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w00t - the day has finally arrived!


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Please guys, can you celebrate tonight? Celebrate for what you ask? The end of Premiership coverage on ITV *spits*


It is the worst EVER coverage of football i've seen in this country. Channel Five even beats them for quality. It was cheap, boring, advert filling, pile of crap.


-Andy Townsend tactics truck? Was that a joke because I found that funny.


-Des Lynam became stale.


-"Expert pundits" - Townsend, Earle and Beglin. :roll


-Big Ron...


-The Man United main event each week.


The only good things about ITV Sport are Peter Drury and Matt Smith. Hopefully Drury will jump ship to the BBC in the coming seasons as ITV only have the Champions League now whilst the BBC have Premiership, England matches, FA Cup matches and the occasionally UEFA Cup games. Also, if Gabby Logan gets Des Lynam's seat as the main football presenter, ITV have got even more screws loose. I don't see anything special in Gabby, looks or presenting wise. Smith is a bloody fantastic presenter and deserves his spot in the limelight.


I love the BBC. Always have done and I can't wait for Gary, Alan and the boys to return to my screens every Saturday night. :D


Love live the Beeb! :thumbsup

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I've had this in me for a while, so this could take some time.


Despite having lived in England for quite a while, I've never been very interested at all in English football, even though Spanish and Italian football in particular have managed to grab my attention outside of the Scottish game. I've often wondered why this is, as I'm not anti-English or anything like that. One possible reason would be due to living around the Newcastle area, where you have to support one team only or be shunned from society (not myself, but supporters of other English teams is what I mean). I never liked that. I always preferred there to be some sort of rivalry and choice, variety is what makes things interesting and living around here meant that I never really looked that way at English football as it was all 'the Toon' or nothing.


However, I think a large part of it has to do with the commentary teams and studio panels assembled for television coverage. Both the BBC and ITV have AWFUL panellists and commentators, as do Sky for the Premiership. The terrestrial channels actually make World Cup and European Championship matches hard to watch at times. Football Italia had great chemistry with Peter Brackley and Ray Wilkins when it first came on Channel 4, while James Richardson was also excellent. It helped that Milan had Gullit, Rijkaard and van Basten amontg other great players playing there, but when everything moved on in playing terms the excellent Channel 4 team were there, the coverage was brilliant and the fact that you could take a real interest in the teams was due in no small part to the studio team taking you through every development and keeping you informed and interested. For proof of that, try watching the same league on Eurosport. If you stick to their covergae, as I tried to for a brief while, it's quite possible that after a short time you'll be bored, because their coverage is boring and only sticks to the bare essentials. Spanish football used to have great coverage as well before it turned into the 'Beckham and co' show, as in 'Beckham... oh and some other guys as well', as you used to get decent coverage of more teams than just Real Madrid and Barcelona, with features on them and Guillem Balague, who was Mr Cool taking you through what was going on with each team. They still have decent coverage, even if it's not quite been as good since Beckham turned it into a tribute show when he moved to Real Madrid.


The Premiership coverage though is bloody awful. For a start on Sky, I don't mind a build up, but having an hour preview before every game makes me not want to watch. What can you do for an hour? I'm not going to hold my attention span on a preview for that long when what I want is to concentrate on the game, when it starts, for the best part of two hours, then maybe listen to what has to be said by the managers or players after the game. Andy Gray is a footballing dinosaur who is full of rubbish, I don't find him to be inciteful or get any pleasure from watching him map out tactics, or from listening to him during the game for that matter. I don't mind Richard Keys or Martin Tyler actually, it's just the ridiculous overstretching of the programme and in particular Andy Gray that makes me not want to watch games on Sky. That aside, they're not doing a bad job, get rid of Gray and I might start watching. Their Soccer Saturday programme in fact is excellent, Jeff Stelling is a great anchorman while there is genuine personality and interest contributed by the panel each week. It's just a shame that they don't have the same people covering the live games, as that would make the live programmes so much better.


ITV used to be good with the old First Division and 'The Match'. That was interesting. Brian Moore and Ron Atkinson I used to love hearing (although Big Ron doesn't appeal to many people around here it would seem), while although Bob Wilson in the studio wasn't great he was acceptable. While I admit they tended to show Arsenal all of the time, it was well presented, with a short but useful preview and post match interviews. Good stuff.


Now though, they're terrible. I have no idea why they have Robbie Earle and Andy Townsend covering Champions League matches, as they have no connection with that competition whatsoever, while McCoist annoys me (he didn't used to but now he's too much of a smartarse) and no-one else makes it better for being there. Des Lynam isn't as good as he was with the BBC, why I don't know, while Gaby Yorath/Logan provides the generic politically correct female presence and non-commital approach but without the looks of someone like Kirsty Gallacher to attempt to compensate for it (not that that does). I'm not Helen Chambelain's biggest fan, but if they want a female presenter why not try and nick her from Sky, or find someone like her? I have no problem with there being female presenters on the football, but get ones with personality rather than Gaby's watery presentation. You can't get as much of an interest in the development of the teams because the coverage isn't as good and the panellists don't make you interested in what they have to contribute.


The BBC is no different. Gary Lineker is better than Gaby or Lynam these days, and sometimes offers a witty remark, but is still for the majority of the time a watery presenter not expressing a great deal of personality in their coverage. Alan 'I know everything so I won't let anyone else speak' Hansen is incredibly annoying, while Mark '20/20 hindsight' Lawrenson isn't much better. As these two are terrible analysts, the interest usually depends on the BBC having another guest like Peter Schmeichel, Claudio Ranieri, Martin O'Neill or David O'Leary, for instance. The problem is, when they have one of these guests on the show, they can barely get a word in edgeways for that d**khead Hansen interrupting them and answering questions not directed at him before anyone gets a chance to say anything. Hansen, we didn't tune just to listen to your pish. If you're that great and know everything about everything, why don't go and manage a team yourself? No, you won't because you're full of hot air and shit, all talk and no action. Again, while you could say that Gerry Armstrong on the Spanish football hasn't gone into management, he at least respects the other guests and talks to people on an equal footing rather than all this 'I'm right, listen to me' condescending crap that comes from Hansen's mouth. Lawrenson's opinions aren't much better, but at least he has more respect for the guests, which is something you can say in his favour. However, all this means that the BBC's coverage of football isn't much better interms of quality than that of ITV or even on the same level as Sky live matches, so it makes the football seem less enjoyable.


The overriding problem on all sides seems to be pundits who haven't been in the game for the best part of twenty years acting like they still matter and in some cases act as though they are more relevant than people currently involved in the game as managers or players. The bland nature of other studio panellists is anothe factor. I'm glad that Pab can get excited about it, and if it's your native league then you're more likely to take an interest regardless (says he who follows the SPL!), but I don't really think it makes one bit of difference as to whether ITV or the BBC have the rights to Premiership coverage, as they'll manage to make it less entertaining whichever channell has it.

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Really the bbc aint much better, you get motson who's lost it in the last few years good and proper and hansen and larwenson who are as biast to liverpool as itv are to united so i don't really see any improvement apart from the titles.
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