Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has urged midfielder Bruno Guimaraes to learn a lesson after hitting back at “stupid” criticism on social media.
The 25-year-old Brazil international has become something of a cult hero at St James’ Park since his £35million arrival from Lyon in January last year and has established an online following with his regular posts.
However, he felt moved to mount a staunch defence of his team after Saturday evening’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester City, who he described as “maybe one of the best teams in the world”, accusing some detractors of having “short stupid memories” in a message since deleted.
Asked about Guimaraes’ response, head coach Howe said: “I’m certainly not going to criticise the supporters here. I think it’s more a lesson for us.
“I choose not to be on social media for that exact reason, because I want a clear thought process. I don’t want to pollute my thoughts with things that I read and avoid certain situations, so I take myself out of that environment.
“The players can choose to be on it, that’s absolutely fine because that’s their individual choice, but I think it’s important that we don’t overly react emotionally to certain things.
“Now, Bruno is a very emotional person and I think you’ve seen on the pitch, it’s so positive for us, that emotion. He uses it brilliantly, he has used it brilliantly to not just perform well, but build a feeling with the supporters because I think the supporters see how much it means to him.
“It’s all positive in terms of that feeling that Bruno has, but this is just maybe a little lesson for him.”
Howe admitted that the advent of social media has brought a new element to the lives of players which can have an impact, both positively and negatively.
Asked how that can be managed, he said: “A lot of the young players now will have been on social media all of their lives or from a certain age, so it just becomes part of their daily routines, potentially, to look and to read and to be in that world.
“Once you’re in it, it’s slightly more difficult to come away from it, whereas when I was growing up, it wasn’t there.”
Guimaraes and his team-mates will hope to do their talking on the pitch on Sunday, when they return to action against Liverpool, the only side to beat them home and away in last season’s Premier League.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has aimed a series of barbs at the newly-enriched Tyneside club and, asked if he had a relationship with the German, Howe said: “I don’t really have a relationship with any manager.
“I’m competing against them, I find it very difficult to have personal relationships with competitors.
“I respect Jurgen a lot. I think he’s done an incredible job. He’s an unbelievable football manager, but I draw the line at friendships because they don’t exist for me.”