The modern day world of football and social media means players are always likely to respond eventually, and Sheffield United striker Oli McBurnie did just that last night.
McBurnie, who started at Barnsley but was dropped back to the bench for yesterday’s defeat against Blackpool, is always a vocal presence on the social media platforms. He is well-known for engaging with fans on Twitter, and often takes time out to reply.
Last night, things threatened to get nasty on Twitter, as one fan questioned McBurnie for simply winding down after the game watching some UFC.
To his credit, McBurnie simply replied with calm, asking the supporter how what he does outside of football affects his concentration on all things Sheffield United.
The thread carried on beyond that, as the supporter – clearly riled from another defeat – wanted answers from the Blades number nine.
Again, McBurnie, to his credit, delivered a measured response, He simply promised to try and do better against Forest on Tuesday evening.
Our View: Just the way it is nowadays but needless abuse needs to stop
Everyone has the right to an opinion and with social media an open platform at times, fans will often try and speak directly to players.
McBurnie here handled things really well. It could have easily escalated and become a big argument. Instead, the Blades striker simply shut down the notion that what he does at home has any effect on his game.
But overall, this sort of thing needs to stop. The initial tweet was one sent in anger and with an abusive undertone to it. The fact McBurnie responded as he did, is more a credit to his own patience than anything else. On another day, this sort of thing can easily go down the wrong path.
This team has some players in it who might not be giving 100%. But you can’t really say Oli McBurnie is one of them. When he does get a chance, he puts a shift in. The lack of goals is just a bi-product of a team in poor form for over 16 months now.