“Once again!” influential Catalan journalist Gerard Romero tweeted, followed by a “facepalm” emoji and link to the news that Ousmane Dembélé had been late to training. In a tweetstorm fueled by outrage, Romero continued in another post: “He does NOT learn, he does NOT take advantage of the moment. Agreed that he performs on the pitch, OK. But how can his teammates be around a person who goes his own f----ing way? TOTAL lack of respect for the club. Once more.”
That last tweet, in particular, has over 1,800 “likes” on Twitter. And one has come from an unusual source - Dembélé himself.
Yes, the French winger has liked both of those tweets, and one more: “He is a HELL OF A PLAYER, he could reach any height he wants.. yesterday, the BEST of all time praises him, protects him... and hours later?”
Dembélé has “liked” tweets in an ironic fashion before. Over the summer, he “liked” tweets which abused him in terrible, racist ways. It’s possible he is trying to send a similar message with his “likes” this time. The winger could also be “liking” them in earnest; we don’t know as he has not commented on them. But somehow that seems less likely.
Dembélé had another productive outing as Barcelona won the Catalan derby 4-0 over Espanyol. Lionel Messi lit the world on fire with two free kick goals, but the Frenchman had a goal and an assist, as well.
However, the good feeling over his increased involvement was short-lived as news leaked that Dembélé had been over two hours late for training. The debate among fans now is whether the media is too harsh on him (which in itself could tie into a larger debate regarding Raheem Sterling and racism in media) or whether the player is jeopardizing his own career through chronic lateness. (Or possibly, both.)