Eye On The Experts: Adrian Chiles

This week Johnny and Al look at the everyman's everyman whose fear of Roy Keane presents itself like a child meeting a leopard at a petting zoo...

Last Updated: 30/01/14 at 16:44 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

Post comment

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: You Created The Hype

2 comments

Ghostwriter David Lagercrantz has admitted that he made up quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the striker's autobiography. The cult of Zlatan demands that we believe the hype...

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 everyman's everyman, Adrian Chiles.


Style
Like a well-loved family dog who has seen better days. Not a handsome man, we think it is fair to say. Dresses unfashionably. Adrian manages to emit a rubber-faced ordinariness so unthreatening and 'one-of-us'-ish that you wonder if he actually has to work very hard indeed at it with the help of a highly-paid team of experts and consultants.


Special Interest
The England football team, performance and failures thereof (1967 until present day).


Strengths and Weaknesses
Has the common touch, in spades. Is better than any other big name presenter at conveying the hopes and disappointments (and, let's face it, they're generally disappointments) of the England football fan.

Main tactic for dealing with studio ex-pros is an unthreatening "I'm just an ordinary bloke, explain to me how..." This has been a successful method of getting his guests to talk, and plays well to their egos.

The sense sometimes is that Adrian is over-egging that pudding, adopting a tone of awed wonder at the arcane knowledge with which these former footballers are furnishing him, out of all proportion to the actual worth of their platitudes. When pairing this "of course, I'm just a layman" schtick with Yer Ian Wrights shouting "he's well smacked that one Adrian", the effect is such as to make it seem that Adrian is taking the mick, which we are sure he is not.

Also suffers from a case of Lynam's Disease, in which a football broadcaster who made his name with the BBC's leisurely, extended segments of chat finds himself constrained by ITV's "breathless yak for a couple of minutes, go to commercial" framework. In the case of Dishy Des, it proved fatal.


Tactical genius or tactics truck?
Self-effacing, arguably to a fault as mentioned above, in this regard. Not his job.


Leg squeezer geezer?
Treats his coterie of ex-pros with respect bordering on supplication. Handles Roy Keane, especially, with wary, beguiled affection, like a child meeting a leopard at a petting zoo. Interestingly, Adrian is unusual for a civilian football presenter in that he is a Much Bigger Deal than almost all his guests. His gig on the One Show, and a tabloid presence, has made him a far more famous, better paid and powerful media figure than, say, Lee Dixon.


Bantersaurus Rex?
Half of this column saw Adrian in a boozer before a WBA game a few years ago, and he was seriously mobbed. We acknowledge that WBA fans can't be too picky about their celeb fans, but this was a real life look at the Fame Monster. People queuing up to shake his hand, photo ops, the odd arsehole giving him verbals, that type of thing. Handled it, we might point out, with flawless good humour and generosity. Nice, funny, and quick-witted without being snarky.


Cliché counter
Not a stock-phraser. Perhaps this is a result of being, you know, an actual communicator with broadcasting training and talent at using all words and everyfing, rather than some be-booted muddy sporto hauled off the pitch within seconds of retirement and unfairly expected to be a gifted speaker.


Why does he get gigs?
He's bright, but not bookish. He's blokey but not oafish. He's a decent person to work with, by all accounts. We can appreciate that some find his Midlands hangdog bit a little grating. But, especially where England are concerned, we find it to work rather well.

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.

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

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Sepp Blatter lies low in Zurich in wake of FIFA arrests

Sepp Blatter did not attend Thursday morning's FIFA medical conference in Zurich as pressure grows on him to stand down.

Greg Dyke: Prince Ali can beat Sepp Blatter in FIFA vote

Greg Dyke has told Sky Sports News HQ Sepp Blatter can be beaten if FIFA's presidential election goes ahead on Friday.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter 'has to go', says Greg Dyke

FA chairman Greg Dyke insists that "Sepp Blatter has to go" and has urged UEFA to try and force the FIFA president out.

Mail Box

Time To Step Up, Mr Platini...

UEFA should step up and extend the Euros to replace FIFA's tarnished World Cup, say a couple of mailboxers. Also: all hail Carlo, King of the Kop, and plenty more Budget XIs...

Vidic Is Part Of United's 'Budget XI'

We have post-2000 budget XIs on behalf of Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs. Plus gaelic football, FIFA, more awards and the majesty of Il Fenomeno...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company