Tag Archives: pundits

The curious case of the unshit pundit

Seems the world has decided it’s time to fuck with my head once more. Where once was certainty, now is confusion. Up is down. Cats aren’t tossers to poor lovely dogs. Bournemouth is exciting. I am rich. The world: it’s gone head-mental.

I think I like a football pundit. And it doesn’t stop there. Not only do I like a person in one of the worst professions in the world – at least from a skill level perspective (I mean “they’re all shit”) – but it’s… sigh… Gary Neville.

Tell no one.

He isn’t perfect. He stumbles over his words a bit, he fumbles and repeats filler phrases, he still looks like a rat-faced paedo ((c)Jack Cooper) and he’s still Gary Neville. But in this world of Alans, Liverpool players and more Liverpool players he is a shining light. He discusses things you are less likely to have picked up than the elements brought up by many other pundits – where Shearer will say “the lad done gone got ball done got lad ball net”, Neville will, as evidenced a few minutes ago, point out what a defender is actually saying to another defender at a particular point.

It’s the sort of insight these ex-players should be offering. You know what it’s like on the pitch, so fill us in on the things we’re probably going to overlook. Give us that extra bit of knowledge. Justify your role as an authority on the subject. Earn your wage.

Gary Neville does that. And I like him for it. And it confuses and sickens me. I don’t know what to do with myself, I don’t know what to think, or do. I’m not even sure who I am anymore.

Oh wait, Kenny Dalglish is still a prat. Order is restored. I can rest easy, back to the aimless mind-wandering and making up arguments in my own head that get me genuinely annoyed even though I’m the one making the points and the counter-points and that’s definitely not an insane thing at all.

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A collection of today’s thoughts. THRILLING.

Is it any wonder I can’t think of anything to write when I’m being confronted by a few gurning dullards in suits opining like the utterly un-thrilling dweebs that they are? I think it is no wonder at all. Before kickoff (I’m on about the football, shockingly), they began to speak of Ben Foster’s quality. As soon as they mentioned him and it became apparent they were talking of how good he is, I predicted Hanson would point out that “having a great keeper behind you fills you with confidence as a defender” or something along those lines.

Naturally, he did. Because he’s an unimaginative, uninteresting prannock who doesn’t seem to bother even trying to form any kind of original thought about the sport he’s paid to cover. It’s his job – his main focus. And yet he’s fucking terrible at it.

Anyway, I don’t want to rant about pundits again because I’ll end up on about Alan Shearer, and that will just make me sad.

Turns out I’ve been to 17 countries – that I can remember. Rather than thinking “oh, that is quite good – I have seen a fair few places around the world and met people of all walks of life in doing so,” I instead thought “oh, that’s not enough.” Cue frantic searching for cheap flights places and browsing of Hostel World for an hour or so.

Still ended up looking at going to San Francisco again though. Hmm.

That’s all for today. As you were.


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World Cup 2010: the final entry. Unless I do another one

And that’s the 2010 World Cup over with. First one in Africa, a resounding success (not from the standpoint of the quality of football, mind) and a great advert for South Africa as a friendly, welcoming nation. Well done them there then.

This is far too positive. On to today’s irritation.

I did find it endlessly amusing that pundits and commentators alike – including in today’s final – sounded surprised that Spain weren’t simply rolling over all of their opponents. It’s your usual lazy, reputation-based punditry that fails to notice the fact a team haven’t been all that great throughout a tournament. They’ve done enough, but they never looked like the best team in the world. Even if they are.

It all comes together nicely into another point: why do all pundits agree with each other 99 per cent of the time? They’re not there to just agree with each other – they are present to talk about the game. This much they seem to be able to get right. The part where they should debate the game’s events, discuss what’s happening and maybe use some of their insider knowledge to enlighten us mere mortals as to how the game is going is where they falter. It’s covered, sure, but there’s no debate – it’s an endless wall of backslapping and self-congratulatory nonsense from some of the worst boys clubs I’ve ever been unfortunate enough to lay eyes on.

I’m sure there was a point in there somewhere.

Anyway, it’s over now. Four years til the next one, two years til the next Euro Championships. But I’m going to remind myself, and remind all of you reading here – and this is going to be here to remind you whenever you might forget it – I will make this statement, of sound mind, on July 11, 2010: International football is shit. The tournaments are always a let-down and the matches are overwhelmed by ‘safe’ (boring) play. Stars are overhyped, everyone always forgets the Germans are really good and the coverage is just plain annoying. League football, on the other hand, is brilliant.

So that’s that. I have to think harder for new topics over the next six months.


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Stockholm Syndrome + Clive Tyldesley = oh god no

I’m glad this World Cup thing is going to end soon. I’m not going to go into any kind of rant here about the quality of football (or lack thereof), the terrible refereeing decisions, the blatant cheating or anything so negative. No, I’m happy it’s going to end soon as I’m coming down with Stockholm Syndrome.

I have made no bones about my disdain for commentators and pundits, whining and complaining about them a few times on here and many, many times everywhere else. But this consistent contact I’m having with this bunch of reprobates is making me… not hate them so much.

I smirked a few times just now during the BBCs post-match coverage of the second semi-final. I chuckled when Gary Lineker said “Hollish”. I even thought Alan Shearer showed a bit of character when he was talking about Pedro’s chance. I’ve clearly gone crazy. But this is nothing – nothing- compared to yesterday.

See, yesterday ITV co-commentator Jim Beglin was unable to carry out his banal chatting duties during the first semi-final. As a result of this, and as a result of ITV’s inability to provide more than one member of staff for any given role, main commentator Clive Tyldesley was left to carry out the job on his own. At any other time I would laugh at his stupid voice and fat, red face. But because of my constant exposure to all of these morons I’ve been left in such a state that I actually felt a little bit sorry for the man.

I felt sorry for Clive Tyldesley. I felt sympathy for the man. I didn’t over-analyse every comment he made in the match, and in fact went so far as to not mind some comments. I… have succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome. The worst of all the syndromes. The worst.

This is why the end of the World Cup on Sunday can’t come fast enough for me. Then I can go back to some old fashioned Dransfield hate.


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