How many of us have had the chance to meet or interact with our Chelsea heroes? As things stand, not many would answer that in the affirmative I would presume.
Only a few lucky ones amongst us have had the chance to meet up with them at charity events or official club events, but this excludes the majority of us who have to resort to various media outlets to get their views.
With so much of attention being paid on the players on and off the field, it’s no surprise that the players these days look like closed books who are hostile, money-mongers, disloyal, and basically everything’s that’s wrong in this world.
But in the past year or so, there seems to be a change in the air thanks to Twitter. A site which started of as just another social networking site, but now plays an essential part in the sporting business with quick communication of news and views.
With it boasting of large numbers, it attracted a large number of celebrities, and in England are footballers anything else than that? So, how could they have been left behind?
A series of footballers have joined up to the site and boast of hundreds of thousands of followers, with players such as Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand being a notch ahead of everyone else and have since then gone past the million follower mark.
This has given fans a chance to see what their favourite players are thinking or doing, what they like, don’t like and basically, in the simplest of terms, get close to them. A minor consolation from the days when fans would gather up at pubs after games and were often joined by players for a round of pints, including the mighty Peter Osgood, who spent many a day’s being in company of the fans.
It will never be the same as the old days, we know, but it could help the players and fans to once again have some sort of connection, as the dire financial climate and rising prices continue to take their toll on the average fan.
Even though it has many positives, but having the freedom to say anything without having the agents in their ears could often be harmful, even in the limitations of 140 characters (the number of characters allowed in one tweet).
And in the recent past we have seen many such incidents. Wayne Rooney was banned for two matches for threatening a user, something which he later described as banter, while Carlton Cole and Ryan Babel were fined by the FA for their comments on Twitter. Others such as, Wojciech Szczęsny and Jack Wilshere, also have invited the wrath of opposition supporters for some ill-judged comments.
The latest case in point being that of Newcastle United who have had to deal with Luis Enrique and Joey Barton, as they used Twitter to vent out their frustration at the Tyneside club.
However, Chelsea have not had any issues with it whatsoever, with no prominent first-team player active on Twitter besides Salomon Kalou (@Skalhuno). Even though, Nicolas Anelka (@anelkaofficiel) and Florent Malouda (@realflorentm) also have official Twitter accounts, but thus far they have refrained from interacting with anyone.
So the hope that some of the great players that have played a massive role in this golden period for the club becoming active may still be a little far away, but with further encouragement coming from the fact that most of the youth and reserve team have Twitter accounts with thousands of followers, we have reasons to be hopeful.
Although, there are signs that this may already be about to change with the new signings, Romelu Lukaku (@romelulukaku) and Juan Mata (@juanmata10), being active there, as they both announced their arrival at Stamford Bridge for medicals through their official accounts.
Even though Twitter could help improve the relations between the players and the fans, there seems to be growing issues which could potentially have a negative impact on its use by the players. Most clubs so far have not had any major issues it with till date, but could pose restrictions on its use in the future if it continues to create problems for them in the long-term.
One positive that may come out of restrictions is that the official Chelsea account (@chelseafc), which had made a mockery of the club’s name in the past by flooding followers’ timelines with incessant retweets, particularly on matchdays, may get better.
Till then, I can imagine Frank Lampard posting a tweet saying; ‘he has just sat down to watch MOTD with a late cuppa in hand to savour the highlights’, or even better, David Luiz posting a video of the prank he played on his fellow teammates.
So, finally, given its positives and may be lots of negatives, do you want your favourite Chelsea player on Twitter or not? Is it worth the hassle?