Keiren Westwood issued a statement on Monday morning addressing the “online abuse” he has suffered since finding himself out of the Sheffield Wednesday first team.
The Republic of Ireland goalkeeper has not featured for the Owls since they lost 2-1 to West Brom in late November with many reporting of a rift between himself and manager Garry Monk.
Westwood released a statement this morning, underneath a tweet that read:
“Being trolled online is never a nice experience. With the tragic events recently it’s given me the courage to speak out to put an end to the online abuse I’m receiving simply for doing my job. Clarity is important. Enough is enough.”
In the statement, Westwood said he feels obliged to defend himself after rumours circulated of a rift between him and Monk.
Westwood claimed he and Monk had had an honest conversation about the manager’s decision to leave him out of the squad and that they had left things on good terms.
The Manchester-born Irish international also seemed to suggest that his time at the club had come to an end.
Being trolled online is never a nice experience. With the tragic events recently it’s given me the courage to speak out to put an end to the online abuse I’m receiving simply for doing my job. Clarity is important. Enough is enough. #MentalHealthAwareness #footballmentalhealth pic.twitter.com/41RhgG2mfF— Keiren Westwood (@WestwoodKeiren) February 17, 2020
Westwood’s statement can be read in full here.
“With all the rumours, lies and accusations being said about me online, I feel obliged to clear my name and defend myself.
“I feel it’s personally becoming too much to handle and it is getting out of control. The manager and I have not fallen out. We had a conversation man to man, and it was fine.
“I’m very experienced to know that these things happen in football and it’s never anything personal. We had a good conversation, shook hands and left on good terms. I’m too far into my career to fall out with people. I know football inside and out, and I know a week is a lifetime in this world, so the hostility and animosity isn’t something I am interested in having in my life.
“There was no arguments or bad attitudes, and definitely none of the rumours being bandied about having occurred. The manager has made a decision, which I fully accept and respect, and I have done since the moment it was made.
“After six years at this wonderful club, I reflect on my time here with great pride, having played 179 matches, twice being Player of the Year, twice equalling the clean sheet record and making it into the PFA Team of the Year.
“I will also look back with great fondness and affection to the love that has been afforded to me by the club, the managers, Mr Chansiri and his family, all the staff and my team-mates, who I have shared plenty of highs and lows with and given everything for each other out on that pitch.
“To the fans who have rowed that journey with me, the rapport and love I have felt, I will never forget and will cherish forever.
“With all that said, I fully support the team and the club, not only on a professional level, but also on a personal level as my two boys wouldn’t have that any other way. Rumours and gossip can cause a rift in the fanbase and hurt people in the process. It’s important that the fans stick together and support the team.”
The 20-time capped Irish international joined the Championship club from Sunderland in 2014. He had been the club’s first-choice goalkeeper when Monk took over in September last year.
However, the 35-year-old has been frozen out of Monk’s first-team squad and is currently training with the U23s.