Erik Lamela. He's alright. In Rome. With friends. His dog died a while back. His brother wasn't in a car accident. He's also injured, if that part of the story interests you. In amongst all the tabloid deflection, the thing that grates is with our very own fellow Spurs supporters choosing to self-loath and hate on a player for reasons that don't quite sync with the ethos of belonging.
Some have productivity reasons to dislike him. Which is fair enough. We can't all love every single representative of THFC (and over-rating every player is something trademarked with them lot down the road). He's not everyone's cup of tea for sure and arguably not suited for the Premier League in terms of what we expected from him when he signed.
He's neither the player that was advertised or the player we all wished for when Gareth Bale waved his goodbyes. There was hefty expectancy associated to the £30M price tag we paid. The club and the fans are to blame but then any given signing is (romanticised notion klaxon) wearing the shirt for us so when it's not quite happening, we can only aim our frustrations towards the pitch. In person or digitally.
He's still Erik Lamela, be it a Pochettino reinvention. An enigma. Our enigma. Our player. He's actually pretty decent. He gives it 100% and not in the fashion of a Freund or Holtby. The kid grafts and leaves everything on the field. He's got talent and vision but perhaps not at the level that aforementioned expectancy set. Consistency (or lack of) can be damning. Some players are excused from it (I don't make the rules), others not so much. Erik falls into the latter for many.
There's also valid reasons to suggest he's actually very much suited to our style of football and has been imperative to its success many times. If you dare to watch rather than fixate on him looking like a lesbian (hilarious) he's probably not half as bad as 'you' think he is (and not constantly brilliant as others might be suggesting).
If he was, say an academy player, he would probably still be abused by some of our own. Tom Carroll a recent victim of circumstance. Scapegoats are part of the way we digest and process football. On social media, the mass collective of avatars seek source material to base their edgy tweets on. Someone has to get it. You'll especially be a target if you've got an unnecessary haircut (no idea what this is) and tattoos (apparently only the great unwashed are allowed to spend their hard earned cash on ink). God forbid if you pluck your eyebrows. Why hate on Arsenal when you can hate your own 'flesh and blood'? Keep it in the family. AMIRITE? A little bit of self-deprecation is fine, we're Spurs and we've had a lifetime of laughing at our own plight. But that line, it gets crossed. A lot.
It's at moments like this that I'd usually pen a letter to the chairman. I'd bulk up with rich punchy satire and the ilk of parody that this blog was built on nigh ten years ago. But here's the thing, social media has pretty much changed the landscape of online communities. It's all been pillaged and destroyed, akin to Genghis Khan and his army sacking Baghdad. Rivers of blood and ink everywhere you look. It's made every one a micro-blogger and has given us the opportunity to discuss and dissect all aspects of football (politics, entertainment, everything) in real-time. Without a filter, without time to consider and reconsider. Twitter in particular is a fast-streaming condensed forum where there is little room for reflection and no edit button (just delete if you've managed to f*ck up 140 characters).
Actual message boards, which are slow-brooding beasts, are not too dissimilar to say a website like this one. But where they are closed communities (you need to be logged in or browsing to see anything on it), Twitter is a wide open space of information accompanied with as many streams of consciousness you care to follow. I love it, I hate it and I completely and utterly agree with Charlie Brooker that it's as much a game as it is a platform.
You just won't be able to collect all the trophies. There's no 100% completion. There is no ending, unless you deactivate or die. You get infinite access to free downloadable content. Well, it isn't free. Not really. You'll end up having to part with your soul at some point. I no longer need to do satire when I'm surrounded by it daily. Most of it delivered with straight laced jabs.
Twitter was pretty decent back (in the day) when taking a side and attacking the one opposite wasn't deemed the only viable way to use it. Today, if you wish to have a voice you have to shout louder than the one next to you in-order to drown it out. If you share your opinion it's instantly labelled. If I say something about Spurs it's apparently the opinion of a blogger/podcaster/twitter celeb. I cringe at the desperation to pigeon hole. Can I just not be a Spurs fan sharing my thoughts? The entire social media platform is there to showcase yourself. We're all on our soap box giving our public what they want. It's performance art for all involved.
The meta currently is to surround yourself with enablers that will never question anything you say, proclaim anyone with a differing view is drowning in idiocy and not listen to any conflicting arguments. Especially when you're leaning (internally) towards admitting you might have got something wrong. It's black or white. No in-between. You can't truly be honest because doing so opens up to weakness, like compassion. Anger or the act of being persistently pissed off with anything and everything is key. It's the most accessible human emotion we have. It's the easiest venting conduit that allows you to smash hard on the keyboard with bleeding fists of rage. It's the one that makes all of the noise. This meta is over-powered. It needs nerfing.
The major crux of this is that the meta is totally avoidable. You don't need to be running with it. You can mute, block, don't follow. I prefer not to completely isolate myself. Doing so would make me the same thing they are, right? Stuck in an echo chamber.
Oh crap...I'm fragmenting here.
I'm acknowledging there are two definitive sides. Does that make me part of the problem? AM I also labelling? Yes. It's unavoidable if you're going to play properly. It's either this or isolation. It's all a snapshot of real life anyways. Just that in real life, face to face, there are graces that can't be ignored and a conversation or even argument can be more controlled but still equally ugly. But it's mostly a little more honest than typing away on your laptop or smartphone because you can look into the other persons eyes. So pretence isn't the best methodology to adopt no matter where you choose to get your point across. But alas, it's adopted.
The bug that needs to be patched up is how thin-skinned most of the instigators of misery are. 'Disagree with me and imma gonna get personal'. If you dare to show concern or just be normal and balanced and not allow self-preservation agendas to influence, you're apparently the type that might be gutted if some artist you spent your whole life listening to died and your brain suffers a sensory overload of memories connected to the music. But then, there has to be sides, right? Because if there wasn't you'd never know what the opposite is and you'll miss out on questioning your own vanity or thought process on any given subject. Without it, you're stood in-front of a mirror frenziedly playing with yourself.
Of course, some are so far gone that listening to them or attempting to validate your stand point is unquestionably a waste of the time you've chosen to waste on Twitter. Some choose to ignore it all, rather than give them the attention they crave. I guess part of me likes giving them something back. Which is why I'm still on it. Balls deep. My ego won't let go. Maybe I'm perceived the same why I perceive the ones that are constantly hateful. It's bizarre and baffling no matter how you choose to decipher it.
I'm like most, I can't quite look away from a car crash even though I know it's not the right thing to do, to stop and stare, like there's something to gain. Better people just walk on by. We're all faux stand-up comedians, throwing out bits that need constant work and hoping for the occasional laugh out loud and serious re-tweet numbers whilst dealing with scathing hecklers. Like Brooker said, it's a game after-all.
I don't have a heartfelt psychologically conclusion to this by the way, if that's what you're expecting right about now. This is nothing more than wordy indulgent self-promotion with the odd typo and grammatical stroke. Soz.
If you are on Twitter and you're an avid reader of this blog, then you need to be following me. For bite sized fun. I'm proper insightful and humorous. I'm also wrong and misguided at times and will put my hands up and admit to it because I ain't scared of the monsters under my bed. That's right, I'm perfect because I'm ordinary.
Hopefully I did a good job in selling you Twitter and its vibrant discourse.
The sooner you're back the better Erik.
So follow for the banter. Stay for the love.