As the World Cup begins to reach the second round of matches for each side and we begin to become a bit more familiar with line-ups, formations and styles of play, one thing that has particularly started to grate is the complete non-existence of any real form of punditry on both BBC and ITV.
The amount of phoned in performances has been absolutely shocking and the total disregard with which they pay the so-called ‘lesser nations’ has been both ignorant and disrespectful. If you don’t want to be there lads, please come home, I’m sure someone would much rather take your place.
To be fair, both the presenters have been pretty decent, the everyman shtick Adrian Chiles has mastered has settled in well with his new live anchor role and surroundings and even Gary Lineker, a pundit that makes me cringe with his terribly scripted gags and general smarminess actually seems a somewhat likeable character when he’s not trying to be funny.
But some of the pundits have been shocking to say the least. Take Edgar Davids for example – literally what is the point of having him on? I happen to find Clarence Seedorf, his former international team-mate, fairly humorous, mainly because he’s so bad and can actually form a sentence in under 5 minutes when a question is put to him, but Davids looks so disinterested and awkward that watching him die on TV is not what I had in mind for my half-time punditry when world cup fever kicked in.
Of course both channels are part of the mainstream and we can’t expect them to be pulling up trees with their analysis, but is a little bit of effort too much to ask? Do we constantly have to hear phrases like ‘yeah he’ll be disappointed he’s let that goal in’ or the ridiculous amount of cultural footballing stereotypes that are constantly on show? Is it too much to ask for them to actually do a little bit of research before a game?
We all know the commentators are complete and utter cack and I happen to like a few of the pundits at least, namely Lee Dixon when he’s not being ignored in favour for Emmanuel Adebayor’s ‘expert’ opinion on all things African and to an extent Alan Hansen although he is given a free ride some of the time by Lineker such is their familiarity with one another, but the majority have been sub-standard and it’s tiring.
I sincerely expected that after four years build-up and anticipation, that both punditry teams could at least show a modicum of interest in games either; not possessing a world class player, any association with England or have a ranking outside of FIFA’s top 30. Let the most patronising World Cup in living memory continue.
What does everyone else think – has the punditry been particularly lazy or not? Do you have any favourite pundits? Or are they all just rubbish?
Written by James McManus