April 1 is a date that many look forward to, enjoy and use an excuse to launch all sorts of pranks but it’s also a fear that many dread for the threat of falling victim to an April fools joke.
The world of football media is no different and we’ve taken a look at some of the best practical jokes from the football world yesterday, which led to false hope and optimism.
‘Spurs to move into the Emirates’
This is one that caught out yours truly. My only defence is that it was early and I didn’t make the connection between the unlikelihood of the idea and the date before I’d had my morning coffee.
‘Diaby injured! Again…’
French site Le Competiteur claimed that no sooner had Abou Diaby returned to first team training, he managed to get himself injured all over again.
The midfielder has been out of action for well over a year and there were also murmurs yesterday that he could be in line to start this weekend’s game against Everton.
‘Heskey to replace Drogba’
Turkish Football ran a story which claimed Roberto Mancini was looking at Emile Heskey as a replacement for Didier Drogba with the Ivory Coast international set to leave in the summer.
The line which really gave away the joke was;
“Heskey is often credited with scoring more goals in England than Barcelona star Lionel Messi.”
‘Zenit to pay £40 million for Ozil’
This one appeared on the Metro’s website, linking German Mesut Ozil with a departure from the Emirates just a season after signing a long term deal with the Gunners.
What gave this one away was the fact that the Metro pointed to a source without actually publishing any quotes to back up the legitimacy of the story.
‘Arsenal to hand out TWO new contracts’
This one we ran on HITC and while it caught a few people out, the majority saw it for what it was and called it quickly.
We claimed that Arsene Wenger and Nicklas Bendtner had both agreed new, long term contracts with the club to stay in North London beyond this season.
The realism is that there is a lot of doubt hanging over Wenger’s future at the moment while it would be one of the most remarkable decisions the Frenchman has ever made, were he to commission a new deal for the Dane.