Roy Hodgson is one of the most experienced coaches in England and the world. He has coached in foreign leagues and he has encountered many different personalities and egos. It is refreshing for the national boss to come out in the middle of a social media storm and simply suggest that we all need to use a little more common sense when it comes to this issue.
Hodgson himself has admitted in the past that social media isn’t really his cup of tea but many of his key England players use Twitter and Ashley Cole has just been in trouble and Ryan Bertrand was forced to back track quickly on comments he made following criticism for his withdrawal from the England squad to play San Marino and Poland, which included swear words.
All Hodgson is asking for is that players think carefully about what they are writing before they send a Tweet and how it will impact on them as they are role models with huge status. It’s not rocket science to be able to work out what is appropriate to say and what isn’t or how a message or a response should be delivered in the face of criticism.
“I think his (Bertrand) sentiments were laudable, telling how much he wants to play for England and being a bit irritated that someone should suggest he doesn't play when he gets a sore throat, but his choice of words was wrong. I'm pleased to see he's apologised for it and it just reminds us how careful players of this profile have to be. I believe there's not really a question from the FA's point of view that he'll be charged but it's a lesson that needs to be learned and that we can all learn from,” said Hodgson on Sky Sports.
Praise has to go to the FA in the respect that they acted quickly to charge Cole after he used Twitter to criticise the governing body of English football. They have set an example and a bench mark that all other players can now look at and respond to. They know that if they put a foot out of line, the FA will come down on them with a ton of bricks and they will not get off of the hook.
Social media is avoided entirely as an issue at some clubs that ban their players from using sites like Twitter with the risk of heavy fans and possible exclusion from the team. What Hodgson is trying to suggest is a happy medium between people realising that these professional players are human beings and those players realising that they cannot say whatever they like because of the status they hold with the world in small sections of society.
This whole issue is just going to roll on and on until a player picks up a ban at club or country level and is restricted from playing football because of what they have said on Twitter. There doesn’t have to be a complicated guide book for players to use before they publish a Tweet, there doesn’t have to be a complicated set of guidelines that the FA is about to issue. All that is needed is for players to put two and two together before they say something which is going to get them into trouble.