Manchester United’s on-field woes are not the only problems they’re having at the minute. They’ve been subject to a torrent of abuse on Twitter this week, and most of it seems to be from their own fans.
The source of the abuse was a tweet comparing the United Manager, Louis Van Gaal, with the Chelsea boss, José Mourinho. Sounds like a reasonable subject to tweet about given that the teams are due to clash on the pitch this weekend. The problem was the comparison itself. It wasn’t about the pair’s managerial excellence, stats or achievements, nor about their management style, their history or even their preferred on-pitch formation. The chosen subject for comparison was Google searches. Yes, who was the most searched for of the two managers on Google?
Congratulations to Louis van Gaal, who has been searched for twice as many times as his Chelsea counterpart. But wait, is that actually something to be proud of? Doesn’t it suggest that maybe people don’t know who he is, or much about him? Isn’t it simply a reflection of the fact that he’s a relatively new manager to the Premier League, and one of the world’s biggest clubs? Isn’t this simply to be expected? And yet, the Man Utd Twitter account suggested that van Gaal had come out ‘on top’ in some non-existent Google battle, asking “Will the Dutchman also come out on top at Old Trafford this Sunday?”
It’s quite simply cringeworthy, with an aroma of desperation about it. Surely United could have found something else to tweet about which was in some way relevant and actually meant something, rather than this feeble and completely irrelevant stat? If it’s really that difficult, try some of these (from Chelsea Mad) United..
The responses to Manchester United’s tweet were overwhelmingly negative, and many of them from United’s own supporters. They were embarrassed, and rival fans laughed. Comments not only criticised the poor judgement and the management of the club’s social media, but they also had a go at the graphics too. Here’s just a small selection..
And whoever’s behind the Man Utd Twitter account got their fair share of negativity..
And it continues in the same vein. Check out the original tweet and the subsequent responses for plenty more (for now at least).
All too familiar
Alas, this isn’t the first time Man Utd have made a Twitter gaffe. Back in October 2013, they got a little confused about their own history. According to SoccerLens, they tweeted this:
“In 1968, the wait for European glory ended. Charlton captained #mufc to a 4-2 Wembley win v Benfica. #charltondebut pic.twitter.com/kFRALH40y3″
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 6, 2013
The tweet has been deleted, undoubtedly due to the fact it was completely wrong. The result of the game in question as actually 4-1, and not 4-2. D’oh!
And then there was the tweet which credited Jordan, the self confessed “Board Game playing, Doctor Who watching, Isaac Asimov Reading NERD” from Indiana, with netting a goal for United against West Brom. Credit which should of course have gone to Chicharito Hernandez.
A simple mistake one would think given the similarity between the two Twitter handles, with Chicharito Hernandez to be found at @CH14_, and Jordan to be found at @CH14. But seriously, this is a rookie error and it should never happen from one of the world’s biggest football clubs.
The United Twitter account was also apparently hacked last year, when a disillusioned fan took over and tweeted #MoyesOut. The tweet was deleted, but the damage had been done with almost 600 RTs.
United fans have had their share of hardship since Fergie’s departure as the main man. Their disillusionment appears to be as much with the club’s Twitter as it is anything else at this stage:
Between factual errors, lack of understanding of their audience, poor content, mistaking their own team for nerdy Americans, and account security breaches, is it any wonder their followers are voicing such opinions? Perhaps it’s time Manchester United listened and took a look at their Twitter strategy, and certainly their training. Maybe their latest Twitter misfortune will prompt them to do just that.
Connect with the author: @AineBermingham
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