The nation has fallen out of love with Match of the Day

Shearer’s ignorance opens a can of worms


Almost in unison, it appears that everyone’s patience in Match of the Day has run out. And Alan Shearer‘s asinine revelation that ‘no one really knows a great deal’ about one-time French prodigy Hatem Ben Arfa was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

TalkSPORT’s actually-quite-lucid-at-times noise-merchant Stan Collymore has laid into the MOTD old boys’ club on Twitter, dismissing it as ‘crap’:

I love MOTD. I’ve watched it for 33 years but, right now, in my opinion as a football fan, it’s c**p, and like dinosaur football, has to change.

The standard of MOTD is so poor – and sorry, it is – that you may as well Sky-plus it, skip the analysis and use your own judgment.

During the World Cup several teams weren’t prepped properly by MOTD and Shearer’s “revelation” that Ben Arfa wasn’t on many’ s radar is frankly laughable.

We all makes mistakes in commentary and shows but just not finding out about players and teams seems par for the course on MOTD. Does it T me off? Damn right it does. Could I do better? I already do.

I love public service broadcasting and our national broadcaster but the truth is that in my opinion MOTD is stale, cliched, smug pap a lot of the time.

It’s a lazy show that doesn’t provoke debate in our game and just says, “We’ve been there and done it and we don’t have to do anything but sit here and dole out cliches.

…and breathe.

Stan’s criticisms are hard to argue against. MOTD’s ‘Top Four’ weighting has being getting increasingly lopsided, and even then matches generally receive¬† only rudimentary analysis (lest we forget Slaven Bilic’s appearance last season and Alan Hansen doing a little wee of fear any time the tactical discussion approached academic.)

MOTD2 is arguably even worse, this year being packaged as a Fisher Price style ‘My First Football Highlights Show’.

With increasing access to niche websites, online resources like YouTube, and even videogames (looking at you, Football Manager), fans have rapidly moved away from the idea of a collective ‘Johnny Foreigner’ lurking beyond the British Isles, and can now reel off the career history of a La Liga journeyman or Brazilian wonderkid as quickly as they could a player from domestic leagues.

It appears MOTD, and, to be fair, quite a few British football pundits in general, have been left behind.

Collymore’s solution? Get a whole new lineup:

Get a presenter that just presents. Put Lineker as lead pundit, get rid of Hansen and Shearer and revolve the pundits so that Andy Cole, Zola, Di Canio, Ian Wright, Sheringham, Cantona and plenty of players with ideas, opinions and passion all get us thinking about the game.

Lineker has the gravitas as the great ex-England striker. Revolve the names around him. Right now it’s comfy, matey pap that probably spends more time talking golf rather than football. Stick Shearer on 5 Live and get him out to games, lots of games.

If MOTD isn’t a debate show and just a highlights reel, then why have pundits at all?

I want to see Zola disagree with Sheringham, or Di Canio giving us an insight, or Klinsmann next to Cole and Wright talking about what Torres is going through and how to change.

Ian Wright? Good Lord. And you were doing so well, Stan.

Who would be in YOUR dream Match of the Day sofa lineup?

This being the internet, and knowing everyone will have him, The Spoiler will assume James Richardson has a seat reserved by default.

17 responses so far
  • trikorni // September 21, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Tim Vickery

  • Mr Willy // September 21, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Gary Lineker, Lee Dixon, Mark Lawrenson, Martin Keown

  • David // September 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Basically The Guardian podcast ON MY TV RIGHT NOW YEAH would be good.

    Barry Glendenning and Ian ‘Wrong’ just going off on one at each other. Bliss!

  • Tim Tim // September 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    Best pundit lineup ever – Presenter – James Richardson, pundits – Clarence Seedorf, Zola, Tim Vickery, Guillem Ballague (Just so that he can say when Fabregas, Torres, Rooney et al will be going to Barca / Real / Barca / Real) and for comedic relief, Emmanuel Adebayor.

  • SPOT // September 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Put in Jimbo.

  • This makes alot of sense // September 21, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    I think i can agree with everything Collymore said.

    Even the Ian Wright bit, i wouldnt want him as a regular, but once in a while it’d be good to hear his ‘passion’.

    Yes, Slaven Bilic did make the others sound like inane pub chat, he knows a thing or two eh?

  • Dave // September 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    This is all so subjective though. Personally, I think they’re all cunts. Commentators, presenters, pundits. There are very few I don’t wanna mute the moment they open their mouths, and that goes for all football coverage on all channels.

    If you’re gonna have an overhaul of the MOTD format why not do away with ex-footballers altogether? Most of em are only there cos they couldn’t hack management anyway, and just sit spouting cliches and stating the bleedin obvious.

    Try some unknowns. Not yer 606 morons but guys who are just very knowledgeable about the game in general – we all know at least one. Folk who are capable of offering an intelligent opinion on any player/team, and are prepared to play devil’s advocate on occasion too.

    At the very least it’ll give a chance for clued-up fans to listen to other clued-up fans, rather than have to endure the bland and predictable post-match discussion you can see coming from a mile off.

    Analysis of super-slow-motion replays would be banned too.

  • Guy // September 21, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    haha Adebayor the guess-what-he’s-saying show.

    How about the brain trust that is Atkinson and Pleat along with Lawro in full on super-sarcastic guise. That would be entertainment

  • Gamblino // September 21, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Collymore’s bang on. all about sky plus.

  • Willie_Miller // September 21, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Stan the Man is completely right. I almost sobered up on Saturday when I heard that rubbish from Shearer. Seem to remeber Lawro and Shearer coming out with similar nonsense about players at the World Cup which even I had a knowledge of. Surely, they should be able to pick up a newspaper or read t’internet to do some research on some of these ‘unknown players’ (8 caps for france). Waste of license payers etc etc. . . . . . . . Hes a bit of a jumpy muppet but Pat Nevin is ok at least he attempts rational analysis. Also, Danny Murphy is decent in my book. Anyone but Townsend and Jamie Redknapp would improve MOTD by a mile.

  • redave // September 21, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    makes me glad i don’t see it anymore, it only shows premier games, good job the only licence payers are interseted in “the top four” no one is bothered about lodsamoney cashley cole etc.
    also it would be nice to stop the disection of each game by hansen who’s never managed a team anyway.

  • randomsausage // September 21, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    I belong to Jimbo

  • Matt // September 21, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    Hmm…a Jimbo petition, to the BBC?

  • luckylou // September 21, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Back in ’96 Ruud Gullit was one of the pundits. He was a better pundit than manager and scared the crap out of Hansen who felt his job coming under threat. There are loads of others out there who could do a better job, but to get down to it, why the hell do we need pundits? All I want to see are the goals and incidents, not listen to the puffed up analysers patting each other on the back.

  • Dazinho // September 22, 2010 at 3:11 am

    Johnny Giles, though the idea would probably sicken his hole.

  • chimpo // September 22, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Gazza, Tim Lovejoy and the ghost of Georgie Best

  • Bob // September 25, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    I agree with most of what you have said apart from Andy Cole who is probably the dullest pundit ive ever seen and worse than the MOTD boys club. Anybody can do the job they are currently doing. In Ireland the pundits are god awful for the champions league nights. They do no research at all on “Johnny Foreigner”. Football analysis on most channels are really poor. If you watch the U.S coverage on the NFL they put football pundits to shame with the amount of insight they can give.

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