Halford proves it's good to tweet
The football world is littered with those who have fallen foul to the mindless tweet.
Brainless rants, ill-judged opinions and expletive-laden attacks have all left players facing the music after delivering their thoughts via the magic of social media.
It’s enough to drive a manager to distraction.
Steve Cotterill famously dished out a Twitter ban when he was manager of Pompey – with fines of £1,000 per word for any players who transgressed.
But Greg Halford is feeling the Blues’ love out there in the Twittersphere.
Halford is a keen advocate of interacting with Pompey fans online.
The 27-year-old did find himself in hot water at Wolves, when he revealed Steve Sidwell was in attendance at a game ahead of a switch to the club.
That then contributed to Aston Villa hijacking the move at the 11th hour.
Largely, however, being in touch with supporters has been a hugely positive experience for the player.
Halford’s army of 11,700 followers are predominantly Pompey fans, allowing him to build up a positive relationship with the Fratton faithful.
That has been seen in recent days with the former Sunderland and Colchester man keeping his followers in the loop regarding his future at Fratton Park, with Halford a near cert to be sold this summer.
Halford even posted a link to portsmouth.co.uk on Twitter yesterday to enable his fans to read his interview with The News.
He has no doubt that interaction has brought him closer to Pompey’s supporters.
Halford said: ‘I think you have to open up like that nowadays.
‘If you open up to the fans they will open up to you and take you on as one of their own.
‘I think that has definitely happened here. I think a lot of the fans who come to games follow me on Twitter.
‘It’s nice to be able to talk to them and interact with them.
‘You can’t do it every single day, but I try to do it as much as I can.
‘I think they appreciate that. I definitely appreciate their support.’
Twitter has also allowed Halford to move towards changing perceptions of him as a player and person.
Often seen as troublesome and aloof in his career, the versatile talent has been able to engage with fans and set the record straight.
A languid playing style has also been his downfall at times, with some seeing it as Halford being found wanting for effort.
But the versatile Blues star has been able to lay his Pompey passion bare since arriving in 2010. And that has gone down well with the online community.
‘Pompey fans seem to like the way I play,’ said Halford.
‘I’ve been at other clubs where people have seen me as lazy.
‘If you look at the running stats, I will always be up there in the top three in every game. The facts don’t lie.
‘But my style doesn’t suit everyone and sometimes it can be my downfall. That’s the way I play, though.
‘It’s got me to where I am at the minute and I don’t think it will ever change.
‘But being able to speak with supporters has definitely helped me on that front.’
Recent tweets from Halford have included him telling fans he hasn’t currently spoken to any other clubs, with his departure inevitable.
That follows on from Michael Appleton stating he expected him to leave Pompey this week.
The reality is clubs, including Birmingham, Nottingham Forest and Leeds, are vying for his services.
In the meantime, Halford is one of the players who has taken a wage deferral to see his club through the coming weeks.
He said that is something he didn’t have to think twice about.
‘I really don’t know what is going to happen,’ said Halford.
‘The club need someone to come in ASAP and stabilise it.
‘If that doesn’t happen, then all the administrator can do is lower the wage bill as much as he can and make it manageable for next season, so players will leave.
‘There has been deferrals.
‘It doesn’t affect everyone. It affects the higher earners. The people who don’t earn as much aren’t affected. So not everyone has taken deferrals, but the bigger earners have.
‘I think all the players will say that, as long as they can help the club, they are willing to do that.
‘That’s where we stand at the minute.’