Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Rugby pundits maul football's yes men

BBC Radio 5Live tonight the massive gap in quality between football's former pro yes men and their rugby union counterparts.
While Steve Claridge, Perry Groves, Pat Nevin, Mark Lawrenson et al have landed cushy media gigs specialising in saying not much more than the bleedin' obvious, the ever combative former England prop, Brian Moore (left) flew the flag for no-nonsense-say-it-as-it-is-and-damn-the-consequences punditry.
He's an intelligent man who in commentary can disappear up his own ass with self importance, but when it comes to calling it as it is and perhaps alienating sacred cows or former colleagues, he's fearless.
Tonight was magnificent. He laid the failings of England at the world cup bare: 'They were truculent from the start and they had no friends,' 'Martin Johnson was never comfortable dealing with the media, but he's the England manager, that's his job,' 'Martin Johnson wasn't tactically experienced enough or qualified for being head coach.'
The best moment came when it was noted that Nick Mallett, the outgoing Italy coach had decided to turn down England to go back to South Africa to spend time with his family. Moore added: "And in parenthesis: I wouldn't deal with that shower."
Apart from anything else, when was the last time you heard Steve Claridge or Jason Roberts use the word parenthesis?
Unlike the picture illustrating this post, Moore's never toothless in his punditry and remains a cut above.

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