Media Muppets – Benteke Off Again and the Myths of Hiroshi Kiyotake

More Benteke Bull and the New Villa Clickbait Poster Boy Hiroshi Kiyotake

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

It was almost if Christian Benteke‘s dramatic U-turn to sign a new contract was something of an anti-climax for the press corps.

The Belgian wouldn’t be coming to one of their fashionable London teams and the potential ‘Villa for relegation without Benteke’ pundit predictions were iced. But still, that didn’t stop the media going to the Benteke well one more time to drag up one last headline.

Meanwhile, the only thing keeping Villa in the press since, has been the name Hiroshi Kiyotake. Apparently, Villa were interested at one point, and who knows, maybe interested again…but are these loose facts really enough to warrant a tsunami of made-up stories on him, based on zero evidence?

James Nursey of The Daily Mirror – Benteke might still go to Spurs…

‘Villa confident they can resist any new Tottenham interest in Christian Benteke fuelled by Gareth Bale cash’:

Massive influx of Gareth Bale cash could spark renewed pursuit of big Belgian striker who signed a new deal last month…. Aston Villa are confident they can resist any potential fresh interest from Tottenham in Christian Benteke. Villa’s star striker Benteke signed a new contract at the club last month despite originally asking to go to Spurs. Spurs failed to meet his £25million price tag but are now set to pocket £100m from selling Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. But Villa insiders have told MirrorSport they consider Benteke’s future resolved after he pledged to stay. “It’s in the past,” said a source.’

Just as James Nursey had scored himself some brownie points with Villa supporters by tipping them for League Cup glory in the upcoming season, he comes out with the most blatantly desperate attempt at scoring a headline by limply connecting the Gareth Bale transfer situation and projected Spurs mult-imillions with a mythical fresh bid for Villa’s striker, even though he’d recently signed a new contract. Are newspapers really that desperate for readers and advertising impressions?

1. Benteke asked to go to Spurs… did he? I think you’ll find he asked for more money. Spurs aren’t even in the Champions League, so it would never have been a ‘dream move’, as some press had originally labelled it. If they were prepared to give him £80,000-a-week+, then that would have been his only reason to even consider going there.

2. If Spurs were so desperate to land Benteke, why didn’t they just front up the £25 million? They didn’t actually need the Bale cash, as a week later, they purchased Spanish striker Soldado for £26 million. Yes, one million more than the reported Benteke  fee, for a striker who is six-years older than the Belgian, and with zero experience of the Premier League.

3. ‘Villa insiders have told MirrorSport’. Oh really? You could have spoken to the woman who works on the Villa switchboard and asked her if Benteke was staying and she would have told you, that the Belgian signing a new contract indicated ‘he pledged to stay’. Or, if the Villa switchboard was engaged, you could have just asked any Villa fan who was walking around Birmingham city centre, and they could have confirmed it too.

4. Such a closing paragraph, which states, ‘It’s in the past” is basically saying, this is a non-story. So, why even go there?

Media Muppet Score: 10/10

hiroshi Kiyotake villa
Hiroshi Kiyotake caught in the rumour mill

Ben Jefferson of The Daily Express – ‘Nuremburg ready to rebuff £10m Aston Villa approach for Hiroshi Kiyotake’

‘Responding to the rumours Nuremburg chairman Martin Bader said: “The fact is we have not yet received a new request so we haven’t dealt with it…Aston Villa were reported to have considered selling up to seven players in an attempt to raise the funds for Kiyotake, but Nuremburg are not thought to feel any pressure to sell the Japanese international, whose contract runs until June 2015.”

After the Moroccan midfielder mercenary that no one had heard of, but were then obsessed with (at least on Twitter), ended up at Dynamo Kiev, step forward Hiroshi Kiyotake as the next Villa fan transfer obsession. At least, there seemed to be more substance to the Japanese midfield schemer’s connection to Villa. MOMS had earmarked him as a potential candidate to be Villa’s mooted mystery player, back in June and Lambert admitted at the recent fan forum, that the club had made an inquiry into the services of Kiyotake, but had never made a bid.  Still, as far as the media was concerned, the mere fact Lambert mentioned the player’s name, meant it was license to make up a few stories.

1. What £10 million approach? ‘Reports in Germany suggest that Aston Villa are preparing the bid after having an £8.5m bid rejected,’ claimed the article. First off, Lambert told fans directly, there had been no bid. Regardless of that though, the German press seem to know what Aston Villa FC are planning. Wow. If that’s the case, then either,  a) they have closer relations to the club than the British press or, b) Lambert decided to run his idea of maybe making a £10 million bid by the German press first, just to test the water!

2. The article makes out that Villa will have to sell ‘up to seven players in an attempt to raise the funds for Kiyotake’. If that was the case, the transfer would never happen. Imagine trying to buy a house and the property you were after was in a chain (i.e. – the buyer needed to sell their property first). Normally, it can be a tricky sale if the chain breaks down. Imagine if seven properties that needed selling were involved in the chain, before you could buy your dream home.

Basically, the seller would sell to someone who didn’t have such hindering and time-consuming ties. With the improved TV money, Villa will have the funds to buy a player of Kiyotake’s price range, since their spend in the transfer window has been modest so far (around £10 million). At the most, they’d probably want to ship Bent out first before spending again, but nothing more than that.

3. By his own admission, Lambert was interested in the player, but that interest was a lot earlier, when he wanted to bed new players in during pre-season. He’s already suggested that Weimann or Tonev could play the ‘No.10 role’. So, if anything were to happen, it maybe towards the end of the transfer window, if the stars align.

Media Muppet Score: 8/10

Luke Greenwood of Football Fancast – Just copying the Daily Express Hiroshi Kiyotake story for the sake of content

While crediting the Daily Express as its source, nothing is offered to the story beyond this closing paragraph:

‘Villa have gone through a fairly quiet transfer window, with their most successful signing no doubt proving to be Christian Benteke, who withdrew a transfer request last month to sign an extended contract at Villa Park.’

1. While it’s unfair to single out Mr Greenwood here, as most football websites just rehash press rumour stories, in the same way most Villa websites and blogs just rehash the club’s official site. But when it comes to the continuous spreading of misinformation, it just becomes tedious. As Hitler’s propaganda guru, Joeph Goebbels, once said , “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

2. Six signings before the transfer window was even officially open and a whole host of new contracts signed (the writer only mentions Benteke) – is that ‘fairly quiet”? A little more thought and research is needed perhaps?

Media Muppet score: 9/10

If you’ve spotted an article that is just lazy journalism, or worse, then leave the link in the comments below or send it to us via twitter @oldmansaid.


  1. Reading most sports journalism and taking it seriously is bad for the health. 
    It is plain there would be very little printed media if not for the marvellous work of myriad muppets all constantly reading and re-writing each others nonsense. It is muppetry of the highest order.

    Most sports journalism is fiction – based on supposition if not on imagination.  Occasionally it may be based on rumour.  Rarely is it accurate.  This nonsense also makes it hard to have rational discussions regarding one’s club.  I refer here to the folks who still think Randy Lerner needs kicking out – as he is milking the club and not spending enough.  All evidence shows this to be untrue – but it doesn’t make a good headline – and who needs to find the truth when you can just make it up and print it?
    What I really enjoy though are the truly obsessive fans and sports bloggers and ITK’s on Twitter.  That is a whole new level of fantasy.
    Thanks for the read.

  2. I hate it when they say Villa insider and Villa source. AVFC is the most secretive club in the Premier League. Nobody ever knows anything until it happens, unless the club reveals any plans beforehand which is very rare.  The only people who know anything regarding transfers are Lerner, Faulkner and Lambert with Faulkner and legal team doing the dealings. No chance of getting inside info out of there. All rumours are started by agents to the press and they are the only ‘source’ they have 99.99% of the time.

    • LeeMerrett I wouldn’t say, nobody ever knows, but the ‘Villa insider’ saying a quote that anybody could have told you is hilarious! To be fair to them, the press do have a hard time nowadays, as their access to info is pretty restricted, especially in preseason, when there’s no official press conferences to feed off. But still, this is no excuse for some of the dross they write.

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