Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughHopefully G. Nev likes cricket - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Hopefully G. Nev likes cricket - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Hopefully G. Nev likes cricket

Long overdue this one,  but the news of Gary Neville being snapped up as the new Andy Gray, combined with the Easter holidays (god bless the education sector) have finally motivated me to take my finger out of my bum and put it on the keyboard.

There were several things that football should have learned from the recent Cricket World Cup, not least that England can fail miserably whilst also being a seriously entertaining outfit… take note Fabio. However, the difference that jumped out at me once again was the gulf in class between Cricket’s commentators and pundits and those occupying the sheepskin coats at the moment for our beloved sport’s coverage.

Every Saturday/Sunday/Monday/Wednesday night we are subjected to the same levels of ‘top, top punditry…… literally’. It has gotten to the state where I can excuse the complete lack of insight into what is unfolding before our very eyes;

“He’s put the cross in there…. Header and goal” – I’m looking at you Shearer.

No that doesn’t bother me, even Hansen’s listing of subjectively based attributes doesn’t bother me too much anymore;

“Pace. Power. Strength. Just pure class.”

Actually, that seriously does my head in. But the one that really gripes me is the trademark of Mr. Jamie Redknapp

“Literally a top, top player” – nonsense.

My issue with that Jamie, is that it is just not English, it makes no sense!

Compare these generic responses to the action to that of their cricketing counterparts and the stereotypical difference in social class between the two sports becomes evident. The commentary at the CWC was, as ever, magnificent. The experts they chose to employ all have deep insight into the game, the tactics and the consequences of player’s decisions. They also have a genuine wit about them and timing that wouldn’t look out of place amongst Hollywood’s finest. The test match version of the sport exaggerates the gap further with the men in the studio often having to talk viewers through hours of rain delays with chat about past encounters and current trends in the game. Imagine if that happened in Sky’s football box, they would be talking about ‘hanging out the back of it’ again within 5 minutes.

Hopefully G.Nev will be a step in the right direction, although not a fan of the man, he does not seem to revert to clichés for fun and speaks his mind in a concise and well structured manner…  a bit like an audible Jamie Carragher. If you can excuse him thee odd ‘we’ as Ray Wilkins is training us for the occasion by calling everyone ‘we’, then the Neviller may be a top top pundit, after all… can’t be any worse than Andy Gray’s imaginary conversations between players;

“I’m just gonna pop this in there mate. Oh thanks very much mate I’m just gonna run in there and head this in”

Neville will hopefully emerge in the same bracket as Lee Dixon and Clarence Seedorf whom are clearly still much more in touch with the game than Hansen, Lawrenson etc and are able to describe the action in a little more than surface debt. Now all Sky need to do is get in James Richardson and possibly Alan Pardew for rape based giggles and they will be back on track towards being leaders in the field of sport broadcasting.

Disclaimer – this does not mean I have any affection towards Gary Neville.

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