Media Muppets – Press Nonsense on Ron Vlaar, Gareth Barry and Paul Lambert

It’s over for Ron Vlaar, Lambert doesn’t buy players aged over 24-years-old & Gareth Barry is news

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

It seems to actually do justice to running a Media Muppet Watch column, we’d have to hire a team of 100 writers to keep up with the misinformation that gets published on an almost hourly basis about Aston Villa.

We start with a story from the end of last week…

Neil Moxley of the Daily Mail – ‘Villa skipper Vlaar’s future left in doubt’

‘Ron Vlaar’s position both in Aston Villa’s team and as club captain appears under threat as Paul Lambert fine tunes his pre-season plans against Malaga…It is unlikely that Vlaar will be given the nod ahead of England Under-21 defender Nathan Baker, who has been the outstanding performer so far during the club’s build-up to the new Premier League campaign.’

1. Of course Ron Vlaar faces competition from Okore, Baker and even Clark; that is the idea of building up a decent squad and having the prerequisite four centre-backs to chose from.

2. This is complete guess work to peg an article on – suggesting that Okore and Baker would be the centre-back pairing against Malaga. As it turned out, it was a wrong guess.

3. Was there any need to bill it under such a dramatic headline?

Media Muppet score: 7/10

Warren Haughton of Talk Sport – ‘Aston Villa reject chance to take Man City midfielder on loan’

‘Sources close to Manchester City have revealed to talkSPORT that Villa have been sounded out about taking Barry back on a loan deal. However, Paul Lambert has rejected the chance to re-sign the England international, with the Scot only interested in recruiting young players under the age of 24.’

1. A team not being interested in a player is not a news worthy story, unless they were originally interested in him at some point. As ‘sources close to’ Aston Villa would have told the writer, if he’d been bothered to investigate, Barry has never been on Villa’s radar.

Nick Mashiter of the Express & Star at least bothered to make inquires on this:

spitting image press pig

2. Ron Vlaar, Brad Guzan and Karim El Ahmadi. All signed by Lambert. All over 24-years-old.

3. Oh, sorry, I get the newsworthy connection…Villa was Barry’s ex-club.

Media Muppet score: 10/10

Simon Bajkowski of Manchester Evening News – ‘City offer to loan Barry rejected by Aston Villa’

Slightly different headline, but the article is basically a word-for-word rip off of the Talksport piece. ‘Villans boss Paul Lambert, who was interested in resigning the midfielder in January, has turned down the chance to have him this year, as he is only interested in signing players under the age of 24.’

1. I thought copying other people’s work was frowned upon at school? Apparently, it’s encouraged in newspapers. There seems to be a higher standard at schools than in working life.

2. Couldn’t the journalist earn his wages by at least put his own editorial spin on it? He’s basically ‘retweeted’ the Talksport article.

Media Muppet score: 9/10

TwentyFour7 Magazine news department  – ‘Aston Villa reject former captain’

Errr…again, a variation on a theme headline, but the same story. ‘Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert, who was interested in bringing Barry back to Villa Park in January, has declined the offer and stated he is only in the market for players under the age of 24.’

1. TwentyFour7 likes to present itself as a quality football magazine, but that doesn’t seem to make it immune from lazy journalism.

2. Don’t journalists know the name that a lot of football supporters call Talksport? It’s called ‘Talk Sh*te’ for a reason, so why blindly copy it?

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.