Tom Beck looks into the current state of football anylisis provided by our licenece fees. Follow him on Twitter: @twjbeck
Following last Saturday’s Match of the Day, I was dumbfounded at the superficial analysis from Hansen and Shearer. Every week we tune into BBC1 at half ten and are subjected to the most lackluster efforts from both of these “experts”.
Why should we have to sit through an hour and a half of half hearted analysis from two ex-professionals every Saturday? I can only think that such shallow scrutiny of matches is due to either time constraints put on them by the BBC or they are simply just not putting in the effort to fill the few minutes between matches with any real detail.
I have not suggested, which I’m sure a number of people believe, that these two do not know enough to do their jobs. However, I think we should do some analysis of our own and look at their positions.
Hansen was part of a Liverpool team that won the top division on several occasions and was at the heart of the Liverpool defence as they lifted several European Cup trophies, many years ago. His role on MotD is to primarily give defensive examination, which at times he does do reasonably well. However, it’s the stream of clichés that, over a decade of working for the BBC, become tiresome. Hansen himself has become a cliché. “Diabolical defending” has become his catchphrase as he sits on the sofa analysing little and spouting drivel.
Shearer on the other hand, does have some managerial experience, sure. He was manager of his hometown club, Newcastle United, towards the end of the 2008/09 season; and he took them down. Also, if anyone remembers an article he wrote before the World Cup, which included the squad he would take to South Africa, you’d understand that Shearer is clueless. His clean image, maturity and England captaincy can surely be the only reasons why he managed to get a job at the BBC. What else does he bring to the programme apart from a name?
This brings me onto my next point. I don’t like the fact that ex-professionals are given such high profile positions to spread their thoughts to the world. Why do you need to have played football at the highest level to give analysis? Apart from understanding, perhaps, emotions in players, there is no real benefit to it. This position should be given to football “experts” who study the game every week.
A food critic doesn’t need to be a chef to know what good food is.
There must be plenty of print and broadcast journalists out there who could do a better job than these two.
The only benefit I can give MotD is that their target may be family audiences due to their simplicity of analysis. However, this is a very artificial excuse – why should the rest of the country have to sit through such poor punditry? Equally, if it is time constraints that keep both Hansen and Shearer from giving us some actual bloody detail then why is it that Revista de la Liga towers over English Premier League with their examining of coverage.
It seems to me that Match of the Day has steadily gone downhill and shows little care for in-depth analysis. Maybe it never did, and since I’ve got older I’ve only just realised. Maybe people have thought this for a long time, I don’t know. To me, it seems like it is simply a highlights show and nothing more.
What makes me so angry is that Lineker almost seems embarrassed when telling us statistics and facts. And he shouldn’t be - I’m interested! I want them to tell me things I don’t know. That’s the whole point I tune in, because I’m interested in so called “experts” teaching me something interesting.
In all honesty, I think that MotD has copped out. They don’t bother giving the audience real detail or interesting information because they know that the majority of football fans are thick.
It’s true. I’d say 90% of football fans don’t really care enough to really understand the game; they just want action. They want goals. The more the better. Goals, action and more goals. And for me, I think that the BBC have realised this. But those who are interested in the game, the art, deserve better.
As Jay-Z once said, “I dumb down for my audience to double my dollars”. And that’s exactly what they’ve done.
(Oh, and don’t get me started on Lineker’s shit puns and crisp adverts.)