Joshua Onomah Scaremongering, Sam Johnstone Rehash and False Guarantees

‘Pochettino Confirms Highly-rated Young Duo Will Be Recalled From Their Loan Spells In January’…

Joshua Onomah Scaremongering

While Mauricio Pochettino has doing his media duties last weekend for the Spurs game against Stoke, he confirmed that Tottenham had recall clauses in the respective loan deals of Josh Onomah and Cameron Carter-Vickers to Aston Villa and Sheffield United.

“We have the possibility to bring them back”, was all he said.

The Spurs boss was simply stating the fact of a pretty standard arrangement of a Premier League club covering themselves with recall clauses in loan deals to lower division teams.

That was it. It was the only quote from the Spurs manager attributed to the situation.

Yet, the kind of coverage that spun out of it provided a prime example of how the media sets up football supporters in its coverage. Twisting and exaggerating their headlines to pray on the fear of Villa fans losing the player so soon.

Once upon a time, such a recall clause would have been announced in the story that covered the initial loan and that would be that. But online advertising means editorial judgement for some is a thing of the past and what’s more important is clickbait coal to fuel the advertising fire.

There’s always been the chance of Onomah being recalled, but judging by the current Spurs squad, it remains an unlikely eventuality.

Still, that didn’t stop the usual media suspects trying to make out the situation to be a DEFCON 2 one.

One of the more standard clickbait sites, the ‘Football Insider’ website ran the headline ‘Confirmed: Tottenham may terminate deals for highly-rated duo in January’.

Pochettino didn’t confirm anything of the sort, he just confirmed the clause.

He didn’t even ‘discuss’ the possibility of Onomah coming back to Spurs either, as the Birmingham Mail headline suggested he did.

‘Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino discusses potential of recalling Aston Villa loanee Josh Onomah’.

Nope, all he said was just that same single quote.

One Spurs website To the Lane and Back took the single quote from Pochettino even further, with a headline that declared the duo were definitely on their way back to White Hart Lane (or Wembley) in January.

‘Pochettino Confirms Highly-rated Young Duo Will Be Recalled From Their Loan Spells In January’.

‘Will be’? Nah.

Do any of these outlets care about providing their readers with the real picture?

Embed from Getty Images

Johnstone Repackaged Old News

On the subject of another Villa loanee and a naughty headline, the Daily Express carried the headline ‘Neil Taylor indicates Manchester United deal done for Sam Johnstone’. For a story that simply reported something that MOMS and the media at large reported a week ago, namely Manchester United taking up a year extension on Sam Johnstone’s contract.

It was something they were always going to do, so they didn’t lose Johnstone on a Bosman at the end of this season.

The Express’s headline though is purposely open-ended, suggesting that something that Villa left-back Neil Taylor has said has given the paper an inside track on a potential transfer deal for Johnstone. Hinting, either he’s incoming to Villa on a permanent deal or off somewhere else.

Click to the story and there’s nothing there. It’s just Taylor quoted saying he’d like to see the keeper at Villa long-term and just rehashing the fact that:

‘Johnstone’s current deal at Old Trafford expires at the end of the campaign but an option for a further season is set to be taken up.’

Tell us all something we don’t know.

False Guarantees

Media Muppets has already busted the clickbait headline trick that the usual suspect football websites use to abuse the Newsnow aggregate site. Namely posting an outrageous and vague headline that mysteriously changes when the actual article appears.

Here’s a recent example of dressing up an old transfer rumour from FanFootballFancast, which is basically the lead blog of an advertising network.

‘Signing him = promotion’ … Aston Villa fans select the striker they want in January’ 

Once clicked you go through to an article where the article has transformed to a more sober headline of:

‘Aston Villa fans urge the club to sign Leonardo Ulloa in January’.

The actual article is a rehash article from the Birmingham Mail and the posting of a bunch of random tweets from fans.

Not exactly the whole of the Aston Villa fanbase selecting the striker they want, as the initial headline implies.

Sadly, this is not the first time the ‘sign this player and you’re guaranteed promotion’ BS headline has been spotted.


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Listen to further discussion on the above loans on the latest MOMS Podcast episode:


  1. if spurs call him back so what, we have a squad more than capable of getting promotion the problem is the management team they are old hat. and good old sb is always making excuses. I think we can forget promotion with him at the helm, the doc needs to act now and get the right man in if he is serious about being a top 6 prem team

  2. Why didn’t Bruce start with Adomah up front against Derby, play Bjarnassen and put O’hare on the bench? The team looks jaded and tired, Whelan needs a rest, bring in saome of the U23’s.

  3. Love the MOMS website but dislike constant bashing of other web sites, it’s starting to put me off reading your articles.

    • If you’re happy with what those websites do, then that’s up to you. The Media Muppets column just tells it how it is.

  4. Couldn’t agree more and our incompetent manager is happy now that Gabby is back on the scene and that will as you rightly say in all probability put us below the play offs. I still can’t believe we start a game with no strikers while we have two bench warming, and what has Bruce got against O’Hare not even in the squad. I suppose on the bright side if there is such a thing there’s no way that we could compete in the PL it would be same old relegation battles week after week. I said it earlier and just to repeat the best manager won yesterday, we should have signed him when we had the chance.

  5. Pity he was not recalled earlier. I have no idea what he brings to the table. Game after game he goes missing. On the few occasions he does get the ball, and that’s not because he’s worked for it, he at least does try to pass ir forward but his contribution is negligible. UnFortunately I doubt he will be recalled and our incompetant manager will continue to give him playing time to benefit Spurs and put us below even the playoffs.

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