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German footballer forgets who he is in Twitter blunder


German footballer forgets who he is in Twitter blunder

Supporters of Premier League giants Manchester City and Arsenal were both baffled last week, when recent City signing Ilkay Gündogan appeared to confuse himself with Arsenal compatriot Mesut Özil.

Gündogan, who signed for Manchester City this summer from Borussia Dortmund, proudly tweeted on August 1st that he would be returning to training soon.

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However, it was the first part of his tweet that caused some confusion. Why was City’s new £21m signing hanging around with fellow title hopefuls Arsenal during their preseason tour of America?

Fans able to recognise a footballing face will have noted that the player in the centre of the accompanying photo is not Gündogan, but fellow German midfielder Mesut Özil. So, mystery solved – it wasn’t a case of Gündogan jumping ship without even playing a game for his new club, but simply another of the all too common Twitter gaffes that seem to provide the sport with plenty of embarrassment and mirth, depending on whether it’s your club or your rival that makes them.

But hang on, why doesn’t Gündogan know who he is or who he plays for? Or had Özil hacked into his Twitter account, perhaps playing a hilarious German prank on his countryman? How did this happen?

The most likely explanation is that Gündogan and Özil don’t manage their own Twitter accounts, or at least hand over some of the control of them to somebody else. We’re guessing that a social media management company runs the Twitter accounts of both players and, quite simply, tweeted from the wrong account by mistake.

At Engage Web, we can relate to this situation to some extent, because we manage or contribute to the social media accounts of many of our clients. Platforms like HootSuite and TweetDeck make it easier to do this, allowing you to tweet from any of the accounts you manage without the need to log in and out of each one individually, but some care is still required. If you don’t make sure your tweet is going out from the account it should be, what could have been a superb tweet about SEO and internet marketing might end up appearing on the Twitter feed of a company that provides carpet fitting services, or vice versa.

When tweets are as much in the public eye as in football, these blunders are sure to be magnified, so the lesson is to be careful. Oh yeah, and next time your favourite footballer acknowledges one of your tweets to him, don’t get too excited – it might just be some bloke in an office!

John Murray
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