Having been kicked off the park for the second time this season against Huddersfield last weekend, Wilfried Zaha has withdrawn from the Ivory Coast squad ahead of their two upcoming friendlies but should still play a part when Liverpool visit Selhurst Park.
Withdrawn from the game against the Terriers prior to the final whistle as a precaution by Roy Hodgson, Zaha was seen hobbling but wasn’t believed to be seriously hurt by the rough treatment he received against David Wagner’s men.
Having just returned from a long-term injury, it seems as though both Zaha and the club are looking towards this international break as the perfect opportunity for him to rest up ahead of what is sure to be a frantic climax to the Premier League season, not that the Liverpool Echo have chosen to report it in that manner.
For the Merseyside publication, a line on the Eagles’ star man being forced into a “battle” for fitness ahead of their trip to SE25 is well worth the time it takes to pen a report, even though the winger remains 95% likely to play a part against Jurgen Klopp and co. when the time comes.
Online journalism, as we all know by now, revolves heavily around the headlines rather than the main body of the article that follows and within the first paragraph of this particular piece, we see a distinct difference in tone from the one used to reel punters in.
After splashing a headline which reads “Liverpool handed boost as Wilfried Zaha pulls out of international duty with injury” only to then write “Liverpool may have been handed a boost” in the opening line of the actual article, it’s fair to say that the decision has been made in pursuit of clicks above anything else. You may ask why it matters but by failing to use the words “may have been” in the headline, the Echo are deliberately changing a possibility into a statement of fact with the aim of pulling potential readers in.
Yes, before you say it, I know that by linking to the article above I am also giving them traffic and therefore aiding their cause but the use of mere screenshots alone (which I have in case the article is subsequently altered) is often not enough to satisfy the curiosity of many.
When all is said and done, Wilfried Zaha remains highly likely to start against the Reds when the Premier League reopens for business next weekend, which is all that really matters aside from this storm in a rather tiny teacup.