Media Muppets Returns
It’s been over a year since we’ve rolled out a Media Muppets column, although it is now a regular segment on the My Old Man Said podcast show. The reason why it’s been on hiatus is that trawling through clickbait and press ineptitude fast becomes a soul-destroying exercise.
Recently surveying the landscape though, it seems football coverage has dipped to even more extreme levels of muppetry.
Here’s the first three reasons why it might be worth getting the Media Muppets show back on the road…
Watkins to Spurs, You Say?
William Pugh – The Sun
Tottenham ‘consider Ollie Watkins transfer swoop with Harry Kane struggling and Aston Villa striker impressing’
‘Tottenham are considering bidding for Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins, according to reports. The North Londoners are said to be concerned by Harry Kane’s recent form and his ability to lead the line in all four competitions Spurs compete in this season.
Watkins is reportedly considered a ‘perfect fit’.
However, Villa are notoriously shrewd negotiators – having held out for £100m for Jack Grealish from Man City in the summer.
As a result, it is likely to take a sum considerably higher than the £33m Villa paid if Spurs hope to land the three-cap international.
Blah, blah, blah.
The origins of this wayward story, that has failed to be pushed through the filter of commons sense, derives originally from Spanish transfer ‘signings’ website Fichajes.net. They seem to be following the mantra here of, if there’s no news out there to meet the required monthly page views, then just make it up.
When Villa bought Watkins, he admitted after his transfer that Spurs were in for him too.
So what is this article telling us?
That after having a very decent first season for Villa and breaking into the England squad, Watkins decided he’d made a huge mistake and now wants to move to a club that is currently on transitional and unsteady ground?
With Villa fixing their eyes on the European places, if they are to progress, they have to finish above the likes of Spurs, not sell their best players to them. No way would they sell.
And even if they did, is Daniel Levy really going to fork out the £60m and above Villa would probably demand? Nope.
There is absolutely no logic to the story.
Unless, maybe Spurs planted the story to wind up Harry Kane and get a tune out of him?!
Four star dumbness from Fichajes.net, but five star desperation from the slate of outlets that created a cottage industry of articles about it.
Aston Villa Fans Are Raving ALL THE TIME
Birmingham Live aka Mail
The below are recent headlines on the Birmingham Live site…
‘Aston Villa fans rave as ‘great news’ emerges’
‘Aston Villa fans rave as Dean Smith receives big Chelsea boost’
‘Aston Villa fans rave about ‘new Grealish’ as fresh footage emerges’
‘Aston Villa fans rave as Dean Smith plots ‘frightening’ £30m transfer bid’
‘Aston Villa fans rave about player who is ‘different gravy”
‘Aston Villa fans rave about ‘great’ player as exciting footage emerges’
‘Aston Villa fans rave as Johan Lange given clear run at transfer’
”European tour’ – Aston Villa fans rave as fresh transfer link emerges’
The local journalist is dead. Now you just need a headline writer with a penchant for one word and some work experience/trainee bod to cut and paste a few tweets together to take an article’s word count over 250 words.
We know the equation – ‘Aston Villa fans rave’ simply means they’ve cobbled together some tweets in an article to justify a hyped headline.
Media Muppets’ favourite ‘Aston Villa fans rave’ headline has to be the last one listed above.
‘Aston Villa fans rave as ‘awesome’ update emerges’
It’s the old favourite Brum Mail clickbait trick, the ambiguous trawler net headline to scope up as many readers as possible. A Trojan Horse seemingly offering the reader the possibility of a big exciting story, only to deliver once clicked, a no frills story on Villa’s youth team.
Indeed, in this case, Vila youth striker Brad Young scored a brace on loan for Carlisle against Everton’s youth team in the Papa John’s Trophy.
While you understand that the headline ‘Villa Youth Striker Opens Account’ wouldn’t get many eyeballs, is there really a need to be so disingenuous with their headlines?
‘Aston Villa fans rave…’ is fast becoming this season’s ‘Aston Villa Fans Aren’t Going to Believe This!’ in the clickbait title stakes.
Raving is fun though and this ‘collection of tweets to justify an article’ approach is too lazy to score big on the Media Muppet meter.
That said, if anybody ever brings a case to court to try and close down the internet for being pointless, this collection of ‘rave’ articles will be in the prosecution’s evidence case file.
25% off Villa Shirts below – offer ends soon
One Emoji Does Not Make a Story…
The same outfit as above
Jack Grealish’s perfect response as Aston Villa beat Manchester United
Writing in response to a picture of his friend John McGinn celebrating Villa’s win on the club’s Instagram page, Grealish comments with two clapping hands emojis.
Wow. An emoji response to a friend warrants an article… *insert face palm emoji*
As a MOMS Patron pointed out to the Media Muppets department, “come on, let’s be fair, it wasn’t like it was just one clapping hand emoji!”