Football Broadcasting - The Good, The Bad and Robbie Savage.

I know Alan. Sometimes it's just too much for you isn't it? 

Frankly the state of football broadcasting on TV is appalling. Messrs Lineker, Lawro, Hansen and Shearer have a lot to answer for. Thankfully I've come up with a plan to make it right. Listen up BBC...

The Bad...
When someone with little interest in or knowledge of football stumbles upon Match of the Day it must do very little to change the commonly held view that football broadcasting in little more than dull clichéd men giving dull clichéd answers. 'Well at the end of the day....' is how most punditry begins. MotD has fallen far from a being a revered national institution to a gimmicky parade of ex-footballers numbing our minds with their absurd musings on the beautiful game. Alan Hansen will, shamelessly, be biased towards Liverpool at every opportunity and his 'tactical analysis' is anything but. And while Lawrenson wastes away into the seat next to him Alan Shearer will continue to have outrageously little knowledge of the sport. Hatem Ben Arfa? No? Seriously?!?

Under this picture these two were described as 'football experts.'
Between the, ever shortening, highlights we are treated to some ridiculous graphic with players/managers faces photoshopped in; a desperate attempt to squeeze even more clichés and puns out of the show. And afterwards us mortals are reminded of the last thing we did on this world with a brief, yet annoying, round up of the match. Of course not forgetting the stupid filter on the camera this time - just incase the real thing lacked.... excitement? This is usually dubbed over with Colin Murray politely reminding us what has just happened.

Away from the BBC and onto Sky where every Champions League match is the biggest game in the history of the universe ever. What Sky seem to forget is that these games come round every year and usually involving the same teams. Keys, Kamara, Lovejoy, Gray and Redknapp are clearly all idiots. Andy Gray recently came out and said that Messi couldn't cut it in the Premier League because he'd have to play teams like Stoke. Moron.

The Good...

Thankfully there are some people flying the flag for insightful punditry and comment on the game. For witty banter, lots of lols and some history thrown in there listen to the Football Ramble podcast. It's fantastic. I can't rate it any higher. It makes me chuckle uncontrollably while at the same time provides me with interesting and opinionated debate on the week's footballing action. At the end of each show they induct another worthy footballing somebody into the Dean Windass Hall Of Fame whilst giving us the stories behind the noteworthy people. Presenter Marcus Speller is joined by comedian Jim Campbell, XFM DJ Pete Donaldson and Portsmouth fan Luke Moore. If you haven't heard this already then give it a go. Every Wednesday on Itunes. 

James Richardson - excellent pundit. 
The Guardian offer another excellent podcast. The Football Weekly. Hosted by ex-Football Italia presenter James 'AC Jimbo' Richardson. It also provides fascinating discussion into the latest football stories. Richardson is joined by different people every week although regulars in the line up include Barry Glendenning who is very amusing and writes the hilarious 'The Fiver' column. And Sid Lowe who gives listeners a weekly update of the happenings in Spain. 

Forget Hansen's nonsense. For tactical analysis look no further then zonalmarking and Michael Cox. A fantastic education into the tactical side of the game, it offers far more advanced reasons for teams' victories and defeats than the ex-Liverpool defender.

And the Ugly...
Perhaps this is a little bit harsh on Robbie Savage but I have put him here on account of me being largely undecided about him. When the blonde bombshell/Welsh footballer shouted his way onto 5Live's 606 football phone-in he instantly became a novelty act. Frequently he would force his views down the line at the callers with incredible stubbornness. Presenter Mark Chapman often has to reign him in like an excitable puppy straining at it's lead and while some think he is an entertaining antidote to the other, boring, interview trained footballers others see him as a bit of a twat. He can at times prove a little wearing but in terms of entertainment value he is unmatched. Certainly better than Steve Claridge. 

The Solution.
And somehow Steve that fact doesn't justify you being there...
If, in the future, I ever become BBC head of sport, and frankly weirder things have happened, I have thought up a number of changes. Out would go the clichéd pundits, ridiculous puns, overhyped games and pointlessly colourful studio; and in would come insight, wit, opinions and a clean, simple studio. I'd cut down on ex players on the couch. Who really cares what they have to say? Just because they played the game once doesn't mean they'd be good talking about it. Let's finally get some people in that know a bit about football.

My new schedule starts on Saturday morning. A similar show to Football Focus. I'd have AC Jimbo presenting, Gab Marcotti, David Ginola and Barry Glendenning on the couch. They'd preview the big games that weekend in England AND the rest of Europe. If for no other reason than to educate the public (and Shearer) on the sport outside this country.

While I realise that it's going to be impossible for the Premier League to be shown on terrestrial TV any time soon I think that MotD should continue to show Football League games on a Saturday. They showed ten last season. It's not enough! The cameras would be at a different FL game every week whilst at the bottom of your picture would be a news ticker. Updating you on every goal in every other game. I feel there has to be a free football broadcasting service to rival Sky's monopoly. And this is just the beginning...

After the match I'd keep manager and player interviews to a minimum, with the exception of Ian Holloway who I have plans for anyway. As I described earlier the new-look MotD would be simpler, more clean cut than ever before. Presenting; again James Richardson. And on the couch I'd have Marcotti, Pat Nevin (who I do think is actually quite a decent pundit) and, to provide tactical analysis, zonalmarking's Michael Cox. The Football League show can keep it's existing set up - but without Steve Claridge.

Sunday morning and MotD from the night before is repeated. That evening comes the fully revamped Match of the Day 2. The Football Ramble's Marcus Speller as the presenter and on the couch I'd have anyone from Raphael Honigstein, Ian Holloway, Marcotti, Michael Cox, another Ramble member, Robbie Savage and Sid Lowe on the line from Spain. The show would provide a roundup of football on the continent and would preview any interesting European ties in midweek.

So there we have it. Football on terrestrial TV from people who are interested, interestING and know what they're talking about. One thing I may have missed from my rant is the celebrity fan. I must say, I have no problem with this. It is interesting to talk to celebrities about their football teams. Ray Winstone and Noel Gallagher aside.

BBC you know what to do. . .

Bit of a twat?

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