Who can we trust now we know there’s a ‘Joe Hart’s social media team’?
OPINION: Spurs goalkeeper’s ‘social media team’ revelation has punctured fans’ hopes of direct contact with Premier League stars
25 March, 2021 — By Richard Osley
WE learned for the first time this week that there is such a thing as “Joe Hart’s social media team”.
A whole team! Not just Hart on his own, padding away at a phone, and not just one other person working with him to fine tune every perfect tweet – but a whole team.
Given the manpower involved then, it’s even more confusing that he – sorry, his social media team – should post “job done” after Tottenham experienced their worst defeat of the season to unfancied Dinamo Zagreb last week.
As a fairly irritated Harry Redknapp once said when he was clumped over the head with a miskicked football during a TV interview: No wonder, he’s in the ‘acking reserves.
The next day the Spurs goalkeeper appeared on Instagram, looking suitably troubled and told us: “Morning guys. I feel like I need to come on and make an apology…. on behalf of my social media team.”
On he went, telling the fans that “he’d literally just woken up”, at which point he rubbed his eyes, in case you were at all suspicious of such a claim. I mean, we could’ve waited for you to grab a coffee, Joe.
The sceptics would say such method-acting was the result of expert direction suggested by the social media team he was apologising for. Perhaps, he even got the call: “Joe, Joe, yes it’s the social media team here, up on the third floor – we want to do some social media where you apologise on behalf of the social media team – any good? Should work well on social media.”
Scripted or not, Hart’s message went on: “Sloppy as it sounds, someone thought we’d won 3-0 and posted ‘job done’ – it’s unacceptable but obviously it’s not come from me.”
Which, I think, is what the now Lord Ian Botham said when some beef and vegetables – definitely not his own – famously appeared on the cricketer’s Twitter feed in 2014.
Hart boshed on some more about how much he loved the club, as if the Spurs fans really care about a here today, gone tomorrow reserve goalkeeper. But there remains a sad undertone to the Parable of Joe Hart’s Social Media Team.
In theory, the idea of social media is a beautiful barrier breaker – players can talk directly to their fans and cause hearts to flutter by liking and retweeting their messages.
The charming idea that here are human beings at last interacting without the need for press officers and agents is rather punctured by the revelation that even an unused sub has people to press the buttons for him.
So, when a player retweets your heartfelt lost dog appeal or likes a picture of you and your aunt in the Spurs supporters bar in New York, was it them – or was it just Joe Hart’s social media team? Now you’ll never know for sure.