Never, Evra again
Can we all have a moment of silence for Patrice Evra’s career in punditry. While covering the game between Serbia and Costa Rica on Sunday at the World Cup, Evra was joined on the pundits couch by Henrik Larsson and Eni Aluko. During the build-up to the game Aluko was giving some rather detailed analysis to presenter Jacqui Oatley, to which Evra, ever the feminist, applauded and said “Wow! She knows so much”. Do not re-read. This is a verbatim quote. The fact that Evra was being sincere and actually didn’t mean this maliciously confused me even more – I couldn’t decide whether that ignorance made it better or worse. I honestly thought that including women as pundits at the World Cup was a step in the right direction and Alex Scott for the BBC and Aluko, who by the way has over 120 England caps (more caps than Evra has for France), for ITV have done a very good job. They’ve actually made this prick look inept. So yeah, hopefully this is the last time we see this gobshite on our screens outside of a football pitch. R.I.P Patrice Evra’s punditry career, G.B.N.F.
I honestly was going to make the point of not getting overly-hyped for England in this World Cup. I spend the two years between tournaments actively hating them and was adamant that I wouldn’t be sucked in this year into falling into my old routine; hating them for two years, watching Mike Bassett the night before the first game and becoming increasingly Brexit about the whole thing as the tournament progresses. But that was exactly what happened. I watched a documentary about past World Cup’s on the BBC on Sunday night and bang – I’m slipped back into my old ways. I not only found myself wanting England to win yesterday, I actually celebrated when Harry Kane scored the winner on eighty nine minutes. Like most people have said, this is probably the most likeable England side for a long time and they play some very good football. I actually like Southgate as well despite the fact I can’t get away from his disastrous time at Middlesbrough. Don’t get me wrong I haven’t got the St. George’s crosses strewn across the front of my house just yet, I’d probably class myself as a biased neutral at the minute, but I’m finding it much easier to get on board this bandwagon than I thought I would. It must be snowing in hell.
An ode to the commentators
I just want to take a minute here to pay tribute to the unsung heroes of football broadcasting, the men who are forgotten about and have to put up with some awful pundits alongside them. Yes, I’m talking about the commentators. Play-by-play commentary is not an easy skill to perfect and some are better than others. I do think though that the betters deserve some recognition. John Motson recently retired and had a heyday, but his overuse of “oh” in between every word was becoming tedious. “OH, AND IS IT, OHH, IT IS A, OH, A GOAL BY, OHHHH…” Enjoy retirement Motty, it’s only ten years too late. The gap is well and truly being filled by Guy Mowbray and Steve Wilson though. I love these fellas you know, they just give every game a big game feel. Clive Tyldsley does the same on ITV and I’ve loved Clive for years, the Champions League isn’t the same without him. This is what the World Cup does, makes you gush about commentators.