We need to talk about the Daily Mirror, who appear desperate to rock the boat in relation to Wilfried Zaha’s future at Crystal Palace, despite the club and Zaha himself having consistently denied reports that he’s set to leave SE25 for pastures new this summer.
On Sunday morning, The Mirror were at it again, claiming that Everton had “entered the race” to land the 25-year-old, alongside the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City. At this stage, it’s difficult to imagine what else anyone can do to stop the national press from writing about Zaha’s potential departure from Selhurst Park, with those behind the scenes at The Mirror in particular seemingly happy to print outright lies in the pursuit of newspaper sales and daily web traffic.
Yes, plenty are now quick to warn fellow supporters not to pay any attention to the constant articles being churned out about Wilf but with the transfer window set to be open for just under three months more, I don’t see why supporters, the club or indeed Zaha himself should be forced to endure constant questions about a possible switch, when everyone that matters has gone on record to dismiss it altogether on countless occasions already.
Zaha has four years left to run on the five-year deal he penned with Palace last summer, is taking home around £100,000 a week and is the first name on Roy Hodgson’s team-sheet whenever he’s available for selection. The player himself is known to love his life in the Eagles set-up and has no desire to move ahead of the 2018/19 season and yet, The Mirror continue to go full steam ahead on spurious tales linking him with all manner of moves each week.
In modern journalism, “Search Engine Optimisation” is king, meaning that an opportunity to get the likes of Liverpool, Spurs, Man City and Everton into the same story is too tantalising for many sub-editors to turn down. Is it honourable? No. Will it inspire a long-term sense of trust between The Mirror and its readers? No. Do they care? Clearly not.
Of course, each new story will provoke a fresh sense of uncertainty amongst supporters but as time goes by, The Mirror’s reputation is taking an absolute battering. Perhaps they’re struggling to adapt to a landscape in which fans are more clued up than ever before but there is one simple way to win back the trust and respect of a sceptical public.
Stop telling lies for clicks.