Analysis of Arsenal’s TV Coverage and Pundits – Sky Sports News

Some Gooners were critical of Sky Sport’s coverage of our fixture last Sunday, essentially two ex-Man United legends kicking us when we were down.

Roy Keane mocked our manager for being a sore loser and laughed how our team can have ‘a sing song’ based on having the most possession.

I didn’t see the harm in Gary Neville’s assertion that Mikel Arteta was naive with his tactics, but accept that in 2022 there are people who can’t accept any point of view unless it’s the one that they happen to agree with.

Some of our fans only want to hear that Arsenal are going to win the Prem because they are the best in the world. They certainly don’t want to pay their hard-earned money to hear otherwise.

Yet last weekend wasn’t the only time this season Sky has been criticised for its programming.

Commentary and punditry was also questioned during the broadcast of Man United v Liverpool, and Brentford at home to United.

With the rise in social media, individuals are able to share their opinion with the world within seconds.

So, if you hear something on TV/ Radio that you disagree with or want to make a meme out of, you have access to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc to judge someone’s performance.

Broadcasters can’t complain as they too use these platforms to grow their own viewership.

Let’s analyse those responsible for giving us our football fix and question how each are doing ……

……….

Sky Sports

I grew up with Martin Tyler’s voice, Andy Gray’s soundbites and Richard Key’s in the studio being the selling points of Sky Sports.

Their employers could no longer trust the last two in a live environment and evidence suggests their popularity went to their head.

Yet while you knew one supported Coventry and the other was a legend at Everton, it was secondary to whatever match they were covering.

There wasn’t a fixture in this country that Tyler and Gray couldn’t not make your hair stand up on your arms.

The company were smart enough to realise they could never replace that dream team so didn’t try, instead recruiting retired players that the current generation knew.

Gary Neville has become a victim of his own success, so good at expressing his beliefs that he’s constantly asked for his opinion.

The more he speaks, the more he’s accused of being shoved down our throats.

Yet the numbers don’t lie.

He’s not given his own podcast and YouTube show unless there are subscribers willing to watch.

To defend him, his own political beliefs are expressed on his personal Twitter account. Again, it’s up to the individual if they want to give his words any traction.

Jamie Carragher on the other hand doesn’t offer any alternative views outside of laughing at Man United and not being humble during a successful period for Liverpool.

I know United and Liverpool fans who don’t enjoy co commentary between the two ex-defenders which Sky almost try to present as an event as much as the football.

For an 8pm kick off, they moved their coverage half an hour early, not to do with the teams, but in the hope that ratings would increase between the two arguing.

The danger for those two and others like Souness, Keane and Richards, is they become characters first and not the experts they are paid to be.

The banter between Keane and Richards used to be organic, now it’s contrived. Instead of an audience realising how direct and blunt a Souness and Keane could be, they are now an act being asked to perform.

Once they believe their own hype, their opinions lack substance.

A couple of years ago they were willing to take a step back to hopefully take leaps in the future by not extending the contracts of the majority of the popular Soccer Saturday Crew.

Producers would have been smart enough to know they would be called out for their obvious reverse discrimination.

Essentially, Phil Thompson, Matt Le Tissier, Charlie Nicholas and others were let go of for being British, white and not young.

The show now ticks it’s PR box with various genders, races and ages represented but it’s a bit on the nose.

It feels like Paul Merson was only kept on the pay roll due to his public battle with gambling.

Are we really meant to believe that a Lee Hendrie, Clint Morrison and Dawson had the careers to lace the boots of those they replaced?

With a monopoly on Premier League rights though where else is there to go if you don’t like Sky’s output?

Future reviews include, BT, BBC, Five Live, Talk Sport and AFTV

How do you rate Sky Sports?

Be kind in the comments

Dan

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25 Comments

    1. I don’t hate any of so-called pundits. They are like obedient dogs serving their sinister masters who in turn give the already brainwashed public what they want to hear.

  1. I hardly ever listen to the pundits. But any smart fan should know that those people were failed managers, so we’d better take their comments about management with a grain of salt

    1. What has the managerial careers has got to do with being a pundit??
      Many of you use the slightest opportunity to point out their management careers as being flop, but I don’t remember them being a manager pundit. They are football pundits and are not there just to talk about managers.
      They talk about players more than they talk about managers , but you won’t be quick to call them failed players. Because some of them are known to be a better players than some best managers.
      Even the best of the managers can be a failure.
      Only Ferguson and pep in the last 25 years among the tops managers didn’t get sacked or relieved of their job, should we consider all other managers a failure as well??

      1. They were successful players, so I’d believe their player assessments

        But some of them failed totally in management, so I won’t take their comments about managers seriously

        For managerial commentary, I’d prefer to listen to managers or former managers who’ve won major trophies in their careers, such as Wenger, Mourinho, Ancelotti and Benitez

        1. I wouldn’t even believe their player assessments either – since that has to be an essential aspect of successful management.

          1. At least they could make suggestions about how to train, the discipline and how to maintain the diet as a player

  2. Honestly as a Nigerian it annoys when sky (for PR reasons) hire ppl of color/different ethnic background for punditry which they clearly don’t deserve they think it will raise the ratings but it doesn’t it’s so obvious it cringe.

    1. Agree with you, ticking a box is how Micah richards got that job because it definitely wasn’t to with punditry skills .
      Same as Alex Scott on the BBC ,when you compare her to say someone like gabby Logan or a Clare balding you have to wonder again is a box being ticked ,because she for me is an aweful presenter with absolutely no screen presence ,put me off watching the last Olympic Games .

      1. I hear what you say Dan kit and hardly disagree with anything in your post
        The Beeb do try to integrate former sports stars into a media career. Ian Wright was pretty poor at the beginning and has grown in confidence and stature. CB although well connected, I remember on Radio5 years ago and the same with GL who learned her trade behind the scenes. I like Alex Scott who is clearly not your cup of tea, but she appeals to me. She is still fairly new – a bit like the former spuds player who’s name currently escapes me and I think they will be good all rounders but not necessarily in sports punditry

  3. You are right about Keys and Gray. They were a good team. Pity they couldn’t keep their sexist opinions to themselves

    In fairness to Keane, he was pretty damning about ManU previously although I’m not keen on Keane in general. Too confrontational

    Not a fan on the obvious bias shown these days by the pundits to their own team. Paid to give their appraisal of the teams they are covering is difficult to keep neutral but they should be doing that.

    It’s never a bad idea to shake things up a bit but only as long as those replacements are up to it. I tune in to listen to expert opinion – not big heads giving it large

    1. What ??😂 I never knew they were sexist please can you tell how ? I never watched there programs but I’ve heard of Richard

  4. I agree with you SueP, back in the day they were must see pundits but being caught off screen, having left their mics on, showed them up for what they really are! Have seen them recently on their Saudi (?) channel but wasn’t impressed. I can take Keane and Neville in small doses but for me the king is Jeff Stelling. Can’t agree with GAI above though regarding failed managers opinions on current management as that would apply to the majority of us too unless we’ve been successful in management!

    1. But GAI’s point is that the pundits are no better qualified to expound their opinions than anyone else. And he’s right…

      The key difference is that the people here (and similar sites) expressing their opinions aren’t being paid a lot of money to do it and to be part of football’s TV programming, we just quietly shout at each other in a dusty unpaid corner of the internet.

  5. Totally agree with Dan. I’m really not interested in any of the punditry side show on Sky sports, I tune in at kick off time then turn off when the game has finished. As for match of The Day I record it then fast forward Lineker and Co just to watch the actual football highlights, which is probably about 50% of the program. It’s not just in football it seems to be happening in most sport now.

    1. Reggie, if this is a response to my post I thought I made it clear, it’s as you say I DON’T WATCH IT. Nothing to do with opinions.

  6. Wrighty makes me laugh, Souness has a fantastic voice (and uses it well), Carragher’s voice goes up three decibels when excited, Merson should not be seen or heard, Keown should not be seen, Alan Smith is a great co-commentator, Jeff Stelling should delay his retirement even further & Emma Hayes is so underrated.

      1. I won’t watch MoTD because of lineker and shearer ,they love to Pat themselves on the back them 2 .
        Also talksport ,wouldn’t listen to that if I was paid ,gutter radio station .

        1. I would actually go as far as to say that I despise Lineker.

          The BBC allowing him to repeatedly express political views is as big a problem as Linkekr himself.

          I guess he doesn’t see the irony of a Spud advertising crisps 😉

  7. I never listen to pundits, they annoy me with their inane comments. Most of them sound as thick as two short planks – unlike other sports, you don’t hear an in-depth analysis of tactics, formations, methods etc, just “Game of two ‘alves innit” and “clinical” and a few other cliched superlatives. Meaningless drivel tbh.

    The fees paid to those people increase the cost to the subscriber, which is exorbitant these days. Simple question – would you rather listen to pundits or have £10 a month off the price of watching football?

  8. Dan I find it extremely EASY to be kind in my comments towards your excellent piece. I find it either the single best you have ever written, or at least firmly among the best few.

    What a real joy to read a proper analytical article that cuts to the chase about how Sky Sports are now box ticking(a truly illiberal thing to do IMO)AND how they are parroting the same unthinking tactics that so many TV progs,both in and esp outside sport constantly do , when they give us endless downmarket copies of a one time original and quality programme.
    I am thinking of such as Antiques Roadshow , followed by all the ghastly downmarket attempts to cash in on the general passion for antiques. Also gardening and cookery; copies galore and each poorer than its predecessor. Sigh!

    Instead we get JUNK progs about, essentially JUNK.

    And Sky Sports are now doing likewise with such downmarket and third rate pundits as Keane and Carragher.

    On BT Sports it is even worse with SAVAGE AND OWEN.

    How on earth do such dimwits earn a scam living by foisting their downmarket nonsense on us all??!

    It is high time that some REAL professional producers, directors and editors took charge of choosing pundits and that the current amateurs stop being political in their choices by box ticking and start giving the analysis jobs to the BEST people, quite irrespective of box ticking and quotas.

    I loathe illiberal box ticking and always want the best, wherever the best comes from . And often the best are not even famous ex-players, but relative unknowns who have spent a life time in the game but have not been known for being “characters”or even top class players . Example Arsene Wenger as a complete unknown back in 1996, but imagine the wisdom and education he could have given millions, were he a TV pundit, instead of the manager he was.

    Just as well for we Gooners of course, but I use such as AW as merely an example of how you need not be a household name to be a superb pundit. What you MOST need is top level IQ and some charisma but you MUST not be a downmarket clown like SAVAGE and co!
    I respect such as Neville and Souness a lot. But very few others are fit to lick their boots and certainly NOT Carragher, Keane, Savage , Owen.
    And on TALKSPORT WE REALLY GET THE DREGS from the very bottom of the barrel, in Agbonlahor and O’Hara. Good grief!!

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