Following the whole Keys/Gray scandal of a few months ago, I’ve been thinking about pundits in football and it seems to me that there are too many of them. Maybe a problem for English football in this times is ‘over-punditry’. TV , radio, newspapers; we are constantly getting an opinion rammed down our throat by someone. We have so many pundits working now we can’t move for them and let’s face it; most of them are shit. I feel a sense of nostalgia for the days when a controversial decision in a match would be discussed down the pub whilst fans and friends shared an old-fashioned debate about it.
This was back when people wouldn’t all agree about a certain decision because some ex-footballer said so on some poorly named, Americanised show like “The Final Word”. Let’s face it, it’s not the final word, it’s some plonker like Jamie Redknapp (or soon to be Gary Neville, cheers Sky can’t wait to hear opinions from old moustache face) trying to ram his opinions about football down my throat. I don’t mind some simple analysis of a match after its finished. It’s the fact that they’ll go on about it for another hour and have it discussed for four days over and over again on the radio that bugs me. The same old opinions go back-and-forth and then of course, we have someone like Ian Wright giving his say in the papers. Who cares?
The thing that annoyed me most about the Keys/Gray sexism row was hearing Keys in an interview talk about how proud they can be of the work they did for football on Sky. Why? All you did was give Andy Gray a touch screen computer so he could talk about his favourite headers of the weekend over and over again. That made fuck all difference to me when I was watching Newcastle get humped live on Sky. If a defender messed up in a match, I can see it, with my eyes which were designed for that sort of thing. I don’t need it replayed 20,000 times until it’s burned into my retinas, only to analysed 40,000 times by ex-footballers who think I give a toss about their opinions; I think I’ll keep my own before I start quoting John Beresfords.
Also I’m not happy with ex-cricketers always going on about football on the radio. Most of their opinions are even more boring and rubbish than the ex-footballers. Take Darren Gough (ex-cricketer, host of talkSPORT’s drive time show) once said that he didn’t rate Lionel Messi, which should have earned him a banning order from most football grounds. Yet a popular radio station give him the platform to say this nonsense on a national scale.
We could liven punditry up slightly, take channel 5 Europa league coverage; first of all, lets ban Stan Collymore from getting within 30 yards of an opinion about football. Let’s get another presenter in for example; Steven Segal whose films are never off channel 5 and probably needs the work. Then let him co-host with the female cast of Neighbours; how good would that be on the eye after watching 45 minutes of some Polish mid-table team playing 10-men behind the ball at Liverpool? Despite my attempts to get in touch, Channel 5 never replied to my letters. Funny that.
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