I have long since ceased to be amazed by two things in life- a) the capacity of women to twist your words to make you sound like a tool and b) how rubbish football pundits are. Considered, at least by their employers, as experts in their field they seem to have built carers on the ability to say little of note and at that often be wrong too.
One of the most regularly wrong is Mark Lawrenson. Now, you can accuse Lawro of being many things (lacing his punditry with double en tenders, not being very interesting, failed football manager, not really very Irish yet holder of so many caps), but one thing you can’t say about him is that he isn’t loyal. Somewhat misplaced loyalty too it would seem. One of the highlights of my week (yeah, I know…) is looking over his predictions for the weekends games. Two things never fail to amuse me with them, first being that he always seems to foresee doom heading our way and the other being a Liverpool victory. If we all lived in Lawros world (and isn’t that the dream?) we’d be in all kinds of trouble position wise, with Liverpool living the high life in a Champions League place. Meanwhile the Baggies are all set to pick up their first win of the season, with Blackpool taking the other relegation spot. Nice work Lawro.
But with insights like;
“I don’t know how many internationals were playing from both sides over the last week – depending on how many and who may affect the teams’ performances.”
I think we can forgive him.
But then again, why should the summarisers, commentators and pundits put their head over the parapet and say anything vaguely interesting or correct? A prime example has been our Danny of recent weeks, where he has become something of a marked man by current, As well as failed former, managers.
Gerry Francis: “Danny was out of order“, Owen Coyle: “I might be wrong but I’d imagine he’ll probably regret some of it. To mention any club or individual was very wrong” and, my favourite Sam Allardyce: “Apologise? If he’s man enough, that’s what he should do” Though to be honest, anybody who talks about themselves in the third person as well as Big Sam does can’t be all wrong:
“Danny Murphy doesn’t know about Sam Allardyce because he’s never been managed by Sam Allardyce or coached by Sam Allardyce”
Though if you actually read what Danny said, he never once called any of their sides dirty.
“You get managers who are sending their teams out to stop other teams playing, which is happening more and more – the Stokes, Blackburns, Wolves. They can say it’s effective and they have got to win games but the fact is the managers are sending out their players so pumped up there is inevitably going to be problems…
“I don’t believe players are going out to break another player’s leg but there has to be some logic and intelligence involved. If you are going at someone at a certain pace and you don’t get it right you are going to hurt them.”
A bit over sensitive perhaps?
Another case in point was that it was widely reported that the BBC lost the rights ot England home games and the FA Cup due to the fact that during their coverage of England games they’d given far from glowing reports on their standard. How dare they do such a thing? So the FA picked up their ball and took it over to ITV to subject us to bland, trite and inferior coverage. And Adrian Chiles.
So perhaps the reason Andy Townsend had his Tactic Truck repossessed wasn’t because he is unable to analyse a game properly. Perhaps Garth Crooks does have more punditry skills in his locker other than solely being pro-Spuds all the time. Perhaps Scott Minto is actually not boring in real life. But the reason they aren’t is because they know as soon as they do say something interesting or close to the bone they’ll have the whole of the LMA body wanting to give them all a kicking?
And for the record, this week Lawro has predicted this for our boys:
West Brom are not far from Blackpool in terms of being the side who have surprised the most people since winning promotion. They have been up and down from the Premier League a few times in the last few years but this is the best side they have had in the top flight for a long time.
The Baggies will be full of confidence after their draw at Old Trafford last weekend, even if that was quite fortuitous because of Edwin van der Sar’s howler.
Fulham’s defeat by Spurs was their first of the season but, with their injuries, you can understand why they are so short of goals. I cannot see them getting anything at The Hawthorns.