It’s safe to say that the standard of football commentary/punditry around the Premier League and other competitions on English TV is pretty abysmal. Many ex-footballers sit there, spouting absolute nonsense. They lack insight and are both biased and unoriginal. I don’t have Sky TV but what little I’ve ever heard from Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher on highlights etc mean that I’d never be in a rush to buy it. I generally watch BT Sport (Though I don’t have it myself) and a little BBC (Though I don ‘t have a TV) at my parent’s house. I’ve found Micah Richards a refreshingly appealable pundit and hope that he doesn’t get dragged down by those around him. I enjoy Steve McManaman’s co-commentary. He’s knowledgeable, well researched and observant but sounds nicely casual at the same time. He’s not too much on his own perch. One person who has stood out to me though is… Can you guess? Has anything given it away?
I’ll be honest, I genuinely think that tactics are overrated, that many in football try to convince us that there’s far more to what is actually quite a simple and limited thing. They want to make out that football requires far more thought than it actually does. Don’t get me wrong, of course tactics are part of the game and in multiple ways. I just think that some try to overcook them. As for Rio Ferdinand’s borefest when discussing tactics… yawn!
Joe Cole however comes across as particularly passionate when in-front of a tactics board/screen. In stark contrast to many smug ex-players sitting back and boring us to death, Cole is both insightful without taking it too far and just seems genuinely happy to be sharing his insights with everybody. Of course we’re all going to have preferences/dislikes when it comes to presenters, commentators and pundits etc but I really do feel that we should expect a high standard from those who’ve spent a career playing the game or even coaching/managing. Compared with many, Cole reaches that standard.
The former West Ham and Chelsea man would definitely be in my preferred presentation line-up!