As I’m in the land of Sky Sports – that is, my girlfriend’s place – I am in a strange and wonderful land. A land of Andy Gray, Martin Tyler, Geoff Stelling, Jamie Redknapp, some of the other ones who aren’t that bad and Paul Merson. It is, frankly, a wonderful place. It isn’t wonderful because of the most incisive, cutting and downright smart commentary – no, Tyler seems to be getting worse in his old age and Redknapp went from being the Great White Hope of punditry into just being a dim goit who advertises holidays with his ageless beauty of a wife.
You had so much potential, Jamie. You argued with Andy. Why have you gone boring again?
Anyway, this world of football pundits, commentators and all the other ones inbetween isn’t special because of their quality – it’s special because of their lack of lack of quality. It wouldn’t be this way were it not for the fact that Clive Tyldesley, Peter Drury and Mark Lawrenson exist. No, really – they do. Look it up. They’re even backed up by Graeme Le Saux, David Pleat and that bloke who used to do F1 and who still looks out of place. If these piles of human-shaped excrement didn’t exist then the Sky lot wouldn’t be that special. They’d be poor-to-adequate at best. Bar Gray, who despite the doubters is still one of the best pundits and commentators on tellyvee.
But no, ITV exists and brings with it Tyldesley and his awful, awful, awful twat-speak. That nasal whine. The constant references to anything Man Utd have ever done and his seeming inability to stop supporting both them and Liverpool. The fact that he once said “dare he?” in reference to Thierry Henry running with the ball back in his Arsenal days. The man isn’t even a stain on society, because at least you could get rid of that with some industrial-strength chemicals and a bit of effort. This scrotal wound, it would seem, cannot be eradicated. We are all poorer as a race for his continuing existence. Though this lightens my day, every day.
He’s the worst though, at least. The others are shit bastards, but none can even come close to Tyldesley. Not even professional Tyldesley impersonator Peter Drury, who sounds like an autistic with a speech impediment trying (and failing) to do an impression of Clive the Shit. I mean, there’s Mark Lawrenson over on BBC who did remark that Alan Smith’s leg had been broken in the FA Cup semi final a few years ago “by the power of the shot”. Yes Mark. Of course that was it. We all know John Arne Riise could kick a ball really hard. That was his only talent, god rest his soul*. But he couldn’t kick it hard enough to break your leg. I’m not sure, but I would guess it’s near-impossible to do that without using some form of machinery. Or bursting the ball. You utter, utter fool.
Pleat? Fuck me. Pleat. Written down, this man comes across as reasonably intelligent. Knowledgable, even. But he should not be allowed to speak on anything that broadcasts his voice to the nation as a whole. Any man who forgets a player’s name (Petter Rudi) then, when being reminded of it, goes on to say “PetterRudiRudiPetter” on real-life television should not be allowed to be on real-life television. That’s not forgetting the time he claimed to be responsible for a Spurs goal, as he had signed both the players involved in it (Paul Robinson and Jermain Defoe). Or his frankly incomprehensible outburst about Tomas Rosicky. Or the fact he’s a kerb-crawler. I know he’s not even on ITV anymore, but it still hurts that he ever was.
Anyway, this could go on for another year or so, such is my hatred for so many football pundits. I could do a better job, and I’m shit on camera. Sack everyone and start again. Don’t just hire people because they used to be players. That can go wrong. Consider yourselves told.
*He’s not dead, he’s just shit.