Unmasking the soccer coach: a social media comedy unfolds

22. 02. 2024 | Natalie Bezděková

The story of Michael Beale, the former Sunderland coach, is more like a script from a comedy series than the reality of the football world. Beal got into the hot seat after replacing the popular Tony Mowbray as coach of second division Sunderland. However, his relationship with the fans wasn’t exactly the best, which was partly due to his attitude on social media.

Beal decided to create a fake account on the social networking site X (formerly known as Twitter), where he presented himself under the pseudonym “Player__id”. This account was originally intended to act as an objective observer of football events, but it soon became clear that its main purpose was to defend Beal and criticise his opponents.

One of the most notable moments revealed by fans was Beale’s attitude during a match against Birmingham, where he ignored substitute Traie Hume. This sparked another wave of criticism, which the “independent” account on social network X tried to mitigate by claiming that Beal followed the action on the pitch until the last moment.

Another clue that revealed a connection between the “Player__id” account and Beal was a link to that account on Beal’s LinkedIn profile. Its description stated that it was created by the England coach in 2017. These revelations eventually put an end to the fake endorsement of Beale and the whole case was accepted as a curiosity of the football world.

Although this behavior was not the main reason for the termination of Beal’s engagement at Sunderland, the club decided to make a change because of the results on the pitch. Beal only stayed in the job for nine weeks, during which he recorded mixed results. But his short career at Sunderland will probably forever be linked with this strange story.

Photo source: www.pexels.com

Author of this article

Natalie Bezděková

I am a student of Master's degree in Political Science. I am interested in marketing, especially copywriting and social media. I also focus on political and social events at home and abroad and technological innovations. My free time is filled with sports, reading and a passion for travel.


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