A cheeky social media post from Manchester United’s admin ahead of their FA Cup semi-final against Brighton has got people talking.
Last week, in the build-up to their crucial Premier League clash against West Ham, a number of Arsenal players were criticised for not acknowledging a young mascot as she held out a jersey to sign.
The Gunners’ official Twitter account posted a clip with the caption, “Making memories with our mascot” – a video that has since picked up over 13 million views and counting.
Many were unhappy with the Arsenal players involved as they failed to interact with the young girl, who was clearly in awe of her idols.
Making memories with our mascot ❤️ pic.twitter.com/LjGWmzd2Vl
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 16, 2023
A week later and Manchester United’s official Twitter account posted a video with the caption, “Making memories with our mascots”.
As you can see in the footage below, Erik ten Hag, David de Gea, Casemiro, Wout Weghorst, Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony bump hands with the young fans as they make their way to the Wembley dressing room.
Here’s how fans reacted to the post.
One said: “Just wait until the Arsenal fans find this lmao,” while another commented: “Some teams need to take note.”
A third added: “It’s a cheap shot, but it’s delivered beautifully.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 23, 2023
After the mascot incident last week, talkSPORT presenter Laura Woods was highly critical of some Arsenal players for their lack of eye contact, saying: “What does it take to say, ‘Hi’?”
Woods did, however, reveal that she had been in touch with the club, who confirmed she did spend more time with the players in the warm-ups.
“I agree, it doesn’t take a lot just to acknowledge somebody with a smile,” she said. “I think that video is quite symptomatic of football and footballers now.
“To add a little bit of context, I actually messaged the club because I think they thought ‘they all stopped and signed the shirt this is great’.
“Maybe that in itself is the problem that there’s now a disconnect between what you’re meant to do for those kinds of mascots.”
Woods added: “The club did say it’s part of a matchday experience so that’s not the only interaction she had with the players. She was a mascot, she went out on the pitch with them, she would have been on the pitch with them during warm-ups.
“I think there’s a lot of things we don’t see, but that’s not excusing that video because I watched it a couple of times over and in my head thought ‘oh wait was it cut off afterwards, maybe they did [acknowledge her]’ and I went back and watched it and they didn’t.
“Maybe it’s quite a good lesson, the reaction of the normal fans. It’s a pre-match routine and I get that, you’re in your bubble, but it doesn’t really take long just to make eye contact.
“I watched that little girl and the way she’s waiting for eye contact or any sort of acknowledgement. The Young Gunners get these incredible experiences so I’m hoping somewhere else along the line she had a great day and got that interaction but in that moment, what does it take to just say hi?”