Friday, July 2, 2010

World Cup Punditry

The standard of punditry at the current tournament has been pretty mixed.
Dunphy has seem strangely subdued on RTE - leaving senior analyst Gilesy to get worked up about poor standards of play, introduction of goal-line technology etc.

Liam Brady has also been quite low-key so far, sticking to a few of his stock phrases, e.g.
"I'd have to agree with John on that, Bill".

The Lads

Maybe some of The Lads are a bit worried about how Apr├ęs Match will treat them if they get too worked up on any issue, this time around...

Ronnie Whelan and Graeme Souness do enough to earn their cheques, whenever they are on.

As a guest panelist, Ossie Ardiles was entertaining, although it required quite a lot of attention to understand much of what he was saying. He has left the panel now. Perhaps too many social nights out with Dunphy in the Horseshoe Bar have put him off the whole enterprise.

Didier 'Didi' Hamann is good value also. In a typically German fashion, he is astute and honest in his analysis; He does posess a few annoying habits though:-
  • Dressing like he had got his complete outfit from a charity shop.
  • Performing strange squinting motions with his left eye whenever he is asked a question.
  • Beginning every reply with the standard English pundit's banality "As Eamonn said/As John said/As Liam just said", even if his response bears no relation to anything they had said.
Best newcomer is Richie Sadlier in the graveyard highlights shows on RTE. He's analyst skills are excellent but it will probably be a couple of years  before he makes the first team panel, because, as Dunphy would put it - "He's never played at the highest level, like John or Liam".

ESPN's South Africa Nightly is very strange. Presented by ex-BBC guy Ray Stubbs, it's an hour long magazine-type show, i.e. they don't seem to spend more than 90 seconds discussing any single issue.
They have a variety of ex-footballers as pundits, some of whom actually need to use interpreters.

Former Dutch striker Patrick Kluivert is one of their main go-to pundits He normally looks about as interested in the whole thing as a grumpy adolescent forced to attend church might be.
BBC and ITV have also gone Dutch.

ITV have the scowling Edgar Davids, usually wedged between Andy Townshend and Gareth Southgate, who seem slightly afraid of 'the Pitbull' in case they contradict any of his monosyllabic opinions and get a good slapping.

The Beeb have drafted in Clarence Seedorf, who is super-relaxed, even to the extent that he laughs at all of the weak puns that regulars Hansen & Shearer and presenter Lineker constantly come out with.

I think there might be some jealousy from Hansen & Shearer, as Clarence speaks standard received English almost perfectly, often using much longer words than Shearer in particular can comprehend, plus he's won a lot more in his career.

Anyhoo, don't think many other of the panelists on any TV station would try this pose, but apparently it was for an Italian charideeee calendar a couple of years back.

"Yesh Gary, I feel that the overall dynamic ish good in the current group of Dutch playersshh and I am confident that we can defeat Brazil, eshpeshially if we can maintain our exishting modalities in the midfield  and if our overall dialalectic holds in defence, allowing the forward players the requisite freedoms to fully realiseshh their potentialities."

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