Today’s television pundits are rapidly making it extremely hard for viewers not to press the dreaded mute button on their remote.
The standard of broadcasting from football television pundits and co-commentators seems to be getting progressively worse in the new decade.
Why should the common-sensed football supporter have to sit and listen to the dross coming out of the mouths of well-informed ‘experts’ whose supposed superior football knowledge is lacking any real depth?
If ever you wanted an example of lazy punditry, last Thursday was the night for you. Chris Waddle’s performance during the course of Liverpool’s UEFA Europa League match against Unirea Urziceni was nothing short of comical.
It must be assumed that the ex-footballers and managers who take upon these punditry roles are relatively well paid. In that case it would be a greater assumption to identify that they must do their fair bit of background research in order to prepare for the match they are commentating on.
Despite the dwindling commentary career of the BBC’s John Motson, you cannot argue with the amount of work that the 64-year-old puts into producing his pre-match research. BBC co-worker Jake Humphrey told The Independent about Motson’s enthusiasm for the game. “He is a really methodical planner.
“He still has notes from games he did back in the 1960s,” said Humphrey.
Motty, along with a select number of other commentators, are meticulously prepared. It is a shame the same cannot be said for some of their broadcasting counterparts. Ex-England International Waddle produced a classic performance of ill-informed broadcasting.
During ESPN’s coverage of last Thursday’s game Waddle berated Liverpool’s use of zonal marking, claiming it didn’t work and Benitez should change to a man marking system. Waddle’s rant lasted for a good 10 minutes until Liverpool managed to score their equaliser.
What Waddle failed to realise was the fact that Liverpool hadn’t conceded a goal from a set piece in 630 minutes of football since the aerial bombardment of Stoke City.
Zonal marking is also the same system employed by Aston Villa this season, a team who have yet to concede a headed goal from a set play. Chelsea on the other hand, have had all kinds of problems from set pieces this term and yet they choose to man mark, but we fail to hear the failings of that particular system.
Zonal marking aside, another example of terrible punditry was the recent write-off of Arsenal’s title chances after defeat to Manchester United. Ex-Liverpool boss Graeme Souness, among many others it must be said, claimed if Arsenal were beaten by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge they were definitely out of the title race.
Little did they know of Arsenal’s extremely favourable run-in compared to the other two title contenders and the fact that the Premier League has had numerous twists and turns at the top throughout the season, to even suggest the Gunners were out of the picture was premature to say the least.
Overall the standard of pundits across numerous networks at the moment is poor and needs to improve, there are exceptions to the below-par performances with Alan Hansen amongst the best of a bad bunch that needs to sufficiently clean up their act.