The nation has fallen out of love with Match of the Day

Shearer’s ignorance opens a can of worms


Almost in unison, it appears that everyone’s patience in Match of the Dayhas run out. And Alan Shearer’s asinine revelation that ‘no one really knows a great deal’ about one-time French prodigy Hatem Ben Arfa was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

TalkSPORT’s actually-quite-lucid-at-times noise-merchant Stan Collymore has laid into the MOTD old boys’ club on Twitter, dismissing it as ‘crap’:

I love MOTD. I’ve watched it for 33 years but, right now, in my opinion as a football fan, it’s c**p, and like dinosaur football, has to change.

The standard of MOTD is so poor – and sorry, it is – that you may as well Sky-plus it, skip the analysis and use your own judgment.

During the World Cup several teams weren’t prepped properly by MOTD and Shearer’s “revelation” that Ben Arfa wasn’t on many’ s radar is frankly laughable.

We all makes mistakes in commentary and shows but just not finding out about players and teams seems par for the course on MOTD. Does it T me off? Damn right it does. Could I do better? I already do.

I love public service broadcasting and our national broadcaster but the truth is that in my opinion MOTD is stale, cliched, smug pap a lot of the time.

It’s a lazy show that doesn’t provoke debate in our game and just says, “We’ve been there and done it and we don’t have to do anything but sit here and dole out cliches.

…and breathe.

Stan’s criticisms are hard to argue against. MOTD’s ‘Top Four’ weighting has being getting increasingly lopsided, and even then matches generally receive  only rudimentary analysis (lest we forget Slaven Bilic’s appearance last season and Alan Hansen doing a little wee of fear any time the tactical discussion approached academic.)

MOTD2 is arguably even worse, this year being packaged as a Fisher Price style ‘My First Football Highlights Show’.

With increasing access to niche websites, online resources like YouTube, and even videogames (looking at you, Football Manager), fans have rapidly moved away from the idea of a collective ‘Johnny Foreigner’ lurking beyond the British Isles, and can now reel off the career history of a La Liga journeyman or Brazilian wonderkid as quickly as they could a player from domestic leagues.

It appears MOTD, and, to be fair, quite a few British football pundits in general, have been left behind.

Collymore’s solution? Get a whole new lineup:

Get a presenter that just presents. Put Lineker as lead pundit, get rid of Hansen and Shearer and revolve the pundits so that Andy Cole, Zola, Di Canio, Ian Wright, Sheringham, Cantona and plenty of players with ideas, opinions and passion all get us thinking about the game.

Lineker has the gravitas as the great ex-England striker. Revolve the names around him. Right now it’s comfy, matey pap that probably spends more time talking golf rather than football. Stick Shearer on 5 Live and get him out to games, lots of games.

If MOTD isn’t a debate show and just a highlights reel, then why have pundits at all?

I want to see Zola disagree with Sheringham, or Di Canio giving us an insight, or Klinsmann next to Cole and Wright talking about what Torres is going through and how to change.

Ian Wright? Good Lord. And you were doing so well, Stan.

Who would be in YOUR dream Match of the Day sofa lineup?

This being the internet, and knowing everyone will have him, The Spoiler will assume James Richardson has a seat reserved by default.

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