Football People On TV: David James…

Date published: Friday 21st August 2015 8:59

The pundit who is most likely to wear a cape with a satin lining, it’s David James…


Fashion Police
Certainly not a slacks and blazer man, except perhaps as part of some post-modern, anti-fashion, situationist art happening statement. Likes a bit of soft tailoring and something with a fashion slant. May sport a Nehru collar and is certainly the pundit most likely to wear a cape with a satin lining. More than most, his hair has been through many often bizarre sculptings but seem to have settled into a classic mode these days.


Lingo Bingo
When initially employed as a pundit, there was much hope he may bring an intelligent, slightly left-field approach to the dissection of football given the quality of his pieces in the Guardian. This seems to have been somewhat misplaced faith. Most of his pitch-side work seems restricted to the occasional comment about the game, interspersed with looking for opportunities for banter with Macca. Overall impression is of someone wishing they could say more interesting stuff more easily and worrying that he’s going to be found out.


Hits & Misses
Still a bit too much of a newcomer to have established a big CV in this regard. Often seems marginalised on the end of that strange, portable melamine desk that BT Sport use which actually looks like the sort of thing you see for sale at a car boot along with pot pourri in a jar and a framed picture made of lentils.

Occasionally asked to hold a football in one huge hand. Always a nice trick but not quite enough to base a media career on.


Big Club Bias
When you’ve had a career that ends as a player-manager in India via the lower English leagues and Iceland, that’ll knock the BCB out of you.


Loved Or Loathed?
There seems to be quite a lot of goodwill towards him. Last year’s bankruptcy was a bit of a soap opera. However, it seems likely that his work has few fans because it’s not substantial nor characterful enough. Sorry.


Proper Football Man
Jamo confuses the PFM.

Firstly, he’s got a classic PFM nickname – Jamo. The ‘o’ on the end of his name is simple, uncomplicated and easy to shout loudly in any circumstances the PFM might find himself in – primarily ones involving pubs and chip shops. He’s also been made bankrupt which is good PFM behaviour, especially if they can establish it was caused by a divorce as it allows for much shaking of heads and bemoaning the corrupting influence of ladies on ‘good lads’.

He also played on down the leagues after a top career, which the PFM admires because ‘you’re a long time retired’. It’s also not hard to see him emerging from a night club called Nips at 3am with Miss Watford 1978. The chances of some shopping trolley-based fun also seem quite high because Jamo definitely likes a bit of banter and there’s nothing more banter than putting a footballer in a shopping trolley and pushing him across an abandoned DFS car park.

So, to this point, the PFM admission committee is looking at each other and nodding their approval…but what’s this? He paints? Paints!? No no no. Artistic endeavor is strictly for the liberal, intellectual elite. Now the reluctance to wear a blazer and Farah slacks is starting to make sense.

Being in ads for Armani is also very non-PFM. He would consider it an extreme ‘backs against the wall lads’ environment. And can he drink? In PFM parlance he’s ‘a big unit’ but that flat stomach and low body fat % is very worrying indeed, suggesting, as it does, a lack of passion for high volume beering it up. Reidy’s nuclear waste Martinis would be looked at with suspicion.

Despite some promising traits, Jamo has still got some work to do before his full PFM status is granted.


Beyond the Lighted Stage
Lots of good charity work across many different fields. The painting seems less high-profile these days but is surely indicative of a life not entirely lived whilst drenched in Slazenger Sport, watching sport on TV before going out of the house to play sport and talk about sport to other people who have also been watching sport.


John Nicholson

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