A Twitter Story

We all have opinions when it comes to football. Some of them are stronger than the others, while some are weak and keep changing. Now whatever opinions you may have, you have the right to express them however you wish. Football Twitter takes this a few steps further though, by creating massive excel sheets listing out their TOP TEN IN EVERY POSITION (my opinion). Confused? Let me explain.

On Twitter, everyone is a wannabe analyst/journalist that thinks their football ‘analysis’ is the best thing to have ever happened. For these characters, random diagrams, charts and lists are like family. Normally none of this is toxic, as these ‘analysts’ just nab some radar chart off Squawka or WhoScored and post it on their Twitter feed with some caption like “Danny Drinkwater Super Ultra Pass Metric xG 9000.”

However, football Twitter recently discovered Microsoft Excel and it has quickly become their favourite application. What people do now is make an Excel sheet with the column titles being football positions and the ten entries below being their personal ‘top 10.’ This isn’t an inherently bad or irritating idea, but when every simple question has a few snapshots of a table chucked in the replies, it starts to get annoying. Here’s an example of a realistic conversation

“Yo mate who’s your favourite left back?”

Hi mate check out my personal top 10 here (not in order) (my opinion) (suggestions welcome)”

Now the simple answer may have been Marcelo, but our friendly neighbourhood analyst had to shove in an entire sheet into the mix. This is more common than it actually seems as I found out. Almost everyone I followed had one of these sheets as their pinned, and coincidentally, these were the people I was thinking of unfollowing.

You might be thinking that this is quite a small or minor thing that I’m making a fuss out of, something that can be hidden. Well yeah, but just the existence of the lists isn’t why I’m being such a child about them. The names of the players inside the lists are just as hideous as the lists themselves. Many of the lads on Twitter don’t actually know the name of 10 world-class left backs, wingers or midfielders, so they follow a template which is somewhat like this:

  • Write in the names of the players that play for the top 7-8 clubs.
  • Write in anyone else you know that’s relevant.
  • Go to WhoScored, sort by rating, type in the player at the top.
  • Go to a popular analyst/football page on Twitter and write in a player that’s preferably U23, and somewhat in the news for extra clout.
  • Sprinkle in some nice colours in your spreadsheet and add in some fancy words in the caption.

Ta-da! Follow these steps and you’ll have your very own Top 10 Players in Every Position (my opinion) (in order) list!!!!!

Let me give you some examples of players I’ve seen in these lists that I can guarantee the creator has never seen play. In fact, I’ll give you five quid if you manage to find the person and prove to me that they’ve actually seen these players play:

  • Grimaldo, Benfica, Left-Back
  • Alvaro Odriozola, Wing-Back
  • Alban Lafont, Goalkeeper
  • Kepa Arizbaldblasbdlasbdlasdjga (Bilbao bloke), Goalkeeper
  • Elseid Hysaj
  • Leandro Paredes, Centre-Mid

What’s possibly worse is that that list contains Lanzini in the top 10, LANZINI, LANZINI. That’s not even that rare in these lists as well, you’ll find hundreds of ’em littered with random players that nobody cares for.

I have a dream, and it’s not some MLK dream for those wondering. I have a dream that one day, Twitter lists will cease to exist, and randomers such as Manuel Lanzini won’t be included in anyone’s top tens. I know that is very improbable, but a man can only hope.