The complete frustration of bias punditry

Football fans will all have their favourite pundit that they watch each week and hang on every word they say. Well most anyway. I think now more than ever football pundits and commentators are judged immediately while they are on our TV’s and with the help of social media, opinions are instantly spread across the country, continent and world.

Unfortunately for them, it is usually heavy criticism and abuse that echo’s around the likes of Twitter and Facebook that must surely give Sky, BBC, ESPN and ITV a good idea as to who and what the fans want to see.

-Match of the Day is now more outdated and dull as ever and Alan Hanson, Alan Shearer and Mark Lawrenson are possibly the most dull and uninteresting people that have ever graced our screens. A brief sight of Gabby Logan made it slightly more interesting over the New Year but the imminent return of crisp-loving Gary Lineker and his beige face will once again smile his way around 90 minutes of highlights.

-Sky’s commentator Ray Wilkins (my word) must realise by now that he is purely there to be laughed at and not for his insight into players’ first names and dull stories. The tight trousers of Jamie Redknapp and his fellow footballer’s in the studio is tough to watch and Gary Neville’s Monday Night Football review is nowhere near as interesting and physical as Key’s and Gray’s was. But while Martin Tyler and his genius goal commentary is around we will all stick with it.

-The FA Cup returned this weekend, which was fantastic, apart from one thing – ITV. The general dull channel made a right hash of broadcasting their third round ties, losing commentary and pictures throughout one of their games as well as Matt Smith and co seemingly agreeing on everything each other said which resulted in a worrying lack of opinion.

-ESPN also hold the rights to FA Cup games and that saw Martin Keown and Robbie Savage (two of the most hated footballers or the Premier League era) stand in front of 5,000 Leeds United supporters and be bombarded by fans and players with hot dogs, footballs and general abusive songs, so what is going through these bosses minds when they set up their match-day experience.

But the main thing that ‘grinds my gears’ is the bias attitude that has found its way onto our screens. Watching Sky Sport’s Gillette Soccer Special just over a week ago I noticed something worrying and unhealthy for football fans. People who can’t get to their teams games will probably camp in front of their TV to watch Jeff Stelling and friends bring them as much in depth knowledge into the action as they can and give them an inkling into how their club is getting on. But I feel the guests are becoming ever more predictable and bias.

While watching Wolves lose 2-1 at home to Chelsea, the Liverpool loving Phil Thompson had a rant about the former Kop legend Fernando Torres who has struggled to bed in at Stamford Bridge.

“He’s not anywhere near. There’s a lack of confidence and a lack of pace.

“Thinking back to the Manchester United game it looked like he was back to dragging the ball by people, but he had a couple of opportunities today and it’s just not there I’m afraid. Really poor.

“You wonder whether he’s the answer or Drogba. He was ahead of Drogba today, who wasn’t even on the bench and you’re wondering who is going to be the one. This, to me, was not good enough from a £50million player. Is he going to be staying at Chelsea? I would have to say yes, but he was poor nonetheless.”

Torres was given the Man of the Match award in that game and was instrumental in a vital win for AVB and his side. He may not have scored himself but his touch and vision resembled that of three years ago and for Thompson to miss that is incredible. The ignorance of the man was hard to watch as his personal favouritism clearly took over, which is surely not good for fans to watch. Added to that the fact that Drogba was injured and so didn’t play showed the lack of research done by the former Liverpool coach who is becoming increasingly off the mark as weeks go by.

The likes of Charlie Nicholas and Paul Merson struggle to pronounce the majority of players names in the division, which, as funny as it is at the time, is extremely disrespectful. The odd appearance from Tony Cottee and his midweek team may have a better knowledge than the Soccer Saturday boys but it is poor to watch.

I can’t help but feel the general football fan will just become increasingly bored with the monotonous coverage that fills our screens at the moment and I hope that the multi million pound companies can improve the programmes and listen to the licence fee payers as to what they want.

Do you think the football coverage is up to scratch? Let me know on Twitter: @Brad_Pinard


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