After Sunderland’s James McClean closed down his Twitter account over a controversy about a tweet identifying his favorite song by Irish band The Wolfe Tones—it’s about the IRA—manager Martin O’Neill spoke out about the evils of the social media service and lamented the loss of that old fashioned communication device, the telephone.
McClean has had an on-again, off-again relationship with Twitter, quitting and unquitting after receiving death threats because of the sectarian nature of Irish politics. Despite being from Derry in Northern Ireland, McClean represents the Republic of Ireland internationally.
The former Derry City winger, who broke into the Sunderland side in O’Neill’s first game, has received death threats as a result of his tweets surrounding his allegiance to the Republic rather than Northern Ireland.
He was also sent death threats last November after declining to wear a printed poppy on his Sunderland shirt.
McClean, who has come on and off the social networking site in the last year, exasperated O’Neill and his club when he returned to it last month while on international duty for the friendly against Poland.
O’Neill said then: ‘Is he maturing? No. He has gone back on Twitter, even against advice of the club. I have to say maybe he will look out for himself then.’
Maybe if kids these days would just go back to the phone instead of messing with this new fangled Twitter stuff.
“I must admit I wish I knew the rules of these things. What players seem to forget is that if they are tweeting to their friends it immediately becomes public knowledge,” he said.
“In the case of James, he came off it himself, and I think he will stay off it for some time.”
When asked if Twitter was more trouble than it is worth, Martin O’Neill said: “From our view point, yes.
“There is an age gap there, which I occasionally find it difficult to breach, but it’s one of the modern-day mechanisms for speaking.
“What happened to the telephone, I don’t know.”
Hey, Martin…if you really want to know what happened to the telephone, I can tell you.
We use it to tweet.