Time for change for TV sports commentary

On a seismic night of football which saw Bayern Munich hammer the golden boys of European football, Barcelona, 4-0, the talk of the Twitterati should’ve been on the German’s demolition job, but instead they were focussed on ITV co-commentator Andy Townsend.

“If only we were able to mute Andy Townsend”, said one tweeter. Another was a little more drastic in his opinion: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...Andy Townsend is commentating #MUTE”. The consensus was clear: Townsend was not up to the job.

Do sports journalists still need shorthand?

Whilst reading The Secret Footballer’s book (I am the Secret Footballer: Lifting the Lid on the Beautiful Game), I came across the player’s thoughts on the media and journalists. There was one line in particular that grabbed my attention: “I’m uncomfortable when journalists rely on shorthand rather than dictaphones, because it ends up becoming your word against theirs when a questionable story appears.”

NPLP: Season 2, Episode 8 - Oleg Stocking

Christmas is here and so NPLP, at the expense of Reeder’s Teasers (to Jack’s disappointment), gives your their footballers as Christmas items.

The pod also welcomes on European football journalist Andy Brassell (Twitter: @andybrassell), who has written for the BBC and ESPN. Like Santa Claus, he whizzes us around France, Portugal, Spain and Italy to give us the lowdown before the winter break.


Declan Olley's blog