Eye On The Experts: Alan Green

Is there room for at least one off-message, ornery bugger in the mainstream media. But is it miserablism dressed up as critique? The boys take a listen to Greeny...

Last Updated: 03/01/14 at 16:05 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Backing Everton To Do The Double Over United

Post comment

Everton slipped up against Crystal Palace in midweek, but Degsy's tipping them to beat United on Sunday. Plus, there will be no problems for Liverpool and Chelsea...

Let's Keep The Excitement Going, Shall We?

Post comment

The Premier League title race is shaping up to climax in quite remarkable style. That is, unless Chelsea and Manchester City stuff things up this weekend. Please don't...

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 the miserable bugger that is Alan Green.

Style
A unique mixture of a disappointed headmaster telling parents that, with the best will in the world, their darling child is simply never going to pass his GCSEs on account of him being thick, and a gleeful delight in generating challenging, provocative or just simply aggro opinions.


Special Interest
The notion that whatever has just happened, or hasn't happened, or might happen, or will never happen, or happens far too often, has made football, life and the universe infinitely less happy than it would have been otherwise.


Strengths and Weaknesses
Has a regional accent which, no kidding, actually makes him stand out a hell of a lot. There seem to be any number of bland men in their late thirties to mid fifties commentating on football, almost all of them with that same neither-posh-nor-common, vaguely south-east but not estuary accent. Actually sounding like yourself can take a man to the very top.

Many people find his style to be little more than simple moaning, or at least that's the bits they remember when they think about him. It was while listening to him do a match the other day with Jimmy Armfield that it struck us: these dudes sound like they are from a different generation to the players and even most of the managers. You know when you watch a match with your dad or granddad and they're all "oooh the players these days, all rubbish, you wouldn't have seen Stanley Matthews give it away like that?" That's basically Alan Green.

To some, this is merely 'telling it like it is' honesty and all the more welcome for that. To others, it's miserablism dressed up as critique.


Tactical genius or tactics truck?
Doesn't have to do much beyond describe what is happening, which is of course at once the easiest and the hardest job in the world. Relies on co-comms to dissect the tactical nuances. Good if it's Pat Nevin, bewildering if it's Mark Lawrenson.


Leg squeezer geezer?
Doubtful. Has fallen out with Fergie and Big Sam before now, and largely for good reasons. Seems to dislike the old boys' act that they represent. Largely manages his shifting cast of experts and ex-pros well, respectful but not too deferential. Quite a skill when instinctively you feel he must dislike some of them, especially Robbie Savage.


Bantersaurus Rex?
Radio banter is different to TV banter. Because, well, it's on the radio and thus lacks the knowing leg squeeze, wink wink, royster doyster physicality which is the modern Bantersaurus's stock in trade.

However, there is a kind of old man's equivalent on the radio when the likes of Green, Mike Ingham, David Pleat and Graham Taylor get together over a rich tea biscuit or two and decide to put the football world right. This mostly involves prefixing every sentence with "in my day" or "back when" or "they made Graham into a turnip".


Cliché counter
One of his strongest points is lack of default football expressions beyond what is necessary. He'll also call a spade a sh*t shovel if he's so minded, and that's a good thing.


Why does he get gigs?
Because the BBC get excited by having someone who sounds a bit common and regional and probably can't sack him for fear of some sort of quota scandal. Because he sounds like a grumpy git in the pub moaning about the football. And there's a bit, or a lot, of that in most football fans. Come on: haven't you seen the internet?

Can be nasty, acerbic, cynical, weary, contemptuous or well and truly pished off. But in an era when too many commentators are never any of these things, and are instructed to fellate second-rate product into first-rate wonderment, there's surely room for (at least) one off-message, ornery bugger. Even if you don't like him, Greeny is himself and who can ask more than 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 a football fan, set in Middlesbrough, are here.

You can also follow Alan and Johnny on Twitter.

He spends an awful lot of time airing various personal gripes which is fatal to radio commentary - we need to know what's occurring on the pitch not what some rotund egotist thinks about the commentary position or the referee. As someone who is so scathing and negative about the England team, why don't they give that gig to another commentator? And if it's true that a falling out with the Poor Man's Eamon Holmes contributed to Mark Saggers moving on and Radio Five airtime being polluted by Ian Payne and other lightweights, that's just criminal.
- croker

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.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Latest Photos

Footer 365

World Cup: England boss Roy Hodgson sees Andrea Pirlo as Italy's key threat

Roy Hodgson admits Andrea Pirlo is the main threat when England take on Italy in their World Cup opener in Brazil.

Transfer news: Alan Pardew confident Newcastle will strengthen in summer

Alan Pardew is already lining up a number of summer additions at Newcastle, with loanee Loic Remy still a top target.

Premier League: Paul Lambert wants to stay and improve Aston Villa

Paul Lambert insists he wants to stay at Aston Villa and is targeting signings to fire the club up the top flight.

Mail Box

Mignolet Is The Reason For Liverpool Flying

Mignolet's bad kicking is the reason for Liverpool's success, whilst one man keep notes on F365 mails. Plus England excitement, Arteta and a bad Walsall experience...

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

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