Stevie G closer and Eccleston is a Tweet!

With no European distractions the Spurs game takes on an earlier than normal focus. However, perhaps some will be looking even further forward, to next week’s Carling Cup tie at Brighton.

This is the game that has been pencilled in as Steven Gerrard’s return from injury. One wonders what the extent of his involvement will be as presumably he is not match fit however, it is encouraging to see he is close to being with us again. Hopefully with the operation he had and the recovery work he has done we will finally see Stevie turn in a long, uninterrupted, injury free, spell in the team. Gerrard’s recovery will give Kenny a “nice problem” regarding team selection and it will be interesting to see where Gerrard fits in with the new signings and how he interacts with them. I suspect we’ll see him take up a less attacking roll alongside Lucas? Like Jamie Carragher I guess there will come a time, fairly soon, when we will have to say thanks for everything you’ve done but now it’s time to take up a less involved squad role? However, like Carragher, I think any vultures who feel like circulating will disappointed, for a while at least.

Back at base and Kenny has been entertaining some referees, more specially the big chief in black, Mike Riley presumably to mull over the decisons that irked him so much in last weekend’s Stoke game? Kenny seemed pleased at the outcome.

“It was good to see Mike and we had an extremely informative and amicable discussion, which has given us all a better understanding of how things operate…. we have the utmost respect for the job referees do and have never wanted or asked for any form of preferential treatment, simply a level playing field for everyone. We will continue to conduct ourselves in a dignified and respectful manner at all times. From our perspective it was certainly worthwhile sitting down together and maybe it’s something that should happen more often”

Three points. Firstly perhaps Mike Riley wouldn’t have needed to visit Kenny had referee’s been given the option to explain their decisions after the game. Secondly full marks to Riley for talking to Kenny in this way, all too often referees think they don’t have to justify themselves to anyone, remaining aloof and arrogantly assuming that their word is law and tough on anyone disputes it. If there was more communication then perhaps we wouldn’t get the sort of situations we had last weekend. Thirdly it was nice to hear Kenny speak in this way about referees. All to often managers, who have been in the game long enough to know better (yes you Mr Warnock, Mr Wenger and Mr Ferguson), never give credit where credit is due and very seldom come out with anything positive or constructive, let alone mature, to say about the officials.

Anyway Kenny is clearer about Saturday and it seems the world is now clearer about September 11th 2001. Over the years we’ve hard all sorts of takes on those terrible events from presidents, journalists, politicians, to those who were directly involved. Equally we had all sorts of theories about why the attacks happened and who was behind them. However thanks to Nathan Eccleston and his Twitter account, we now have the definitive answer!

“I ain’t going to say attack don’t let the media make u believe that was terrorist that did it. #OTIS.”

Apparently OTIS stands for Only the Illuminati Succeed. I though it was the name of a lift manufacturer or the guy who sang “Sitting On the Dock of the Bay”!

This is the latest incidence of where a player has got himself into trouble via using a Twitter account. I guess much of it is harmless witness Joey Barton’s cumbersome attempts to try and convert himself from mindless thug to misunderstood man of the arts and man of the people via pasting into his account a serious of random downloads and quotes from the internet – you are kidding no one Mr Barton!

Eccleston tried to backtrack on his comment by saying

“If you don’t like what I have to say un follow me!! Some things get took way out of context…”

Am I being thick but how would Eccleston’s comments get taken out of context as he is the person directly responsible for imputing them into his Twitter account?

Many say one of the effects of Twitter is that clubs can no longer control their players and what they say however, many have spouted off to journalists in the past should the need suit them. Is Twitter a good thing, freedom of speech and all? Should clubs act like big brother telling players what they can and cannot say however, I guess they have a right to act if they bring their employers into it as many do. Perhaps, if they are so concerned, they should give their players media training or build something into their contracts? However, with such freedom comes a degree of responsibility and an assumption that players, when using Twitter, will exercise some common sense and or discretion and not make a dick of themselves. Sadly Mr Eccelston has failed on all of these accounts.

Nonetheless we need to take this within context. The footballing and for that matter the political world will not be rocked by his comments and will see them for what they are, suffice to say I don’t think “Question Time” or “Newsnight” will be ringing him and asking him to join them!

Finally it is sad to learn that Ronnie Moran is in hospital. This writer sends regards to the legend and best wishes for a speedy recovery

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