Who do Arsenal fans think should replace Gary Lineker on MOTD? Here are my choices

So, there were zero pundits on this week’s Match Of The Day as well as commentary.

I gave my views that Gary Lineker shouldn’t have been asked to ‘step away’ based on a tweet he made on his own account on his day off.

So from a free speech perspective, yes the 62 year old should have been allowed to go to work.

Looking at things more lightly (it is sport after all), as a viewer, I’m not sure I actually missed the analysis BBC usually offers.

In fact of the various Football shows I digest every weekend, if there was one panel I would change it would be the one existing of Lineker and Shearer. I certainly didn’t miss the commentary the channel offers.

Years ago Sky used the controversial sexist comments from Richard Keys and Andy Gray as a convenient opportunity to make their presenters younger.

While they would never publicly admit it, it was like they were waiting for the opportunity to make changes without being accused of ageism.

Sky’s coverage has come into criticism, fans feeling Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have become too character based.

With their own podcasts and YouTube channels  the accusation is  they feel their own voices are more important than the action they should be dissecting.

With an apology unlikely, BBC bosses have decisions to make to safe guard programmes on TV and radio, some of which had to be cancelled to what became a boycott.

Some will quietly resume their jobs but it takes a brave man or women to take Lineker’s chair.

So for fun  if you were running the BBC and had your pick of the industry, who would you employ?

You need to hire a host, 2/3 to be on your panel, a play by play commentator and a co-commentator.

Here are my choices…..

Host – Jeff Stelling

Because he’s not a former player he’s relatable to viewers.

He’s one of us, simply a fan with the dream job, being paid to talk about football.

However popular he’s become, he’s never let it go to his head and think that his opinion is more unique then others.

He finds that balance between encouraging debate, but never taking things too seriously where he causes an argument for the sake of YouTube clicks.

He’s like one of your mates talking about the Sport down the pub. A bit of banter, but at the end of the day it’s a trivial subject compared to what else is going on in the world .

Makes both those at home and his guests feel comfortable.

Roy Keane – Panel

The issue with Sky Sport’s team is their pundits have become too much of the show.

They will argue that their social media numbers show that people care.

Yet it’s overbearing and not organic.

Grame Souness was once a decent pundit because once his delivery was sharp and direct. Now it feels like someone has asked him to be that way.

Micah Richards was originally refreshing because his personality is engaging.

It doesn’t work when a producer is in his ear telling him to laugh out loud and act like a clown.

Roy Keane is in danger of being manufactured but I still feel give him a topic he cares about, something to get his teeth into, and you get his honest account.

In any team you need to have that balance.

Keane’s my no-nonsense pundit but not because he’s a character, but because that’s who he is .

Gary Neville – Panel

He’s like marmite but there is room for Gary Neville next to the right two personalities and if he’s managed correctly.

As a former player who won everything in the sport, played with some of the biggest names, one of the most successful manager in history, a businessman and co-owner of his own club, there are issues I want to hear the 48 years old’s opinion on.

Again, numbers don’t lie. There is a reason he has his own Podcast and YouTube channel.

The mistake his employers made was to bring in Jamie Carragher who simply can’t do what Neville does ,but thinks he can.

What you are left with is the two taking cheap shots at each other every week which overshadows the product they are meant to be talking about. The duo are not even an entertaining double act .

Put Neville on a strong panel, tell him when he can talk and he can be effective.

Andy Gray – Panel

Most of us grew up with the 67-year-old on Super Sunday.

Whether on the microphone or in the studio he gave some great sound bites over the years.

You could argue that he started to know it and his play by play became less organic, like he was trying too hard to find that next iconic line?

The biggest compliment I can give the ex-striker is he was a legend in his playing days, but out of the players turned pundits it’s not obvious to the observer who he used to play for.

That’s because he will talk with the same passion regarding Everton as he would Bolton.

There is the reason I’m putting him in the studio.

Clive Tyldesley or Peter Drury – commentator

I grew up with these two back when ITV had the rights to the Champions League, and for a couple of years Prem highlights.

It always astounded me that a BBC or Sky didn’t employ either over the years.

Both have given so many soundbites over the years

Some feel they overdo it. Almost like they have a reputation for their Shakespearian language and try and do it all the time.

In terms of making a game or goal feel big, they are unrivalled.

They are just as comfortable in a one man booth as they want to do the play by play, but also then give a soundbite while the goal is being replayed.

That’s why I’m putting Andy Gray in the studio as two strong personalities might get in each other way?

Tyldesley or Drury need to work with someone who can offer tactical insight, but let them do their thing.

Emma Hayes– Co commentator

Hayes has that perfect balance between knowing what she’s talking about, but knowing when to speak.

She’s happy to offer tactical insight without the need to get herself over.

One of the few co-commentators where I feel I learn something.

Unlike others, she doesn’t rely on her background in the sport. She is well researched and explains to viewers tactically what they are seeing.

Corporations were under pressure to have more diversity on TV.

She might have got the opportunity just to  tick a PR box, but it’s not how you get the ball, it’s what you do with it when you get it .

She ran with it and now you don’t notice what gender she is, she’s there on merit. Exactly How it should be.

If she ever takes a break from management, a broadcaster will snap her up.

Put your team in the comments.

Be respectful, just a bit of fun



Tags Match of the Day


  1. Shame this article is now redundant given the news earlier today!
    To be fair, I did NOT expect this outcome, though for footie fans everywhere it is good news.
    Personally, I think Lineker is BY FAR the best football presenter out there, but have no liking for him, nor for his obvious huge ego away from TV.
    The real losers in this case are the BBC and TIM DAVIE, in particular who had not the courage of his convictions when push came to shove. Lineker however and to his credit, DID HAVE!

    I must also say I thought his tweet was horrendously immature and plainly WRONG.

    1. jon, why is the size of Lineker’s ego measured on the fact that he has the intestinal fortitude yo express his opinions without fear or favour? Is the measure of lack of ego now the fact that you sit on your hands snd say nothing?One thing about Lineker has been his consistency. For evil to triumph all that is required is for good men and women to do nothing.

  2. I should hacvew added that although now redundant in the light of events , I enjoyed DAN’s evaluation about his choice of candidates.
    Some, I much agree about, others not at all.

    Notably not so with KEANE, who one could easily imagine as an axe murderer when watching his persona on screen. I also find value in Neville but none at all in Carragher, nor Gray!

  3. Unfortunately for you Dan you’re Article as come at the wrong time ,because the beeb have backed down and apologised to him (unbelievable).
    No apology from him concerning his naz1 Comment but another swipe at the end of his statement.”
    “ A final thought: however difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away. It’s heartwarming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you.”
    Gary Lineker.

    Does he mean war torn Albania where they cross through 3-4 safe country’s leaving their women and children behind or our country’s pensioners suffering because it’s seems more important to give aid to illegal immigrants that have not at all come here to escape war but have come to take advantage of our soft country .
    Don’t worry Gary I’m sure the older and more vulnerable people of the uk can still pay their TV license to pay for your nice lump some every 12 months that you have used your company to avoid paying tax ,maybe he could donate that to the illegal immigrants that he cares so much about.
    Lovely bloke .

    1. I will add Ian wright as gone down in my estimation,should have sacked the lot of them ,imagine given your thoughts on illegal immigrants but flying to the Qatar for a 5 week jolly and not mentioning their appalling human rights or taking a stand .

      1. DK How many times have I posted on JA that ALL we humans are hypocrites. All of us DAN.


        Why would anyone expect Wrighty to be any exception to this overwhelmingly true rule?

        If all hypocrites were sacked, the entire world would be out of employment. True? Or not true?

        1. DAN I should have added that I also see Linekers “champagne socialist” views as a bit rich, given his personal lifestyle and a huge ego as well.

            1. Precisely. I question though, Ozzie, as a human kind observer , IF an ego his GIGANTIC size is actually good for his and his familys personal happiness, or not.

              It is relatively easy and not esp self sacrificing to pontificate publicly, as he constantly does, whilst enjoying a HUGE personal salary and the unfettered adoration of many, even though I suspect relatively few of that “many” will be mature in age or life outlook.
              Just my take as an older and VERY life experienced person.

              I have mixed freely with Kings and with paupers, so to speak, albeit only metaphorically, in the case of Kings.

              1. As someone of the same generation as yourself jon (1952), I appreciate people in power and privilege speaking out for those less fortunate than themselves, who often have no voice.
                For evil to triumph, all that is required is for good men and women to do nothing.
                It is very easy for people, such as Gary Lineker to sit pat, stay quiet and accept the misfortune and lack of opprtunity of others. After all, if a person is born in the wrong part of the world or is poor and underprivileged, it is totally their fault.

      2. Yeah I am writing my thoughts
        I actually agree with them mage
        They did comment on Qatar’s human rights record at the start of their World Cup coverage

        That’s why I find BBC are using double standards

        1. You mock people coming from other countries (Albania) without any evidence
          Just a sarcastic comment consequently it sounds racist

          Thor is a football page so why are we discussing politics cmon this page is better than that
          There is too much crap going on
          Football should be kept separate

    2. Dan pls don’t bring political comments on a foot ball forum, your opinion on immigration is uneducated

      If not racist

    3. Wow, a post by Dan kit that I actually agree with 👏. You’re spot on about the Albanians, they’re not fleeing any wars, they are economic ìmmigrants.

      1. TBF John the only keyboard warrior I’m seeing on this thread is you ,twice you’ve called me Racist without any thought to your post and how silly you look ,as for mocking Albanians ,please go ahead and show me where I have ,I’ve given nothing but facts ,over 12000 came to the uk in 2022 alone ,this is from a safe country ,now excuse me for bringing that figure to light because illegal immigrants that arrived last year was 52000 ,hopefully you can do math but thats 23% ish that are definitely not fleeing there country because of war as Gary put it ,and that was my point in my first post ,and the whole Gary talk is to do with politics so that’s why I gave my opinion ,but yes I agree on non political talk on a forum like this ,but that’s where I thought this was going .

  4. Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher have no business being pundits of the Premier League. They can be pundits of their respective teams. The fact that he said his favorite were a better team after being hammered 7 says it all.

    A pundit should use his experience and knowledge of the game to give analysis not cheerleading for his favorite team. I don’t understand why England allow this. Haven’t seen it in other countries.

    1. It’s not going to be easy to find presenters & pundits with no team affiliations, although you could I suppose recruit journalists, ex-referees & regular broadcasters.

      1. Des Lynam ,now that was a presenter that had wit and charm and the one I associate MOTD with .
        No comparison with the privileged, head in the clouds idiot some have had to listen to for the last decade or so .

        1. Yeah, Des was great on MOTD (very popular with the women fans) until he jumped ship for “a new challenge”.
          Of those oldies, the dullest I can remember was our own Bob Wilson, while Terry Neil was often very good & Mark Lawrenson witty & acerbic.

      2. Except for England, other countries punditry that I have seen they focus completely on the game played. Giving their insights on tactics, mistakes, refereeing and things like that.

        There is no room for personal feelings and bias. All pundits for sure are supporters of a particular club but it’s not allowed on the job for fear of offending supporters of other clubs and lose viewers. They are extremely professional about it.

        It’s unbelievable how they get away with it in England. Carragher and Neville to name a few because I loathe them the most are far from professional. Their job is not punditry at all, it’s blatant cheerleading of Loserspool and Manure.

  5. I like Jeff Stelling as a presenter although he is even older than I am. He is versatile and impartial – except when it comes to Hartlepool (something that the BBC could do with}

    I think Gaby Logan is a top presenter and her voice is soothing and she knows her stuff. Unfortunately in some cases, female commentators can sound shrill.

    I have no problem with regional dialects but my biggest beef is poor grammar. Anyone that can’t speak the King’s English ‘sufficiently’ well needs to go on a course before given free rein on the box.

    I know blooding younger pundits etc is the way forward, but I was sorry to see Phil Thompson lose his SKY job when Carragher managed to hold on to his after the spitting incident. Keane is like the axe murderer as Jon states, but is irresistible when ManU lose. As a commentator, I don’t mind Sam Matterface and used to love Jonathon Pearce on Capital Radio in the long distant past. Completely OTT but entertaining.
    Doesn’t really help the future though

  6. Tough luck Dan, caught you out there didn’t they!
    I was expecting this to become a bit of a saga and drag on, but am glad of the outcome and to have the status quo restored.
    It’s a bit surprising that Mark (Chappers) Chapman hasn’t been considered as a possible Lineker alternative as he does a pretty good job on the Sunday show, and the excellent Emma Hayes someone recommended was also a worthy choice, but she does have a day job.

  7. While I agree with Jeff Stelling and Roy Keane, I wouldn’t have that hypocritical Gary Neville anywhere near MOTD. Why do I call him a hypocrite, well think back to when that Super League reared its ugly head. He was going on about the amount of money involved, very rich coming from someone that works for Sky Sports ! Also there’s not a lot different between him and Lineker, with their outspoken views on the UK government.

    The person I would employ instead would be Ally McCoist, who, imo, talks a lot of sense.

  8. It would have been intetesting to see who would be prepared to sell their soul to be a Tory mouthpiece.
    Back to the “good old days” in the UK where your employer told you which candidate to vote for in an election. Failure to do so, led to your dismissal from your employment and if you worked on a landed estate, also eviction from your home.
    Thankfully (or hopefully) the world has moved forward in democratic countries.

    1. When the last Labour government were in power – a long time ago – Blair made top appointments to the BBC of left leaning candidates. It’s the way it goes
      Of course, we have a free vote these days and Labour with the prospect of Corbin as PM were not surprisingly obliterated in the election

      1. SueP, nowhere have I argued that interference in the BBC by any polical party is acceptable.
        However the influence of the Murdock media empire has been pivotal to the election pf conservative parties in the UK, USA and Australia.
        There is little fairness in the media away from public broadcasting. That is why the credibility and funding of the BBC in the UK, PBS in the USA and the ABC in Australia are critical to a healthy democracy in these countries.

  9. I miss the good old days of Brian Moore and Jimmy Hill. Lots of passion and at least you knew where you stood. Even a 22 year old could sense the jingoism. Nasty, cynical Argentines and Italians practicing the dark arts. An Englishman committing the same type of foul would of course be praised for his professionalism and taking one for his team. Ah the good old days.

    1. Absolutely no !
      Awful presenter , who struggles to string 2 sentences together without fluffing her lines ,unless you just want the eye candy .

    2. Not really, she’s on too many programmes already and In my opinion not for her talent but because she ticks all the right boxes.

      1. Alex Scott is very downmarket and very difficult for me personally to watch or enjoy. Her physical attibutes are of total irrelevance to me and, I feel sure, to almost everyone else too when watching a football programme.

        I go further and suggest that tre tendency towards bringing more visibly appealling female presenters onto sports progs of all kinds, is wrong headed and will have the opposite effect to what their bosses hope for.

        MANY OF THEM ARE RELENTLESSLY DOWNMARKET AND HAVE IRRITATING VOICES. I try not to dislike irritating voices, as it is not their own personal fault, but it remains true and I will not be alone in this. There are notable exceptions ; two that come to mind immediately are Claire Balding and Gabby Logan who are both excellent. But not Alex Scott , PLEASE NOT HER!!

  10. Now that the immediate situation has been resolved , FOR MOTD VIEWERS, but not for othe rparticipants in this debacle, I forseee thrhastening of thr day when the BBC is forced to giveup its licence fee. There are countless vocal and politically powerful people who will not tolerate the Beeb caving in to the Lineker brigade that is deeply embedded throughout the BBC as a whole. I am not a Tory voter nor do I make ANY apologies FOR THIS GOVERNMENT but I am an impartial observer of events. And I have a keen brain for events that are in the offing IMO!

    1. The previous culture secretary (Nadine) said the BBC licence fee could be replaced by a “new funding model”, although she didn’t actually say what the model was.

      1. Old news now Jax. She is no longer in power but others who are far more advanced in their thinking re abolishing the licence fee, are firmly in the seat of power. Watch this space!

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs