I’m a self-confessed Luddite, so some folk will no doubt be surprised to learn that I’ve recently become a ‘Tweeter.’
Well, judging by the number of followers my account - @JamesShield1 - has attracted since this tentative venture into cyberspace, an awful lot to be precise.
But enough of these shameless plugs (and, yes, ‘Tweeter’ is spelt correctly). The chance to natter about issues ranging from the important to inane with fellow football supporters has been an enjoyable experience.
But I’d be lying if I said my foray into the world of social networking has not sometimes delighted and dismayed in equal measure.
The latter was true last weekend when news of Neil Warnock’s departure from QPR was confirmed by Loftus Road and started to ’trend’ on the internet (see, I’ve picked-up all the words).
Warnock, I was stunned to read, should be immediately parachuted into Bramall Lane according to many of my fellow keyboard warriors. Not, on the basis that the present incumbent, Danny Wilson, and Frank Barlow are doing badly. Even their staunchest of critics would struggle to argue that.
But because Warnock, being a ‘Blade’, is therefore immediately qualified to do even better. An argument which not only conveniently forgets, with all due respect, Micky Adams’ brief spell at the helm but also completely fails to understand a professional’s DNA.
In exactly the same way a recent caller to Football Heaven lambasted Chesterfield’s chief executive Chris Turner for saying no-one is more upset by recent events at the b2net stadium than John Sheridan and his staff. His insistence being that, because the manager didn’t cry after a bad result like his teenage son, it was an offensive statement to make. Complete and utter nonsense. And I speak as a passionate footy fan myself.
What would he say if Sheridan did break down in tears on the touchline and sulked in his bedroom when he got home? It certainly wouldn’t fill me with confidence. Nor, I suspect, would owner Dave Allen be too impressed either.
Professionals are expected to behave differently to those of us in the stands. It’s part of the job description.
I make no bones about the fact that I like Neil. A lot in fact. That, in my book at least, the decision to dispense with his services was hasty and ill-judged. Just like United’s when they parted company with Warnock following their relegation from the top-flight.
He’s someone who I came to respect immensely and realised is very different from the public persona he often projects.
But he didn’t perform well at United because he’d followed them since boyhood. Warnock got results because he is damn good at his job. Just like Wilson and his assistant, Barlow.
Sheffield Wednesday’s Gary Megson is, of course, an Owl. But I’m prepared to wager he won’t be any more determined to win next month’s Steel City derby than Wilson despite the latter’s love for Liverpool as a child.
That’s just not the way it works.