Football shorts

by James Baker

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

There is nothing bright about Mark!

Now I am sure he is a smashing chap and all of that but can someone tell me the point of Mark Bright? How he keeps a job on the BBC (the nation’s premier TV network) is beyond me. Is it just me that notices that most things he says are incorrect? I cannot remember the first gaffe on Sundays edition of MOTD 2 but there was one. His second was to wrongly quote that West Ham finished 7th last season under Gianfranco’s Zola’s leadership. Surely if you are going to band facts around, they should be correct. The Hammers finished 9th last season and had exactly the same problem they have this season, scoring goals. Apparently, Mark doesn’t understand why the Hammers are struggling for goals! Try watching them last season and add to that their inability to replace the nutter with the putter (thanks, Dexy), Craig Bellamy, it isn’t too hard to understand their problem in finding the net!

When he highlighted the strengths of Drogba and Torres from the big game on Sunday, he focused on the Drog’s contribution to the two goals and the two chances that Torres missed. We had all watched the highlights and saw that for ourselves. Where was the insightful analysis? Where were the other examples of the differences between the two? I want a bit more justification. I want examples of Drogba’s all round game and why he is the better of the two strikers, according to Bright. I’m not disagreeing with him, I just want him to back it up. He is up there with Martin Keown, Jamie Redknapp and Garth Crooks as possibly the worst pundits in the world. Still, he doesn’t beat the Alan Pardew comment on MOTD 2 last season. When describing an incident last season of a player beating another (sorry, I cannot remember who) Pardew uttered the line “he has raped him there”. Strangely, Pards has been missing in action since from MOTD, granted he is now back in management. Still, surely the BBC can do better than Bright. They just need to bring Tony Cascarino in now!! Anyone read his column in the Times on a Monday? There are budding journos on this website who must cringe every time they have to read that!!!

One more thing on punditry. I know Aqualani the new Liverpool player recruited to take the place of Alonso has been injured but please, Mr Benitez, find someone else to do the job. If I hear that Liverpool’s problem is replacing Alonso once more, I am going to kick the TV. It started off as a little bit insightful at the beginning of the season even though most had a feeling they may struggle without him. Now the same line is being used every time Liverpool play. Even the excellent Lee Dixon was rolling this one out last night. Come on pundits, work harder, please!

In Drog we trust

He is quite rightly, one of the most reviled players in the Premier League. He would struggle to win a popularity contest with El Hadj Diouf, Joey Barton and most of the Chelsea team but boy, he can play. What a brilliant striker. However, he still frustrated everyone as usual with his play acting and falling around. The enigma that is Drogba was encapsulated in the second goal yesterday. Strong as an ox, quick and with great touch. Carragher was all over him, pulling at his shirt. Drogba for once, stayed on his feet and fed the perfect pass across the six yard box for a Malouda tap in. Great player, great actor. Please, Drogs, give us more of the former!!

Bonzo was spot on!

As the dust settles on the Sol Campbell saga, I am reminded of the wise words of West Ham legend, Billy Bonds. Myself and Dexy had the pleasure earlier this year of spending the evening at a theatre (not that kind of theatre, thank you!) listening to stories told by the two Tony’s, Gale and Cottee. This was a cracking night and I would recommend them to anyone, even those who are not blighted with a love for all things claret and blue. Mr Gale is a very witty chap and him and little TC kept us royally entertained. However, the second half of the show was dedicated to a man who bled claret and blue, Billy Bonds. Anyone who saw this man play would know what a great player and more importantly, man he was. He epitomises West Ham more than any other player, barring the great Bobby Moore.

After he left management, Bill went on to work for the London radio station, Capital Gold as a pundit. Tony Gale was also a pundit and Tony started to relay some stories regarding old Bill. Now as legendary as he is, Bill would be the first to admit that he wasn’t quite as gifted as Galey when it came to rolling out the comments during a game and would often struggle. How does this relate to big Sol? Well, Bonzo was calling a game and Sol was playing for the Spuds at the time. Bonzo had a habit when drooling over a good piece of skill or play. This habit would mean that if Rio Ferdinand demonstrated a great piece of skill, Bonzo would say on commentary, “Ah, Rio” or “Ah, Teddy” when Sheringham was at it, etc. Galey then revealed that he had to the giggles when Bonzo said the same thing after a bit of skill from Sol Cambell. “Ah, Sol” said, Bill. I don’t think he was far wrong, do you?

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  • Jude

    I have been wondering for many a season now, just why I am paying the BBC to employ Bright. But let’s not stop there… Can anyone see the point in having Alan Shearer give analysis, or Steve Claridge as a pundit who has always belittled those views of those that pay to watch the game over his own.

    But even worse than all those mentioned above is having to listen to Dennis Wise’s inarticulate comments and deafening pauses while covering Chelsea games in Europe for Sky Sports recently. There must be ex football players and real journalists pulling there hair out. It was so bad, I nearly put string around my teeth and pulled them out by closing the door on the sorry affair.

  • Darren

    I was thinking exactly that! Denis Wise is terrible. He is so unarticulate it’s a joke. Paul Merson is not the cleverest bloke but at least he’s funny!

  • Jude

    Merson comes across as if he bunked off school one day and never went back. But you are right, he can be funny. I think Wise should stick to what he does best – taking cab rides and ending up in court.

  • Patrick

    Agree wholeheartedly about Bright. His Confederations Cup analysis was awful. I’m not looking forward to listening to him during the African Cup of Nations. Maybe I’ll just watch it with the sound down.

    One co-commentator who is simply diabolical is Dave ‘Harry’ Bassett. I listened to him earlier in the season on football first covering the Hull Spurs game. He could not for the life of him pronounce Palacios. He kept saying Palio, and then went on to mistake players for each other. It was cringeworthy. As for Cascarino, you’re right James, it makes me angry to read such lazy journalism. He should step aside and let other more talented individuals take his place 🙂

  • dexylongshot

    I tell you who I do like on talksport. The Dogging Dj isn’t to everyones taste but he never sits on the fence (probably peering through a hole in it). He sticks by his guns if anyone dares to disagree, i’ve heard it get quite heated on his shows. Good on him, he got hold of Sharon Stone too which is about the best it gets in my book. Craig Burley is another who is never afraid to speak his mind although he maybe a bit hard for us down south to understand.

    I’m bored of all the Alonso debate, he wanted to go so Rafa couldn’t do anything about it in the end. Yes he may have unsettled him wanting to bring in Barry but Barry let him down at the last minute opting for City. Most players are moved on when they want to move or are getting replaced. Alonso felt let down and Barry let down Rafa with a last minute change of heart (which he was entitled too). Everyon keeps banging on about why did Rafa let him go, well, the season before, Alonso wasn’t half as good as he was last term and I don’t blame Rafa for going for Barry who was superb. Aqualani is 3 weeks away from a start. I tick by my guns and say the Scousers will be in it come May as long as you know who keeps fit. Simples.

    Drogba, I hate him but cannot disagree when he’s not diving about, still world class.

    Bonzo, Legend, pure and simple.

  • dexylongshot

    PS: Sorry the dogging Dj in question is Stan Collymore.

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