‘No one talks anymore’ – Joe Dunne

Joe Dunne

Joe Dunne - Credit: Archant

COLCHESTER United boss Joe Dunne has bemoaned his players’ lack of social interaction, a symptom of the modern-day footballer.

The U’s are currently on a terrible run of eight straight defeats, a joint club record. They will be hoping to end the nightmarish sequence of results at home to Scunthorpe this Saturday, to avoid setting the unwanted record outright.

Dunne has been satisfied with his team’s displays, in recent matches, particularly the 1-0 defeat at high-fliers Doncaster Rovers last weekend.

But the Dubliner remains frustrated by his players’ reluctance to communicate with each other.

“When the players come into training, they are on their phones,” rued Dunne.

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“They train and then when they finish they come back into the changing rooms and get on their phones again! I’ve already banned phones from the canteen.

“Players sit on a bus with tables, four of them. We [as players] used to play cards and talk, but they don’t talk, no one talks any more.

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“Every manager will tell you – no one talks anymore. They are tweeting and phoning instead.

“I’m always making jokes about when are you going to have the operation to have that phone removed from you?

“Players put their head phones on, get their iPads out, and off they go. I’m thinking – ‘sit and talk to each other!’ – I think in 20 years’ time the art of conservation will be dead.”

Dunne is also frustrated by the players’ failure to accept criticism, which he believes is another trait of modern-day football, a far cry from when he was plying his trade as a tenacious full-back.

He continued: “The modern player doesn’t like criticism, from anyone.

“I remember when we played, we would be in each other’s faces, and that wasn’t that long ago.

“Players don’t like it – ‘criticise me?’ – they say. They don’t put their hand up and say that was my fault. But that’s how we got respect, by responding to criticism and coming out of it the other side.

“I think a lack of social interaction off the pitch has an effect on it.

“It is a lonely existence. You are communicating with a phone, it can only be an addiction, it’s like drink and drugs and cigarettes.

“I think the quest for followers [on Twitter] far out-weighs what they are trying to do, earning a living. They can isolate themselves from the group, if they tweet the wrong thing. They could also upset fans if they think players are not giving their all.

“Players want fans to agree with them, that they should be playing.

“They just want to be accepted and want to be popular. Me, I couldn’t care whether I was popular in the changing room, I just wanted to win!” concluded Dunne.

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