…Or why England’s Michael Owen would be better being not heard, as well as not seen…
It all started innocently enough. England’s Michael Owen (EMO) tweeted this:
That’s fair enough. I mean, it’s a bit boring, and it’s not really relevant to the stage he is at in his footballing career, but the word could well be his favourite in relation to his horses. Or maybe he likes play-wrestling with his kids, and he has a humurous finishing move that he uses on them. I have no idea. Of course, the point of Twitter is interaction, and EMO picked one of the several responses to react negatively to:
Firstly, I don’t like wasting further breath on EMO, both in real life, after having him grace the St James’s Park physio room for four years at an average cost of five million pounds per season, and on this blog, where I have previously written in great detail on his impact on Newcastle United here (I’ll give you a clue: the article is mainly negative, with the exception of EMO’s alleged support of penguin prostitution charities).
However, this reply has annoyed me greatly. He made several poorly received tweets that night, mainly about whether fans have the right to criticise managers (and players) in response to the ongoing protests at Blackburn. I can live with those tweets, as I can see why he would believe that fans should not be able to hurl abuse at players, and I think he qualified his statements quite well. He is obviously a very sharp man in some respects. He has earned a lot of money over his career, and has rarely said anything that could be deemed offensive or controversial. However, the above tweet really struck a nerve.
Firstly, the tweet he replied to looks like it was meant as a joke. It doesn’t seem to be the bitter tweet of a disappointed fan. This lad, a Manchester United fan, put a smiley face at the end of the tweet, and even admitted that he had meant the tweet as a joke. In fact, he seemed to think that it was quite funny that EMO had made a joke about his gut. As a Man United fan, he would have every right to harshly criticise Owen’s terrible appearance record for the club since, but he didn’t.
EMO is obviously sensitive to such comments, although why picking a tweet from a supporter of his current team to criticise seemed a good idea to him, I have no idea.
Let’s break his response down:
1) “Hilarious when your picture has a big roll of fat hanging over your shorts”. EMO seems to find it hard to believe a person who looks a bit chunky while in a seated position (not my opinion. The chunky bit, not the seated position. I mean, he is clearly sitting. When seated, I think most normal people have some kind of fold effect going on.) is not fit to criticise someone who is currently injured. Apparently, in his mind, being overweight is the same as being injured.
2) “Had a successful life have you?” EMO has certainly had a lot of success in his life. Hell, he won a Premier League winner’s medal last season without even having to take his puffer jacket off. This comment is puzzling – I mean, is he implying that he will only accept criticism from those that have achieved success in one field or other (for example, Piers Morgan… oh… yeah…). What happens if this person has had a terrible life. Does that mean his opinion is invalid.
3) “Peasant.” This is where it goes from being borderline abusive and bizarre, to just plain offensive. This is the word that sticks in the craw. Basically, EMO should not have to listen to criticism from poorer people, which in his case is, I would imagine, a huge percentage of the UK population. For someone who has an army of advisers behind him, this is the one word that I bet they would wish he could take back.
Twitter is a unique mode of communication, but one of the downsides is that there is such a limit on what can be conveyed in one Tweet. Brevity is necessary. So, if anything, you would think he would be more likely to leave unnecesary words from his Tweet. Words such as ‘peasant’.
That he views football fans as beneath him, if it wasn’t already clear, could not be more obvious now. The people who pay to watch his teams play (while he usually has the best seat in the house in a heated dugout, free of charge), should have no right to criticise his poor appearance record. But Twitter is full of ‘peasants’.
Makes you wonder why Michael Owen is on Twitter…