Thursday, January 27, 2011


REPORT By Jeff Snood in Stalybridge

Meanwhile, back in the studio
Observing the Skysports presenters preparing to go on set is like watching a small pack of feral cats getting ready for the mating season; all looks and squints, sniffs and stiff necks, sideways glances and manic sniffing at back ends of passing female cats; nods, winks, growls, parps and tugs; chasing tail and getting bitten. A bit of woofing, pawing and parading, a quick microphone stuffed down the pants. And then it all gets smashed up.

There is a vacancy or two at the helm of British football’s favourite tv channel, an organisation, nay foundation, nay bedrock, that spawned the very beginnings of what we now understand as SuperbSunday, along with its spin-offs Decimated Saturday and Pretty Average Tuesday, when football came into this world, kicking, screaming and looking casually at the nurse’s bottom. Who might replace the daredevil two, Gray and Keys, Keys and Gray, inseperable as Siamese twins, as old-fashioned as a grandfather clock, I can hear literally tens of people asking? Step forward the inevitable Gary Neville (if there's a right in this world, that is, and not just wrong, dead wrong and Mike Dean).

"And it's City's title...."
Let nobody utter the word “unbelievable”, nor the words “hot sausage on the grill”, because - let us be straight and a little narrow - we now arrive at a watershed in the communication industry, the dawn of a new era, where hardly audible unintelligible squawks with a decided red (Manchester variety) bias and a thick Bury accent will become the item of desire. This will be a place where Neville Neville dares walk the pavement head held high, where David May is the currency of the day, where suave quarter moustaches and bumfluff chins are de rigeur. A place, let it be whispered, where Our Eric and Sir Giggs are once again God.

Good bye, multisyllabic words, good bye grammar, goodbye most everything. Farewell Liverpool and Citeh, get thee gone, Leeds United. Welcome back in from the media blizzard Sir Ferguson of Govan, Sir Paddy of Crerand and Lord Phelan of Skye. 

With Neville’s well-known perky and tufty banter, his repertoire of badinage and self-deprecation, his quip-a-minute monologues about Bob Paisley and Uwe Rosler and all that’s wrong with Arsenal, he is the people’s choice as UK Football Spokesman. When he speaks, he speaks for a whole generation of men and indeed women (phwoar) brought up on Ford sponsored crisps and sandwiches of prawn. A butterfly infested land where the announcement of anodyne prose is met with a tray full of asprin, where everyone gets beat and nobody wants the past tense anymore. Where at the end of the day, we have got just about what we deserved, Barry.

So rejoice, put away your dictionaries and thesauri, turn down the volume, seek out the fluffy ear protectors and sit back and let The Drain take the strain. It’s a whole new ball game.

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