Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has had to face many adversaries through his illustrious career. The veteran goalie had stated that he was ready to fight for his position in the first team after the London club purchased Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen.
Cech convinced new manager Unai Emery to play him against Manchester City. He, however, seemed quite uncomfortable with Emery's tactic of playing from the back. He almost conceded an own goal by shooting the ball towards his own net. He narrowly missed but Bayer Leverkusen's English language Twitter account was not going to let the incident be forgotten.
A tweet came from the account stating that Leno is more comfortable with the ball at his feet. Cech, in turn, responded by saying that Arsenal had a spirit of professionalism which made it a big club not just on the football side. The implicit level of scorn directed at the German club was palpable. The club again through Twitter stated that its initial comment was a joke and congratulated Cech for a save he made during the match.
It is the age of social media in which clubs and players both regard it as a tool of publicity. In this case, the behaviour of Bayer Leverkusen indicates how irreverent and controversial takes on incidents can be peddled.
If the same point had been in person via some club official it would have either fallen by the side or stoked more anger. A tweet somehow doesn't impart the same sense of angst. The vulnerability of Cech is laid out more than perhaps he intended as people who are not even on that website got to see the spat as it occurred.
Another instance of a social media website's footballing importance was the announcement that Facebook would be the broadcaster of La Liga in the Indian subcontinent for the next three years. In this case, one would have to be a member of the website.
However, since its free and traditional behemoths like Sony and Star which usually get the rights to broadcast sporting events will now have to work harder to compete with social media. This might lead them to spend more like the recent IPL broadcasting rights tussle. The El Classico might just lead to a social media war.