Media Muppets: Brad Guzan leaving Villa, Hooligan Problem & Daily Mail Desperation

Brad Guzan is leaving Villa, hooligans on the rise and the Daily Mail has a brilliant idea

Daily Mail’s Rob Shepherd launchs a new transfer rumour (bull**it) column

Headline: Balotelli may join Suarez at Anfield…why Defoe could end up at Newcastle and Hoddle’s ambitions to manage England again

Spiel Welcome to Sportsmail’s brilliant weekly column that gives you access to the secrets of the football world. Each week on MailOnline, ROB SHEPHERD will deliver the latest stunning stories, whispers and intrigue from football’s corridors of power… plus a dose of mischief. This week, could Mario Balotelli be tempted by a move to Liverpool?
1. The equation is thus: When the transfer window is open, the Daily Mail (and other newspapers) have an open license to make up transfer rumours. Rumours = readers =advertising clicks = money for newspapers. So what happens when the transfer window closes? Yes, the Daily Mail loses money. Solution? Lets pretend the window is still open and make up rumours regardless with a ‘brilliant’ weekly column.

2. Rob’s going to deliver ‘stunning stories’, ‘whispers’, intrigue’, ‘mischief’. Media Muppet Watch can abbreviate all these words into one – bulls**t. ‘A brilliant weekly column of bulls**t’. Now, that sounds much more distinct, accurate and honest.

3. Balotelli joining Suarez? Maybe in hell, but not at Liverpool. Liverpool have had enough of problem players to last a life time.

4. Defoe could end up at Newcastle? I see we’ve progressed from the bi-monthly ‘Defoe to Villa’ transfer stories.

5. Hoddle’s ambitions to manage England again? Oh f**k off!

Media Muppet Score: 7/10 (Maybe it’s a satirical column, so lets not be too harsh)

Boom! Hooligans are on the rise according to Tom McTague of the Daily Mirror

Daily mirror HOOLIGANISM scaremongering
Headline: Football hooliganism is back on the rise: See how your club performs in the league of shame

Spiel: Violence and boozed-up thuggery make up the bulk of 2,456 match-day arrests last season and there were 589 new banning orders. The picture caption of a fireball reads: ‘Clash: There has been a steep rise in arrests for pyrotechnics, like these in Greece’.

1. The fault may not be at the hands of the journalist here, as his article is a lot more balanced than his sub-editor and photo editor have made the article to be with the headline and the photo. The article includes quotes like“We never like to see arrest figures rise but the increase is minimal compared to last year’s 23% decrease.
There’s a reason sub-editors are thought of as failed journalists and photo editors as failed photographers…

2. ‘There has been a steep rise in arrests for pyrotechnics, like these in Greece.’ Really? There was 34 arrests in total related to pyro offences last season and I don’t remember seeing any huge fireballs at Villa Park last season…or anywhere in English football for that matter.
Media Muppet Score: 9/10 (mainly for sensationalism )

Ben Jefferson of The Daily Express reckons Brad Guzan is leaving Villa for Arsenal

Headline: Arsenal eyeing Aston Villa keeper Brad Guzan

Spiel: ARSENAL are tracking Aston Villa’s American goalkeeper Brad Guzan. According to the official website of Major League Soccer,, Arsenal scouts have been sent to watch 29-year-old Guzan in action on at least two occasions since that game.

1. Normally websites just regurgitates newspaper transfer rumours, here thinks happen in reverse as the Daily Express in pure desperation for a story spins a story from an American website.
2.  ‘Wojciech Szczesny has been in good form for Arsenal’ it says in the photo caption of the article, which undermines the whole notion of the article in the first place. So why exactly do Arsenal need Guzan, again? They seem to be doing fine at the top of the table with a keeper who’s in decent form.
3. Brad Guzan signed a contract with Aston Villa three months ago. So, a) he’s unlikely to be able to move, b) wouldn’t want to move, and, c) won’t be the cheapest keeper around due to the length of his contract still to run. But hey, why let the facts get in the way of a story?
4. Made-up stories like this then roll on. Cue a journalist asking Guzan, while he was on international duty, whether he’d fancy going to Arsenal? We all know the answer to that one. N-O.
Media Muppet Score: 10/10
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.