Johnny And Al's England v Brazil On TV

Johnny and Al enjoyed the awkward dynamic between Roy Keane and Adrian Chiles, but Andy Towsend's say-what-you-see shtick is growing more than a little tiresome...

Last Updated: 08/02/13 at 10:49 Post Comment

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

With England now sure to win the 2014 World Cup under the inspirational leadership of Jack Wilshere, how do we reflect on Wednesday night's friendly? The presentation of various caps and awards, a good bit about the Sir Bobby Moore charity, and a laundry list of people who should be remembered with a minute's silence all gave it the air of one of those ITV pro-celebrity beanos. The only surprise was that Robbie Williams or Cheryl Baker wasn't limbering up on the touchline.

However, one man definitely does not do friendly. Roy Keane began his punditry in typically combative fashion, responding to Adrian Chiles gentle lob about him not having played in a "Samba style" with:

"You know I did used to play the game, I didn't used to just run around kicking people."

Having got what Big Wrong might have called "a reducer" in early doors, Keane suddenly softened and became wistful, an alarming mood-swing from aggressive into lachrymose that was very familiar to anyone who has been set upon by a pub hardman only to find the brute then blubbing about the direction his life has taken.

"I was probably too uptight to enjoy playing football. They seem to enjoy it, it's a reflection of their lifestyle, their culture. I never had that obviously."

Oh Roy! Misunderstood. He coulda been a Copacabanacontenda. The rest of the pre-game punditry was strictly middle of the road, although we did enjoy Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's 150-second narration of 150 years of FA history (no mention of Faria, sadly) as well as the withering look Roy shot Adrian when the anchorman dropped a pad of paper off the needlessly irregularly shaped needlessly Perspex desk.

Out of work managers in pursuit of a new job traditionally use pundit appearances as a way to showcase themselves as interesting, perceptive and perhaps witty. Except Roy. Who cares not for such fripperies and looks utterly terrifying all the time and as such is surely almost unemployable in the modern era. Sir Ferguson has admitted that he has changed his management style in part to respond to the fact that the multi-millionaire South American man-children who make up an important cohort of the Premier League's better players simply can't handle the ole Celtic rage. We fear that Roy is now definitely a man out of time.

At the match itself, there were some surprisingly solid looking samba dancers, a peccably observed minute's silence and various presentations. It was Ashley Cole's 100th game, so Steve Gerrard was given a gold cap. (Cashley presumably refusing to accept less than a diamond one) and an award for 100 caps to Ronaldinho on, er, the occasion of his 95th.

As to the football, well, Brazil clearly used the chance to give a bit of game time to some fringe players - a guy who used to be Ronaldinho, a bloke who looked a bit like Neymar but can't have been the real one, making the professional comedian David Luiz captain. We would like to see ITV follow this experimental example in friendlies, using them to try out new talent or do something a bit left-field. Sadly, it was the same old Clive 'n' Andy show.

Look, we don't want to be harsh, after all, who amongst us is not a bit rubbish at what we do? But really, there is only so much "say-what-you-see" that we can stand. Andy T seems to have turned this into his one and only gig. A commentator has to describe the action but the co-comm is there to add light and shade, to season and spice the dish with insight, comment and observation.

Just having another man who says "he's tackled him there and laid the ball off" is redundant and surely the producers should know this and have a word with Andy to tell him to do something a bit different. His "you can't do that" comment after a replay of Gary Cahill gifting the ball to Brazil for the goal was the absolute nadir of an especially heinous performance. What? You can't pass the ball to the opposition striker 18 yards from your own goal? At this level you'll get punished, you say? Oh do tell us more, oh wise one. Thank God you played the game because none of us civilians could ever have understood a matter so profound and complex.

It is not unreasonable nor especially demanding to ask for a co-comm to do more than this. If it is not possible for anyone to be found to do it, then simply abandon the concept all together.

It is no doubt very hard indeed to be interesting on live TV for 90 minutes but they should not be asking someone who can't do anything other than reiterate what we can see for ourselves. The fault here isn't with those who are asked to do the job and who then do it poorly, it's with those who ask them to do it in the first place... and then keep on doing so. Can we not at least try some others?

John Nicholson and Alan Tyers

Read Johnny's book, 'The Meat Fix' here

Alan's football and cricket books are all in one place here

Follow Alan on Twitter here

or Johnny here

Bet £10 Get £30

Daily Offers And Promotions. Join Now & Bet £10 and Get a £30 Free Bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Premier League: Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin in plea after thwarted move

Morgan Schneiderlin has appealed to Southampton fans after a thwarted attempt to leave St Mary's.

Premier League: Chelsea hit Everton for six in nine-goal Goodison Park thriller

Chelsea hit Everton for six in a goal-filled Premier League extravaganza at Goodison Park which finally ended 6-3.

Transfer news: Leicester sign QPR full-back Danny Simpson

Leicester City have signed full-back Danny Simpson from Queens Park Rangers for an undisclosed fee.

Mail Box

Surely A Spurs Fan Should Remember...

...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

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