MOMS was going to crank the Media Muppets column up into action once again as a reaction to all these stories about Aston Villa needing to offer £30m for various Championship players, including Bristol City’s Adam Webster and Leeds Kalvin Phillips, but along came The Sun…

Bye-bye Meatball?

The headline of ‘Manchester United are set to bid for John McGinn – but the Aston Villa star will cost £50m’ was run by The Sun last night. Without offering any real substance, the article seemed to try and justify itself with the following token paragraph: ‘The Old Trafford club have made background checks on McGinn ahead of their opening offer’.

Now, what McGinn is worth and if United would offer £50m, isn’t really the issue here. The bottom line is Villa would be fools to sell him at this moment in time.

Without McGinn last season, Villa wouldn’t be in the Premier League now, without him in the upcoming season, potential relegation suddenly becomes a serious conversation.

The fact of the matter is the only core players in the current Villa squad that supporters know they could rely on next season as first XI starters are Jack Grealish and McGinn.

How new signing Wesley will cope with English football is an unknown. While Villa’s current lack of centre-backs is a serious concern, as is the current size of the squad.

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The Hypothetical

If you want to get into the hypothetical of, ‘but Villa could use that £50m to upgrade the team’, such an amount doesn’t stretch very far in the current market.

Domestic Championship players are apparently valued at £30m…and there are no guarantees in procuring cheaper talent off the continent will work. Look at how the likes of the talented Idrissa Gueye and Jordan Veretout performed in a hastily put together Villa team that eventually got relegated without even a whimper.

If Villa didn’t have both McGinn and Tyrone Mings next season, then the spine of the belief, spirit and dynamism of the Villa team that stormed the later stages of last season to get promoted, would have been ripped out. Villa would be very much starting from scratch with little continuity from last season.

Considering the defining qualities that the Scots midfielder brings to Villa, with McGinn, it’s very much a case of a dove in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Anyway, back to The Sun…

Who the F**k Are Man United?

While The Sun have a dedicated ‘United News’ online portal that is a beast they obviously need to feed to exploit United’s massive global fanbase, there was something interesting about the timing of the article.

A couple of hours before they ran the United £50M McGinn article on Saturday night (June 29th), they ran a profile piece entitled:

‘MCGINNIESTA Man Utd transfer target John McGinn is workaholic Villa fans’ favourite who partied in Magaluf after promotion’.

Obviously, it’s a quick one-two clickbait punch, but it’s also like it was prepping and priming the £50m story. The first article seemed to profile and introduce McGinn to United readers, before they dropped the £50m headline bombshell a couple of hours later.

A lot of international United fans who would have had little interest in the Championship may have had no idea who McGinn was. Suddenly when the £50m story came a couple of hours later, after also watching some youtube clips of his Sheffield Wednesday wonder goal and play-off final winner, they would be self-proclaimed instant experts, as the internet allows people to be nowadays.

Naturally, it didn’t take much for The Sun to undermine its own creditability in their ‘journalism’, when they got the location mentioned in their first headline completely wrong.

Even McGinn had to step in himself to help correct the matter with a friendly retweet.

McGinn was never in Magaluf, he was in Benidorm with his family and friends.

It certainly brought back memories of The Sun reaching a new low when they infamously wrote a match report on a Villa game and got the opponents wrong throughout it.

Playing Away

If you didn’t think The Sun could wind up Villa fans any more, well, there was more to come today…

Apparently, 42% of Aston Villa away supporters have cheated on their partners when going to Villa away games.

With whom? Where? During the game?!

The source of this ‘story’? Some shonky betting site poll – must be true then.

Expect more offerings from The Sun in Media Muppets soon.

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