Gary Lineker’s two part interview with Roy Hodgson this week seemed to signal a change of direction from the BBC for their Euro 2012 coverage. Perhaps the sustained criticism of Match of the Day’s Saturday night show has finally sunk in. Lineker eschewed the usual banalities and made a concerted effort to discuss England’s tactical plans with Hodgson, something which seemed to unnerve the new manager. Although the change in approach has been undermined a little by Hansen’s prediction gaffe, it will be interesting to see how this plays out across the tournament.
Speaking of Hansen, it is good news to hear that Lee Dixon will be breaking his partnership with Shearer. I’ve always thought that Dixon (along with Gordon Strachan, whatever happened to him?) offers sensible and coherent attempts to explain why a goal was scored/conceded instead of just listing adjectives (Hansen’s preferred method) or wearing shirts so awful and shining his head so much that you take no notice of what he says (Shearer’s game plan). In the commentary box it seems that Motson has been ditched (even by Euro 2008 he was getting hysterical).Whoever is on commentary duties it would be nice if they could get Lawrenson to tone down his “wisecracks”.
I’ve always preferred the 5 live radio coverage, despite the attempts to turn themselves into Talk Sport lite. If you ignore Robbie Savage, then Pat Nevin, Jan Molby and Chris Waddle show themselves to be astute analysts. I hope Steve Claridge makes it too, although his specialism seems to be the Football League. The only issue with 5Live is Alan Green, a brilliant commentator so long as someone can remind him that listeners haven’t tuned in to listen to him wheeze and whine his way through a game.
The usual ITV snobbery grates with me and recently their coverage of football has not been that much worse than the BBC. Roy Keane can be entertaining if his mask of conviviality slips and he gives Adrian Chiles the Manson lamps. I don’t really see the value that Patrick Vieira or Jaime Carragher are going to bring. Perhaps ITV see Carragher as their own Gary Neville? From what I can recall Vieira has never offered much as a pundit aside from the usual clichés, but if Ireland play France in the quarter finals then the chance of a Highbury 2005 repeat might be a ratings boost for ITV.
Oh yeah and according Sky there is no football to speak of until the Emirates Cup.