How Villa Supporters Trump the National Press Over Benteke
As soon as Christian Benteke had handed his transfer request in, to Villa supporters‘ dismay, the flood gates opened for daily press garbage on the supposed transfer of Christian Benteke out of Villa Park. As we have already commented on in Media Muppet Watch, there were ill-founded player part-exchange stories and all sorts of nonsense. To be fair to the press though, the fact that Benteke didn’t board the plane for Villa’s German preseason tour, suggested that the big Belgian was probably going to pass through the exit door marked ‘Judas’.
Following his extra 12-days off, the Villa forward’s return last Thursday to Bodymoor Heath for training was billed as ‘Benteke D-Day’ by the press. To the media, it wasn’t a matter of whether Benteke would stay or not, but whether he’d even bother turning up for training. An unnecessary salacious twist on the situation.
James Nursey – Daily Mirror – ‘Aston Villa ready to fine Christian Benteke if he goes AWOL over Tottenham transfer’
‘He is hopeful Spurs will table an opening £20million bid for his services this week and ideally wants to avoid going back to Villa at all.’
‘Interestingly, the 22-year-old went on strike at his then club, Belgian side Genk, last summer to push through a move to Villa.’
1) Tottenham transfer? When was that, then?
2) The whole AWOL angle was a clear way of trying to find a new sensationalist angle on the story.
3) Again, one of Spurs mythical bids are mentioned. The ONLY bid for Benteke came in the form of a £1.5 million bid via MOMS eBay ad, before eBay closed it down.
4) He went on strike to get out of the Belgium league to the Premiership. Not that interesting. Anyone would have done the same thing.
Media Muppet Score: 8/10
Neil Moxley – Daily Fail – ‘Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke will be fined £20,000 if he misses training‘
‘Spurs are preparing a £20m opening bid for the forward which is due to be submitted later this week.’
1) Interesting, The Daily Fail edited the headline later that night to tone it down to ‘Benteke to report for Villa training despite transfer request sparking Spurs chase”, thus saving some face with Media Muppet Watch.
2) Again, with this £20 million bid ‘later in the week’. Where do the National papers get their information from? The Birmingham Mail?
Media Muppet Score: 6/10
How to Get Ahead in Journalism – The Teenage Villa Supporter’s Method
On the day, Benteke casually turned up to Bodymoor Heath for his first day of training and for talks with Lambert. As the afternoon came and his Villa work day was finished, Benteke hung around in the car park in his car chatting to fans and posing for pictures. If a player was desperately seeking a move out, he’d have tinted-glass windows and would be driving out asap without stopping. All autographs and pictures would have been saved for the expectant Spurs fans.
Note to aspiring football journalists: If you want to get answers from a player on his potential transfer, don’t sit behind a desk scouring twitter and sending emails. Get in his car…
Obviously, the question on Villa fans lips to ask Benteke was ‘Are you staying?’ And the young Villa lads who approached his car, weren’t afraid to ask it, as the below video shows.
They also took the opportunity to offer Benteke some sound advice on his agent too. Benteke told the Villa fans (including Cameron Burrows and Tom Henry, both 16, who shot the video), he was staying at Villa, giving them a scoop a full 24-hours ahead of the likes of the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail.
Not only that, but the young MOMS lads had Benteke, his agent and Sylla under close surveillance, after they’d left the Villa training ground, with one of their aides picking up the trio’s presence in Sutton, a little later in the afternoon.
Hats off to the young Villa lads and their network for giving all Villa supporters a head’s up on ‘Benteke D-Day’, and for also showing the so-called professionals how to do it.
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