Eye On The Experts: Alan Shearer

Great value on the golf course but not in the TV studio, John Nicholson and Alan Tyers wonder if Alan Shearer just serves as a source of comfort for the average viewer...

Last Updated: 04/12/13 at 19:29 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Football Managers On TV: Alan Pardew

3 comments

Expensive suit, no tie, giving him the look of a randy divorcee, drenched in Joop aftershave. Johnny and Al look at The North East¿s Most Popular Man, Alan Pardew...

F365's Greater Manchester Quiz - The Questions

Post comment

With the Manchester derby taking place on Sunday, we bring you a quiz of football in the Greater Manchester area. There are plenty of clubs to choose from...

All Articles

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers look at some of football's pundits and commentators and try to pin down what makes them good, what makes them bad, and what makes them ugly. Second man up is BBC Match Of The Day big beast Alan Shearer...

Style
Famous for his line of elaborate shirts, but paired with sensible slacks to create the unsettling overall effect of a bloke who has made some serious money from his medium-sized regional sprocket factory, retired at 42 and now plans to enjoy himself a lot at the golf club. Receding hairline is a legend in its own right.


Special Interest
Strikers and the business of goalscoring. Almost always approves of forward players cheating (aka "being professional").


Strengths and Weaknesses
Seems to be living every thumping header and thunderous shot, has a genuine enthusiasm of seeing good, powerful, exciting football. Generous in praise of things that have impressed him, and shares the rank-and-file viewer's awe at moments of magic. On the downside, is not blessed with an engaging voice, and does not have the gift of being able to deconstruct exactly what a player has done and why and then convey it to the viewer. This leads to a situation where he's essentially going "Wow! That was amazing! I liked it when he did that amazing thing."


Tactical genius or tactics truck?
We feel that Alan has actually raised his game over the last year, perhaps fearing the same fate as Hansen, or perhaps his competitive juices have been stirred by the praise heaped upon Gary Neville. He's given some more insightful views on why things have happened as they have on the pitch but, not to be unkind, this is improvement from a very low base. Worst moment remains the remarkable assessment that "nobody really knows a great deal about Hatem Ben Arfa", as if the bloke had arrived under cover of night from Mars, rather than being a French international. Even if that was an outlier, Shearer rarely projects the air of a man who has done much in the way of homework, which we suspect he would regard as being for weeds and nerds.


Leg squeezer geezer?
Alan is very much of the class of ex-professional who obviously believes that if you haven't done it, you have no right to talk about it. See the Colin Murray situation. Given that he is now rarely called upon to discuss football with a non-entity non-player, this isn't too much of a problem.


Bantersaurus Rex?
It was always said of Wor Al that, despite the bland exterior, he had a great sense of humour and was fond of a practical joke. Thanks, but no thanks. We can imagine him being "brilliant value on the golf course", but then again, we're not on a golf course, are we? High levels of matey banter with fellow pros on the TV, again reinforcing the impression that you're hanging around on the edge of the playground watching the cool kids have fun.


Cliché counter
High. A serial offender on the "say-what-you-see" side of things and never knowingly misses an opportunity to tell the viewer if a player will be happy (kicked ball in goal) or sad (did not kick ball in goal).


Why does he get gigs?
It's easy to sit on the sofa slagging Match of the Day and bemoaning the level of analysis or broadcasting flair on offer. This column has done its fair share, God knows. And Football365 readers have, over the years, made it quite clear that they don't rate Shearer. But are we a minority? Consider this: it might be that the BBC football bosses are idiots and don't know a TV personality that their viewers want from one that their viewers don't. This seems implausible. Or might it be that the average football viewer is happy with what he gets from Shearer. Sure, Shearer doesn't know too much about the non-obvious players, and he can't really tell you why xyz happened. But then, nor can the average viewer, so they find him reassuring and familiar, one of us. Is that so terrible, really? He's doing the job that he's paid to do, and at the end of the day, obviously, he'll have to be pleased with that.

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

See extracts from Alan's new book 'Tutenkhamen's Tracksuit: The History of Sport in 100ish Objects' here.

Johnny's new crime novels are here.

You can also follow Alan and Johnny on Twitter.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e might be on a hiding to nothing, but I cannae feel any sympathy- You want to know why? Shakira. That's why.

hairpolice
Pique Taking Blame Burden Again...

A

nd this season must feel like one long sigh at the Emirates . Yep, exactly that. Except for Alexis Sanchez, he's ace.

cheshire-gooner
Is Mario Balotelli's Talent Even That 'Obvious'?

H

ey! At least put our first clean sheet in a gazillion years in the winners section. Curse you F365 *shakes fist*

fouloleron
Is Mario Balotelli's Talent Even That 'Obvious'?

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Everton announce record profits in 2013-2014

Everton have revealed record profits of more than £28million for the 2013-14 season.

Premier League: Harry Redknapp questions Rio Ferdinand's ban as QPR get set to appeal

QPR manager Harry Redknapp has questioned Rio Ferdinand’s ban by the FA and says the club will discuss an appeal.

Premier League: Swansea's Federico Fernandez avoids three-match ban after successful appeal

Swansea have successfully appealed the straight red card issued to Federico Fernandez against Liverpool this week.

Mail Box

'Pride' Didn't Stop Wenger Signing Flamini

Arsene Wenger's 'pride' in signings is quite rightly pulled apart. We also have a stupidly long email on going back, and one Mailboxer whooping about the FA Cup first round...

Wenger Kept His Pride By Turning Down Cesc

What message would it have sent if Wenger had allowed those that walked out to stroll back in? Plus, why Pochettino needs to adapt and the folly of limiting yourself...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property