Social media has almost become a sport in itself; individuals and corporate accounts strive to provide the wittiest commentary on events, the venting of passions can be now delivered directly to the smartphone of one’s chosen sporting target, and the race to deliver the funniest meme ends in immortality for the first one to cross the finish line.
With that mind, welcome to the start of a new and
exciting bi-weekly feature here at The Yorker. Every Monday and Thursday four of sport’s finest Tweeters will be paraded in order to enhance your social media experience. If you only find one new and interesting person to follow each week, then this whole feature will have proven to have been barely worth it. If you do not have Twitter then hopefully this feature will highlight just what you are missing, if anything. The four people will consist of a star at the top of the game, an ex-professional, someone involved in the media, and something of a wildcard. So without further ado, brace yourselves because here are this week’s Four to Follow.
The star: Victor Wanyama @VictorWanyama
Southampton’s combative midfielder is a comfortable gateway into the world of footballing stars on Twitter. His appearances in the Twittersphere are far more sporadic and inconsistent than his performances on the pitch. More recent tweets revolve around football boots and eulogising the progress of Southampton, but big Vic is worth keeping track of in case he can recapture the magic of some of his earlier output.
I had spaghetti and it was very nice i enjoyed it
— Victor Wanyama (@VictorWanyama) May 7, 2012
What an age we live in. People talk of the disconnect between footballers and supporters, but who hasn’t had nice spaghetti at some point and enjoyed it?
Morning tweeps yesterday i watched the paranormal activity 3 and today am going to put it in the bin. too scary to watch
— Victor Wanyama (@VictorWanyama) April 26, 2012
Everyone’s a critic.
Great team performance great results thanks to all our fans for the support tonight.
— Victor Wanyama (@VictorWanyama) September 23, 2014
Is this just a clichéd and expected requirement of a footballer post-game? Or is it genuine gratitude for fans’ unwavering support? The cynical will say the former, the realistic the latter. Twitter offers a chance for footballers to give something back, however small, and prove that they are humans with emotions like the rest of us.
The ex-pro: Dietmar Hamann @DietmarHamann
Hamann, Champions League winner with Liverpool, has now forged a career as an insightful and respected pundit. This intelligent punditry translates into his tweets, where he mixes ruminations on footballing flashpoints with witty ripostes to other footballing figures.
@GaryLineker Might have been your testimonial.
— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) November 26, 2014
One such example of Hamann’s humorous interactions with other footballing luminaries, although Lineker might not have found it quite as funny.
The numpty of the day award goes to this fella. pic.twitter.com/UX0pDWSycd
— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) January 31, 2015
Alas, numpty of the day seems to be a one-off feature. Common sense does certainly seem to be the prevailing feature throughout Hamann’s tweets.
Balotelli had to take that penalty, he's the best at it. No point for anybody else to get involved.
— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) February 19, 2015
Unafraid to weigh in on contentious issues, Hamann simplifies the matter and makes a case hard to disagree with. All in 140 characters too!
The media maestro: Iain Macintosh @iainmacintosh
One of the more unique voices tussling for space in the hotly-contested elevator that is online sports journalism, Macintosh’s charm and wordplay will ensure that he rises to the very top. It helps that he has a characterful cat called General Zod, who makes appearances on his timeline to break up Football Manager-related musings and colourful match updates. This is a man who will never use the term ‘screamer’ when ‘Twatweasel’ will do. Check out the website that he runs, The Set Pieces, where he compiles specialist articles and alternative views on football.
England could qualify for Euro16 by finishing third and could progress to the knockout stages without winning a game. Strap yourselves in.
— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) September 3, 2014
An inconvenient truth. Thanks, UEFA.
General Zod going above and beyond to defeat a moth. There's no way this ends well. pic.twitter.com/Swm5qzijAr
— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) August 8, 2014
Because sometimes we all need to take a break from football to look at cats.
Bellerin eschews the easy cross, picks out Campbell at the back of the box and, TWAT, he lashes it home with extreme prejudice.
— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) August 2, 2014
How Andy Townsend remained in a job for so long when there are wordsmiths of this calibre around, it boggles the mind. ITV should have eschewed the hell out of Townsend.
I’m watching French Youth Invitational U20 games on FM14 to scout for promising regens. This isn’t how I expected my life to turn out.
— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) July 17, 2014
And you thought you had problems.
The joker: Frank Nouble @FrankNouble
And now for a look at one of football’s lesser-spotted characters. Nouble plies his trade at Coventry City after having being unfairly displaced at Ipswich by the enigmatic Conor Sammon. Nouble is a strong and powerful forward whose athleticism can give defenders nightmares, but off the field he has proven to be an enthusiastic and warm spirit. You can imagine the big man tweeting everything with a big smile on his face, and isn’t that what Twitter should be about? He also uses the word ‘clack’ a lot, which seems to be the equivalent of ‘good’. But I can’t be sure. #cl4ck
For those who cannot remember, this is Nouble’s scathing analysis of the game where Diego Costa decided to consistently put his best foot forward. All over Liverpool’s players. Adam Beasley, aka Ladyboy73, does make a valid point though.
Lukaku should never of cut his hair you know #SAMSON
— Frank.Nouble (@FrankNouble) February 22, 2015
Frank is not afraid to say what we are all thinking.
Like to thank all fans ,staff and players that I worked with at my time with ipswich wish the boys luck this season on promotion chase #itfc
— Frank.Nouble (@FrankNouble) January 7, 2015
It is frustrating when people claim that footballers do not care, that footballers are loutish thugs motivated by greed, that footballers are always looking for a new way to cheat. This is just one example of how Nouble cares, a man always keen to congratulate his fellow pros and evidently thrilled to be playing football for a living. #cl4ck
Nouble also used to post on a social media site called Keek. Apparently. He posted short videos that gave an insight into his daily life, his time hanging out with football buddy Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, and showed off his rapping skills in battles with Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie. Here he is singing about eating cornflakes.
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