I decided to have a look at the Soccer Saturday Pundits this week.
The dynamic between the 4 ex pros (Merson, Le Tissier, Thompson and Nicholas) and presenter Jeff Stelling is superb, with just the right amount of comedy to go with the football analysis every week. They’re the Likely lads, all still pinching themselves as to how they landed first as footballer s and then at the cushy jobs at Sky.
I turned on today in the middle of them discussing Spurs and all of the signings they made last year with the money from the Bale sale (whilst showing his wonder winner for Madrid in the Copa Del Rey Final on Wednesday – what a goal!). The jist of it was that they signed a lot of players, a lot of unknown quantities and hadn’t really got the best from these players. And the managers were taking the brunt of the fans’ frustration. Then one of the Likely’s shouts out “I think the fans are starting to realise what’s really wrong there” and then Matt Le Tissier comes out with a real beauty, “What amazes me is that the Geezer who signed these lads is getting away scott free. He’s like teflon, non-stick”. Brilliant.
But the best was still to come from Paul Merson (in fairness he’s the most entertaining on it every week) when they were going over Liverpool’s title credentials after last week’s massive win over Man City. They were discussing Raheem Sterling’s Sterling (pardon the pun) form, with all of the quartet admitting to being hugely surprised at him being able to perform to a great level and keep his place in the run-in (he’s started 19 of the last 21 games); “in a game of that magniture Jeff, it’s brilliant….I can’t believe I just said that word!” Cue massive laughter from the lads. Then Jeff Stelling wades in ” that’s a word of real magnitude for you merse” and Merse goes on to agree with him! The ability to laugh at one’s self is a great trait to have and it makes for great viewing every week on Soccer Saturday.
And then to the serious stuff. After dissecting Liverpool’s title chances they moved onto the player of the year nominations, of which Liverpool have 3 of the 6. Jeff asked the boys if there was a chance of Gerrard nipping in ahead of Mr. Suarez for the top gong and they pretty much gave him a small outside chance. But then Jeff asked where Stevie G stood in the list of all time, real Premier League Greats. Merse rated him in the second tier, just below the likes of Giggs, Scholes, Henry and Bergkamp. Le Tiss was similar, and Phil Thompson went down the route that they all played in great teams so he’d have Gerrard in there with them. But Charlie Nicholas put it very well when he said that Gerrard stands shoulder to shoulder with the Great Liverpool legends such as Dalglish and Souness so that, in his mind, is good enough to rank him with any of the players mentioned above. And if he drives Liverpool to a first title in 24 years it’ll be hard to argue. Until then though, I’d be agreeing with Merse!
Cheers & thanks for reading!
The Pundit Reviewer
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