We are living in an age where the official Twitter accounts for football clubs are becoming more and more outspoken. Gone are the days where toeing the line and professionalism is the only thing to come out the official channels of a club. In recent times, those that are running the accounts have been given permission to be slightly more quirky and humorous with their take on football around the world.
Most of the time a humorous tweet from a clubs official account is well appreciated by the fans and it can be retweeted thousands of times as everyone pokes a bit of harmless fun at each other. Take Roma’s tweet during the opening game of the season between Manchester United and Leicester City as an example where United were awarded a penalty in the first minute.
Not one to miss a moment to join in, Roma quoted the tweet from the Premier League stating that a penalty had been awarded to United by saying ‘looks like the Premier League is back then’. That received over thirty-two thousand retweets and over one hundred thousand likes.
Even Manchester United fans would have laughed at that and it was all in good taste.
Looks like the Premier League is back then https://t.co/h9iKRiiYMG
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 10, 2018
The problem with taking liberties is that someone will inevitably go too far sooner or later, and that happened when Bayer Leverkusen mocked Petr Cech for his wayward back pass against City that almost resulted in one of the all-time most bizarre own goals in Premier League history.
It was a bizarre bit of football from Cech that looks all the more unfathomable the more you watch it. It’s apparent the Arsenal shot-stopper didn’t know where his net was and had his angles all wrong as he tried to find a defender with a pass that narrowly shaved his goal-line and went out for a corner. Leverkusen ridiculed Cech by saying ‘we might know a guy’ above the video of Cech making the pass. The Bundesliga club was obviously making mention of Bernd Leno who is
currently on the bench for Arsenal after having left Leverkusen for the Emirates in the summer. It was in poor taste and the backlash has been strong which prompted the club to apologize and call it ‘banter’.
The problem for Cech and Arsenal is that Leverkusen’s dig has made it more of a story and now there are doubts hovering over the 36-year-olds ability to distribute effectively from the back as Emery wants. The last thing Arsenal need is more confidence issues for a squad where the self-belief is at an all-time low. No one is tipping this team to succeed and there’s no place more evident to see that then on the Betfair exchange where Arsenal’s Premier League odds 2019 are at 64/1.
Cech felt so aggrieved he felt he had to respond to the German club.
.@Arsenal we share important values which make us a big club not only on the football side . Fair competition, professionalism and sportsmanship are the biggest ones you teach young footballers and it’s sad to see when other clubs don’t share the same values. .@bayer04_en
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) August 13, 2018
And they apologised (sort of….) when they responded: “Hi Petr. It seems our joke about wanting to see Leno, our former player, in action has been taken a bit more harshly/personally than intended. It was only a bit of banter. We’re all for the values you’ve stated and wish you and your big club all the best. Nice 1v1 save on Aguero!”
A confidence crisis at the back often filters through to the rest of the team and has a detrimental effect on the morale of a group. When goalkeepers make mistakes it isn’t easily forgotten and you only have to look at Loris Karius to see how a career at the very top can plunge downwards in an uncontrollable fall in the blink of an eye after a careless error.
Cech will be consumed by what happened on Sunday at the Emirates and even more so now that another club has seen fit to taunt him about it via social media. It’s hard to say if Cech will be able to execute Emery’s plans despite being one of the world’s best goalkeepers but no one should be surprised if more mistakes take place because of the knock his confidence has taken.
Will this attention on one second of a game affect his confidence?