Mar 28, 2011

Wales assistant to keep tweeting

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Raymond Verheijen says he has taught the British media a lessonWales assistant boss Raymond Verheijen says he will continue to speak his mind on microblogging website Twitter.

The Dutchman hit out at "incompetent amateurs" over the reporting of Gareth Bale's injury in the build-up to Wales' 2-0 defeat by England on Saturday.

Manager Gary Speed said Verheijen's post - initially interpreted as a dig at Bale's club Tottenham Hotspur - caused an "unnecessary problem".

But Verheijen said: "It didn't concern me, it made me smile."

He said he reacted "quickly" with his tweet to address the report over Bale to ensure the Wales camp were not seen as "pushovers".

But he insisted no ban had been placed on him using Twitter and argued his honesty and sometimes outspoken views should be applauded.

"When I took this job with Wales everybody around me warned me about the British media but that's part of the job," he added.

"I'll keep tweeting and what you do is your decision.

"If you give an interview or you tweet, you either speak your mind or you don't do it at all.

"If all you produce is clichés then you might as well not give an interview. You have to give your views and information or not speak at all."

If you want to be successful and are ambitious then one thing you have to make sure is that people don't think you are a pushover

Verheijen's first tweet on the Bale story appeared at about 0800 GMT on Thursday, stating: "This morning there there will be an official statement by [Wales manager] Gary Speed about the situation with Gareth Bale. The incompetent amateurs struck again!"

This was followed shortly afterwards by: "Funny to read about Gareth Bale injuring his hamstring in training yesterday.... as he did not train at all yesterday."

A few hours later, Verheijen posted: "Just spoken with people of Spurs as they thought 'incompetent amateurs' had something to do with them. Promised them to put it on Twitter."

He then went on to blame the media, saying the breaking news about Bale's injury had made the Football Association of Wales look like a "bunch of amateurs" and the "incompetent amateurs" are the people who put in the news that Gareth Bale got injured in training with Wales while he did not train at all."

But Verheijen defended his actions, saying: "I had to react quickly.

"I woke up and saw about Gareth Bale getting injured on Wednesday but he didn't train on Wednesday so I was really surprised how this could be in the media.

"This was a way of doing [dealing with] it. Depending on the situation, you may choose this solution if you really want to act quickly and make an impact or sometimes you do it in a different way.

"It's also part of the learning process, no matter if you're a big or small country, if you want to be successful and are ambitious then one thing you have to make sure is that people don't think you are a pushover.

"If I was bothered about the British media I wouldn't have taken this job. That's part of the job. You can take it very, very seriously or you can laugh about it. In a way it's also funny.

Verheijen, appointed by Speed to join the Wales coaching set-up in February, added: "This is also a lesson for the media because you guys also have to do a job and nine out of 10 times you interview someone, he's either producing clichés or non-information which is frustrating and then all of a sudden someone speaks his mind and then it's used against you.

"It is a signal for the media if me or someone else speaks his mind, appreciating that might also be an option. You must be able in football to give your opinion."



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