Barnes takeover of Liverpool Twitter worked, says Burnley YouTuber behind the stunt
"It definitely worked," says the man behind one of the quirkiest football stories this season. Fresh off cajoling tens of thousands of Liverpool fans into changing their social media profile pictures to a smirking mugshot of Burnley FC striker, Ashley Barnes, YouTuber Vizeh says that despite the Clarets' 0-1 home loss to Manchester City, the Barnes phenomenon came good.
After inspiring a Barnes-themed takeover of Liverpool Twitter last week, Vizeh, aka Liam Waddington, a Burnley-born YouTuber with over 176,000 subscribers on the platform, says that the pro-Burnley vibes the mass movement created absolutely worked, as Barnes - fast becoming a cult hero amongst Burnley fans for his "s***housing" - got away with a clear handball which could have resulted in a first-half penalty.
"We pushed City," said Liam. "In the first half, we were fantastic and in the second, I don't know if we had tired legs but City went for the kill. Ben Mee, Tom Heaton, Tarkowski - everyone was insane. Even on Aguero's goal, Mee made sure it was scrappy, so you can't blame the man.
"All round, I can't complain, but it would've been fantastic if we'd done it because I'd be loved by every Liverpool fan in the world - I'd expect to go Liverpool next weekend and get free drinks for the entire night," he added.
In a tight affair, Burnley managed to hold out against current Premier League champions Manchester City until around the hour mark, at which point Sergio Aguero's close-range effort just about crept over the line by a mere 29.5mm despite Matthew Lowton's best efforts to clear it. Frustrated up until that point, City had enjoyed the lion's share of possession, but were not creating clear-cut chances.
"I've seen a few people say Lowton was poor, but let's see how you'd do marking Sane and Sterling, pal," Liam said. "We force the opposition to go wide and cross the ball and then stay compact in the box - that's what made us so good last year. Then, unless there's some miraculous shot which goes top bins which Heaton can't save, typically it works."
Explaining that he had expected the tweet to capture the imagination of a few fans, Liam nevertheless says he can't believe a concept which he dreamt up on the way back from the Manchester derby last week - "I thought, 'let's see how bad these Liverpool fans want it - let's get some Liverpool fans to do some stupid sh*t,' - would get onto BBC Sport and result in Burnley manager Sean Dyche being asked about it in a press conference.
"Sean Dyche's time is being wasted on me doing some stupid stuff!" says Liam with a laugh. "That Ashley Barnes pic from Chelsea away was everywhere and it's a lovely face, so it was already at the top of my camera roll. I expected the tweet to do well but it just went off. Someone from the club said that they'd informed Ashley Barnes about it and even Clive Tyldsley brought it up on comms - it's like... what?"