Tweets, twits and forward rolls - football and Twitter

CONNOR Wickham needs to work on his goal celebration.

How do we know that he wasn’t happy with his forward roll in the aftermath of the wonderful solo goal he scored against Sheffield United?

The young man told us - of sorts - as well as his followers on Twitter (1,470 at the last count).

The teenager, as well as a number of players at both Ipswich and Colchester, appears to have joined the growing band of footballers on the burgeoning social network site.

Assuming it is the young gun, and the nature of his tweets suggests it is, Wickham will have to be careful not to fall in the same trap as other athletes whose posts have led to disciplinary action and even outright bans across a number of sports, from rugby union to swimming.

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Who can forget former Liverpool player Ryan Babel posting a picture of referee Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt or cricketer Kevin Pietersen’s rant after being left out of England’s T20 and one-day squads?

Even more recently, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has escaped censor for his rant after the 4-4 draw with Newcastle, even if his team mate Theo Walcott questioned the wisdom of going public.

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Twitter can be fraught with problems if in the wrong hands or in the midst of the wrong kind of post-match temperament. But it can also be a wonderful way for players, and clubs, to interact with fans, whether as an informal Q&A or even as a way of knowing more about the person you are cheering from the terraces.

It also allows fans to discuss anything from team selection to matchday commentary - #itfc, a hashtag which is included in a Tweet ensuring you are talking to similar-minded people, is a hive of lively and good-natured debate ranging from who should play right-back to the merits of breaking the wage structure to sign an unproven forward from League One.

It is great that Wickham has joined the party, and he is not alone in the home dressing rooms of Portman Road and the Western Homes Community Stadium.

Tweets from the world of Ipswich and Colchester

IT is fair to say that the Ipswich Town team bus or dressing room is not alive with Tweeting and Twitter.

Wickham has become the ringleader with, if estimated figures are correct, more followers than the rest of the team put together. Having only joined on January 13, we now know that his individual beauty against the Blades was “my best goal in football so far” and how he is preparing for last night’s England Under-19s match against Germany.

But he is relatively alone, thus far, when it comes to his current Town team mates. Mark Kennedy and Tommy Smith appear have a Twitter page, although they are far from regular users, while Jaime Peters had a lot to say during Sunday’s Superbowl.

But when it comes to past Town players, of varying status, the tweets become far more constant. Darren Bent helped make the website famous, or should that be infamous, by openly criticising Tottenham in his final days at White Hart Lane while Titus Bramble is closing in on 14,000 followers.

Then there are those who realise Twitter is a great way to interact with a new audience. Matt Holland and James Scowcroft have both embarked on media careers while Danny Karbassiyoon, who played five games for Ipswich in the 2004/05 season, has an impressive 4,326 people following his ever word.

Over at Colchester, there appears to be an intriguing race to see who can be the most popular tweeter on the team bus. David Mooney’s television habits is battling it out with “Col Utd’s Beckham”, Lloyd James, and Ian Henderson who gave a polite reaction to the side’s ‘ghost goal’ at Charlton Athletic.

Club mascot, Eddie the Eagle, is lagging a little behind with 111 followers, but everyone currently at the Western Homes has some way to go to eclipse former defender Tom Williams’ 6,188 followers. Whether this has anything to do with the fact he is married to I’m a Celebrity contestant Nicola McLean, I could not possibly comment.

Meanwhile, over on Facebook

WE mustn’t forget the largest social networking website in the world - Facebook. This was the medium Luciano Civelli chose to pay tribute to the Portman Road faithful which cheered him on when he made his long-awaited return at the end of Saturday’s win.

Civelli wrote: “Thanks to all for the constant support! Very pleased for (sic) play again at Portman Road with all the blue fans!”

But be careful...

Naturally we cannot say with 100% accuracy that all of the above are the genuine article, but isn’t half the fun working out the real deal from the ‘NotPaulJewell’, which we are pretty sure is not the new Ipswich Town manager.

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