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 ……
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?
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