It’s been a while since the last Media Muppets column. Why? Well, mainly because it’s impossible to keep up with the increasingly suffocating click-bait approach of the likes of HITC, the Birmingham Mail and co. We’ll probably go back and address a few shocking Media Muppet examples of the past months, but in the meantime, here’s a few that have grabbed our attention recently.

The Sun – Alan Dixon

Headline:

Relegated Aston Villa set to make mega offer to lure West Brom boss Tony Pulis as their manager

Spiel:

ASTON VILLA want to tempt Tony Pulis with a blockbusting offer to make him their new manager.

The relegated Midlands giants are about to be taken over by a Chinese group whose advisers are pushing them to try for the West Brom boss.

The Welshman has a year left on his contract at Albion and could be interested if Villa can prove they mean business as they try to come back to the big time.

Villa’s ownership should be sorted soon, with the Chinese consortium leading the race and already taking soundings about changes to key jobs.

Pulis is the name that appeals to them in the dug-out while they are also looking at former Everton chief executive Keith Wyness in a senior role.

Villa could have money to spend and will need it as they weed out some of the players who took them down. It is a huge rebuilding process but may appeal to someone like Pulis who built Stoke from a similar starting point.

 

 Evaluation

1.The BS detector is beeping like crazy. Tony Pulis? Is that the best they can come up with? Steve Bruce was bad enough. If you’re going to all the trouble of fronting up £100M (including debt pay off) to buy Villa, would your big plan be fronted by having Pulis as the manager? If it is, then don’t even bother.

2. So, Pulis did a similar thing when rebuilding Stoke did he? Again, if the aim of a new buyer is to turn Aston Villa into the new Stoke or WBA, then don’t even bother buying the club. The situation at Villa is not to simply return the club to the Premier League and then survive there, but it’s to challenge again and bring European football back to Villa Park. They have to look at the big and longer-term ambition and Pulis wouldn’t be a fit for that.

3. So where’s the evidence for this story? Nothing beyond this sweeping statement by the journalist – ‘The relegated Midlands giants are about to be taken over by a Chinese group whose advisers are pushing them to try for the West Brom boss.’ Yep, he gets paid for writing that.

4. To be fair to Pulis, does he really want to take a step down to the Championship? He’s worked hard to stabilise the Baggies in the Premier League and increased TV revenue will give him increased options to test his true potential. Why give that up for the potential hornet’s nest of running Villa at the moment?

Media Muppet Rating: 9/10

 

The Daily Star – Unattributed

Headline:

Every Aston Villa player’s weekly wages revealed

Spiel:

STARSPORT bring you every Aston Villa player’s wages – according to Football Manager 2016 – and their Premier League season contribution too (as of 22 April 2016).

Article is a Gallery of player headshots with wage totals.

Evaluation

1.So after the big click-bait headline of ‘Every Aston Villa’s player’s weekly wages revealed’ gets the reader there, they are confronted with the small print that the wages calculations are according to a computer game! Welcome to national newspaper journalism, people.

2. Computer games are not reality and the same goes with the amounts quoted. These are guesstimates. The problem is the gamers will now be quoting them as fact and as a result the world gets dumber.

3. Yes, the Daily Star is probably the most low rent of all the national newspapers and they will run many a shonky article, so this is no surprise. Maybe a Villa-centric fan blog or the Birmingham Mail’s Villa coverage would run something like this, but a national paper?

MOMS has a bigger readership than the Star in terms of Villa fans, so why even go for such Villa-themed content? Oh, the gallery triggers a page-reload 24 times (if you click on all the slides) that amps up the ad revenue, you say? Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to UBER click-bait!

(If you don’t want MOMS to pull such moves you better become a MOMS Patron here).

Media Muppet Rating: 8/10

 

The Guardian (WhoScored?) – Martin Lawrence

Headline:

Why Aston Villa could be the surprise package of the Premier League season

Spiel:

They have lost their top goalscorer, Christian Benteke, and their captain, Fabian Delph, but Aston Villa have made some astute signings in the off-season.

Losing key players may not have been the ideal way to force Randy Lerner’s hand in the transfer market, with the American owner still looking to sell the club, but it has restored a sense of excitement before of the upcoming campaign. Believe it or not, Aston Villa are well placed to be the surprise package of the Premier League.

Potential line-up: Guzan – Hutton, Richards, Clark, Amavi – Veretout, Sanchez, Gueye, – Gil, Grealish – Adebayor

If, as expected, Villa complete the signings of Veretout and Adebayor in the coming days, Sherwood has every right to be happy with his lot and will be aiming to offload any deadwood before dipping into the market again. It will be a new-look side regardless, and a real departure from the days of Paul Lambert. That, for Villa fans, is just what the doctor ordered, even if it means losing the players that kept the club afloat under the former manager.

Evaluation:

  1. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and the writer is a Villa fan, so his impulse was to be optimistic, but how wrong was the premise of this article at the start of the season?!The article was actually a well-rounded piece and like many other articles on Villa’s new acquisitions, the tone is of course positive and hopefully. To be honest, it’s only in Media Muppets for its headline, which actually was spot on, but not in the way it was intended.

2. There is a cautionary tale here though, because all the stats that ran through the original article, ultimately meant nothing. The important stats that were missing were both Tim Sherwood and Tom Fox’s records of successful player acquisition. They were missing because they didn’t actually exist. It was both parties first ever summer of player recruitment. It’s great to see Lerner trusted such inexperience in the rebuilding of the Villa team and the running of the club. Tut tut.

Media Muppet Rating: 3/10

UTV

If you’ve spotted an article that is just lazy journalism or worse, and is perfect for Media Muppets, then leave the link in the comments below, DM us on Facebook or send it to us via Twitter @oldmansaid

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Just why would Pulis leave an established Premiership club for a lower division at a club which is a complete disaster story from top to bottom?

  2. pullis would be on my shortlist,,, and the reason why is he would get you promoted,,,, he would build you a no nonsense team that would be well organised and work very hard
    there would be none of the antics that has emerged from villa park this season

    pullis can play good football as his stint at palace proved,,, and he has never has vast sums of money to spend or been at club that could and can attract big players or players who are highly rated and in demand
    new owners will change the whole outlook of the club from its self enduced collapse to a club with direction

    so pullis would be a very good appointment,,,, get you up,, stabilise then if we stagnate bring in the next
    manager to take us forward

  3. I’m sorry but “The problem is the gamers will now be quoting them as fact and as a result the world gets dumber.” This statement is totally disconnected from reality, I am a ‘gamer’ I am also a human who knows the difference between reality and fiction, pathetic that you would assume that just because I make the conscious decision to play a video game that I am going to be spreading around clearly marked misinformation, the vast majority of people would never dream of assuming that a ‘gamer’ would tell everyone the wages were real based off football manager. I believe that you should get a ‘better’ more comprehensive world view before spouting this ridiculous rhetoric.

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