So most of the UK papers are worked up over the romanticism of Southampton’s Rickie Lambert, who apparently was only last year was made out of beetroots or something, heading in England’s winner in a cracking international friendly (rare phrase alert!) against Scotland. And to be fair it was a great game between two old rivals who have now become slightly irrelevant, like that rematch between Fischer and Spassky in 1992. Also any time one has the opportunity to hear Flower of Scotland powered through at Wembley by tens of thousands of lit Scottish football fans, one takes it.
The thing to do would be to offer you some alternate news. Like the incredible contest between Bosnia and the US, which saw a Jozy Altidore hat trick give America their 12th soccer win in a row. Or the fact Switzerland beat Brazil on a Dani Alves own goal. And a 3-3 thriller between Paraguay and Germany? These are things that are not supposed to happen in the useless mid-August international window!
In the club circuit we’ve got some rehashed stuff involving Suarez, Darrent Bent appears to be inches away from Craven Cottage or
Selhurst Park 12Bet Stadium or Sports Direct Arena St. James’ Park, and Spurs might be hoisting Roma’s 20 million pounder Erik Lamela.
So that out of the way, permit me a small gripe. Last night, Belgium faced France in a friendly that ended 0-0. At some point, Joey Barton began a Tweet with ‘That could be Villa Down’ followed by details of Benteke being stretchered off the pitch with a broken leg. Didi Hamann followed suit:
Hopefully Benteke's injury is not too bad.Stretchered off with suspected broken leg.He improved the PL no end last season.Get well soon
— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) August 14, 2013
No verification, just one man with an insanely large following putting out unsubstantiated crap that was subsequently RTd hundreds of times by fans in a panic. Turns out of course it was a pile of utter shite:
Hearing thats a fake rumour about Benteke. Thankfully. Villa fans can breathe easy.
— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) August 14, 2013
Barton isn’t a journalist of course, and so it’s not really his job to vet rumours. However, one or two things. This was an actual football match being played in real life, covered by media that could be easily accessed by something we call the Internet. Barton has a following of 2 million people. You scream fire on that feed and people are going to run. How hard could it have been to just do five seconds of snooping? Particularly as he likely didn’t pick it up from a journalist (I hope that’s the case at least).
I think the issue highlights the importance of relaying news on social media responsibly need not necessarily apply to a select few from the fourth estate. Or, better yet, don’t RT anything without the benefit of a confirmation. It’s not really that hard, and could go a long way from preventing people like me wanting to put their fist through the computer. Cheers!