even a poem written for him by Dave Kirby & a ride on the back of Ian Ayre’s motorbike can’t make Hughes feel at home.

As a new season begins, Hughes is loaned out to Middlesbrough for the season. He does ok, and returns to Liverpool ready to play. A good preseason but Gerrard requests to play despite having a broken leg, and Hughes once again ends up on the bench.

A year or so later, he joins Norwich, plays well but his career is in decline now. Norwich are relegated and sell of their players to trim the wage bill. Hughes, quite a bit fatter now, rejoins Derby but it’s not the same.

By 25 he’s joining Bournemouth and people are saying “whatever happened to Will Hughes”

Magic lost, Hughes joins the long lists of “next big things gone wrong ” as Liverpool go off and buy some other wonder kid.

Moral of the story: premier league teams buy talented players whether they’re going to play them or not, then more often than not, they ruin them.

Story inspired by watching Ross Turnbull playing for Doncaster

6 questions for a Charlton fan

Huge thanks to Charlton fan Marcus Hoare for doing this at such short notice. Follow on twitter @marcushoare1

Hopes for the season?

Midtable maybe a late playoff push if we get on a run of form.

Do you have the right manager?

Yes undoubtedly , Chris Powell was a cult hero as a player and the fans will give him time because of that. Can’t think of many other managers i’d swap him for.

Who’s your best player?

Very tough one! . I’d have to say Chris Solly – exceptional at RB – shocked a premiership side hasn’t come and stolen him off us – although his new 4 year contract he’s just signed shows that he wants to stay. Honorable mention to Yann Kermorgant who on his day is absolutely unplayable and has scored some outrageous goals for us .

Who’s stealing a living?

Can’t say there is anyone in the squad that I’d feel is stealing a living – seems to be a solid group of players , which is refreshing after the Pardew days where loan players seemed to turn up every week.

Any Huddersfield players cause you any concern?

James Vaughan’s goal record at the moment is very good , Danny Ward has always impressed me since he destroyed us in League 1 at Swindon.

Prediction?

Depends if we have Solly and Kermorgant fit . I can see a tight game 2-1 Charlton.

6 questions for a Doncaster Rovers fan

We’re back from the international break, and Huddersfield host Doncaster Rovers tomorrow afternoon. What can we expect from our neighbours from South Yorkshire? I asked Doncaster fan Glen Wilson the editor of Rovers fanzine Popular stand for the low down. Follow Glen on Twitter @vivarovers

1) After a dramatic promotion last season, how do you feel you’ve adapted to life in the Championship & what are your expectations for the year?

Such is the disparity in this division caused by parachute payments I’d expected this season to be a struggle from start to finish, so have been pleasantly surprised by how well we’ve acquitted ourselves – Bournemouth game aside. I’d still take 21st place if you offered it to me now mind, but we’ve at least a bit of confidence to look higher up page two of the table if we’re feeling daring

2) do you have the right manager?

So far so good as far as Paul Dickov is concerned. From an initial reaction of general indifference to his initial appointment he’s not really put a foot wrong since, generally says the right things and his experimentation with formation and style has been pleasing to watch.

3) who is your best player/one to watch?

The new signings have made a significant impact thus far right down the spine of the team, from Ross Turnbull in goal, via Bongalo Khumalo at the back, and Richie Wellens in midfield to Theo Robinson up front. In terms of one to watch then young James Husband, still a teenager, has been gaining rave reviews for his performances at full-back having performed equally impressively on the left flank under Bryan Flynn last season.

4) which player is stealing a living?

Robbie Savage. I know its not what you meant by this question, but Jesus Christ the man can’t talk coherently yet has managed to become BBC’s main football pundit. He makes me beg for Garth Crooks to get a word in. See also Dean Windass doing match reports.

5) Is there a Huddersfield player who concerns you?

We seem to have an issue with the same players haunting us time and time again, regardless of who they’re playing for or whatever form they’re in; Jamal Campbell-Ryce is a prime example of this, he could turn up age 40 in a full-body cast and probably still get the better of our defence. I don’t pay that much attention to wider football these days so its only the players that fit into that category who I’m fearful of; the fact that the names Jon Stead and Adam Hammill are familiar to me makes me think they’ll cause us issues.

6) do you have a prediction for the game?
I suspect we’ll start brightly, nab a goal, look a bit shaky, escape some pressure, look like we might add a second only to concede an equaliser in the 78th minute and wind up hanging on for a point.

Finally, an England team I can support.

Last night was not a surprise to anybody, as England put in a now typically limp performance against an overhyped Ukraine side.

The national team now consists of a lower league target man, being aimed at by an ageing midfield duo who couldn’t play together when they were in their prime, let alone now where if they were supermarket produce they’d have a yellow label attached to them. Add to this a defence with all the balance of a one legged vertigo sufferer wearing a very heavy hat and finally this is a team I feel happy supporting.

It isn’t that we might be good if a fat rascal doesn’t cheat us by punching the ball into the goal, or if we avoid getting a key player sent off, we are now just bad.

We panned the river for a golden generation, but all that remains now is some muck, a used condom and a pair of old boots. The “golden age” is over now & what remains is worth less than nothing.

There isn’t a player available who’ll improve us dramatically, there is absolutely no style to our play, and the manager is a pragmatist who won’t take risks.

All in all it’s pretty hopeless for England, but I’m quite happy with that. I’m comfortable with mediocrity, I’ve achieved it all my life, so this is finally an England team I can relate to. I look forward to captain Nigel Reo Coker leading this team to a first round tournament exit.