Another day and another footballer with a 140 character vendetta to publish. Last week, Robbie Savage assaulted OTP with a tweet declaring us ‘a pile of !’ and Aldershot Town’s Marvin Morgan decided the public forum was the perfect place to wish that his booing fans would ‘all die’. Next up on the carousel of crass outbursts is Liverpool player and part-time defender Glen Johnson.
Johnson took particular umbrage to Paul Merson having the sheer cheek to suggest on Soccer Saturday that the 26-year-old was one of Liverpool’s poorest performers under Roy Hodgson’s regime. At this point, Johnson waived the seemingly cliche method of slagging off Merson to a mate or taking the criticism on the chin. No, he thought it best to voice his reply to 38,000 strong ‘tweeps’.
“Comments from alcoholic drug abusers are not really gonna upset me and who is Paul Merson to judge players, he was average at the best of times,”
“The only reason he’s on that show is coz he gambled all his money away. The clown!”
So Glen went with the triple-threat offence here – brandishing Merson an alcoholic, a drug abuser and a gambler. Merson’s past indiscretions are well-documented, of course, but to castigate an individual who has had the courage to rehabilitate himself and rebuild his life since is rather shameful.
Merson’s punditry is certainly a touch ropey – calling a well-worked team goal from Bolton last month ‘the best I have ever seen’ is just the tip of the ice-berg. By all means lay in to him for that – ‘Merson-isms’ are an important part of the glue that hold conversations in pubs together nowadays.
But suggesting his opinions are totally redundant because of personal failings more than a decade ago is imbecilic. At his best he was a man of mesmeric talent, and a valued and respected servant at all his clubs. Not that it counted for much as far as Johnson is concerned. It is little suprise that his comments were deleted within hours of posting.
For our money, Merson’s criticism of the England international is well-founded and pretty obvious. For Kenny Dalglish’s sake, it’s about time he realised this and bucked up his ideas. Johnson needs to start doing his
tweeting talking on the pitch.