England World Cup squad omissions leaked on Twitter ahead of official announcement
England fans heard that Theo Walcott and Darren Bent had been left out of the World Cup 2010 squad via Twitter rather than from the English FA
There has still been no official announcement from the English Football Association about the make-up of the 23-man squad that will be flying the flag for England at the World Cup finals in South Africa later this month.
But fans desperate to know whether Walcott's in (he's out) and Carrick's out (he's in) already know – thanks to Twitter.
While the Football Association's own website has crashed under the weight of visitor numbers desperate for confirmation of the final squad, canny fans have been glued to Twitter, as well-placed journalists with the ear of senior figures in the England team reveal the news of who will be on the plane – and who won't – before any official statement from either the FA or Fabio Capello.
The Daily Express's Matt Law was one of the first to break news of Walcott's omission on Twitter. "Walcott out of England World Cup squad," he tweeted. "Gutted for him."
Meanwhile the News of the World's Neil Ashton was the first to say that Michael Carrick, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Jermaine Defoe had made the cut. "Relief for Carrick, he's in the England squad," he tweeted. "Shaun Wright-Phillips in squad, Defoe in too."
Indeed, at the time of writing, the Football Association was not expected to make an official announcement on the final World Cup squad until 3pm – which, considering that Twitter is already awash with the names of the seven men who will miss out (reliably believed to be Theo Walcott, Tom Huddlestone, Leighton Baines, Scott Parker, Michael Dawson, Adam Johnson and Darren Bent), would make it little more than a postscript to a story that has already well and truly broken.
As one commentator put it: "A frankly shambolic and unacceptable way for England's World Cup campaign to begin."
Hopefully, for their sake, the England team has a better grasp of formations, tactics and training methods than it does social media ...