Eye On The Experts: Lee Dixon

Chummy without too much 'banter', plain speaking but able to put you in the role of the player. Our boys take a look at Lee Dixon's punditing, & they're impressed...

Last Updated: 19/02/14 at 13:29 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. This week it's Lee 'Lee Dixon' Dixon...

Style
Goes for neat but strictly neutral clothing. We imagine you cannot bring to mind the sort of thing Lee wears because it is designed to be forgettable, or rather, non-distracting from the man himself. Not fashionable, not unfashionable, but definitely clothes. His haircut has remained largely unchanged, it would seem, for at least 20 years. It also conforms to the same principles of functional anonymity.

Worth bearing in mind Lee is now 49 and we think he's looking good on it. Certainly very trim and lean. Must be all the cycling.


Special Interest
Skinned full-backs. Centre halves who abuse full-backs and keepers who don't communicate well, primarily with full-backs.


Strengths and Weaknesses
The intellectual giant of the old Arsenal back four, he emerged on the BBC as a straight-talking, quite serious analyst who, when given time, could cast a shaft of light into the darkness that is football to us mere non ex-professionals. Relies on knowing stuff rather than a wacky personality, being sullen, or self-reverentially witty. Has the sort of plain, honest, reliable and strong northern voice that people trust when they ring up a call centre.

His major weakness is that he works on ITV and therefore has almost literally no time to say or do anything. This is because, mystifyingly, despite being chronically short of time, they often employ three pundits per game and all must have a say. Thus Lee gets in one or maybe two points at most before kick off. One at half time and then, depending on how much post-game time they have, a little more when it's all over. Hard to feel his talents are not extremely under-employed. Looks with critical appraisal, perhaps suspicion, at Roy Keane. We don't know, but we like to imagine he is quietly unimpressed with Keane's work.


Tactical genius or tactics truck?
He seems the sort of man who would knuckle down and do some work even if you did put him in a tactics truck. This can't be said of every or indeed most of the punditocracy.

We once saw him dissect how hard it was to change your default instincts as a defensive full-back in a four to being an attacking wing-back in a five. It was brilliant because he talked from real world knowledge and not mere theory but did so in a way which put you in the role of the player. The psychology of it wasn't something you could possibly know having not played the game. We are keen to see more of this sort of thing.


Leg squeezer geezer?
Has not shown any aptitude in this field to date. It's almost as if he's an adult.


Bantersaurus Rex?
When you've been raised in football and played alongside the wild-eyed peculiarity that is Tony Adams, you have surely been inoculated against continuing the art form of banter into your post-playing career. Clearly, Dixon is a little more sophisticated in his approach to life than many of his colleagues and we like to think he is firmly in the camp of the anti-kit bag crappers.


Cliché counter
Like most more intelligent pundits, he knows enough to know to avoid clichés if at all possible, or at least, qualifies them when doing so. This is probably Lee's great art form; being accessible to those watching slack-jawed, surrounded by empty cans of Stella, but not alienating the wispy-bearded, achingly pretentious hipster either. Few can walk that line as well.


Why does he get gigs?
For a while he was probably the BBC's best pundit. Admittedly in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, but even allowing for that, we think we all had high hopes for him to rise to the top as a proper analyst who could illuminate and entertain. He is unpretentious, can talk human, has a good brain and doesn't rely on a comedy haircut to enforce his personality. He also appears to be a good team player and a man who is not afraid to do some research. Sadly, all of these qualities are being lost to us in all but brief glimpses on ITV. But we really like him, and hope he'll find a bigger, better role in the future and we suspect we are not alone in that.

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

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

Check out John's new series of crime novels about life, death, sex and UEFA Cup football, 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: Steven Gerrard could leave Liverpool in summer to further playing career

Steven Gerrard says he will leave Liverpool for another club in the summer if he is not offered a new contract.

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.

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