Stoke manager Tony Pulis is hoping Jermaine Pennant has learned his lesson this week after “talking to a bunch of Herberts” on Twitter.
Following last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Wigan, Pennant used the social networking site to voice his frustration, in particular at playing at wing-back, adding: “I’ve never ever been a full-back in my life.”
A national newspaper website picked up the tweets and ran a story with the headline ’Pennant blasts Stoke boss Pulis after being forced to play at full-back’.
The winger then used Twitter to defend himself, insisting that “not one bit of me was moaning”.
He added: “I just stated where I spent most of game playing...I would play in goal if I had to.
“Nobody is happy with that performance...just as much as the fans we players get p***** off too...it’s not like we go out there and not try.”
Pulis has at least exonerated Pennant of wrongdoing with regard to his comments, stating: “What he said has been taken completely out of context, and that is what can happen.
“There are people out there who monitor these sites and they’ll see something and they’ll feed off it.
“It’s great for the negativity of our press organisations up and down the country when people like Jermaine go on there and say things to whoever picks them up.”
However, Pulis is at a loss to understand why Pennant and others would want to use Twitter in the first place.
“The way I’ve been brought up, I’ve enough friends and family that I can pick up the phone and talk to them,” he added.
“I find it amazing the way these social networks run and people do what they do on them.
“They’re talking to a bunch of Herberts they don’t even know, and they are opening themselves up to these Herberts. For me, it is beyond my common sense to do that.
“But he (Pennant) has most probably learned a lesson by doing it because you are just waiting for people to pick things up and then twist and turn it the way they want to.”
Pulis concedes times have changed since he was a player, adding: “The players know how I feel about these networks, but I’m not a young lad.
“I could play a game of football, go down the pub and there would be supporters of my team in there, you’d have a chat with them and go home.
“You have to move with the times, and they (today’s players) live in an era where talking via computers is the norm, or becoming the norm. It’s very sad in lots of respects.
“But I understand it. I’ve had to change my ways enormously over my management career to adapt to what people get up to today.
“But it’s still beyond belief that you go on a computer page, or whatever it is, and tell people you are having a cup of tea or coffee somewhere.”
Pulis dismissed suggestions it is a way for fans to connect with the players.
He said: “The best way of connecting with supporters is going out on a Saturday, playing fantastically well and winning a game of football.”
Asked whether he would consider banning his players from using Twitter, Pulis added: “I’d have to speak to (chairman) Peter (Coates) and the family in respect of doing anything like that.”