Day: January 4, 2013

Blackburn’s Shebby Singh Faces The Nation

Frost/Nixon it wasn’t. Yet Blackburn Rovers global advisor, ex-player and TV pundit Shebby Singh was ‘interesting’ when interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live’s 6-0-6 phone-in programme last weekend. Rovers fans, though, might have found another word beginning with ‘I’ for Singh after his BBC Radio performances this week. Handing an important role to an ex-player and TV pundit is always of questionable wisdom. But the BBC persists with Robbie Savage on 6-0-6, “the UK’s biggest football phone-in,” so we’ll have to grin and bear it. And at least Savage had proper journalist Darren Fletcher alongside him, if matters got preposterous. Not that Singh spotted this, namechecking “Robbie” throughout his interview, and starting each answer with “well, Robbie, you know”, regardless of who had actually asked him the question. Singh’s mid-June appointment as the Rao’s representative at Ewood Park was ridiculed by anyone who had seen his “outspoken” punditry on ESPN Star’s EPL coverage over the past 11 years. That he was apparently appointed Rovers’ global football advisor in July 2011 because of that punditry (Robin Van Persie is “wasted as a striker” apparently) only invited more ridicule. Singh quickly lived down to that reputation for mindless out-speaking with crass summer comments about midfielder Morten Gamst-Pedersen and then-manager Steve Kean. But you have to hear him speak to realise how ridiculous he and his appointment really is. The 6-0-6 interview...

Read More

The Ten Commandments Of Goalkeeping Attire

Goalkeepers, to quote the great Brian Glanville, are different, and this is a theory which expands far beyond the mere otherness of their stock in trade. To define the goalkeeper as the sort of person who may – thanks, John Burridge, thanks a lot – may hang a metaphorical “You don’t have to be mad to work here but it helps” sign in the netting of their goal covers only one aspect of the lot of their job. Goalkeepers are the only people on the pitch who spend most of their match standing around doing very little apart from shouting and treading down imaginary divots in the grass and they are, of course, the only ones that are legally allowed to use their hands, but we are not concerning ourselves with such trifling matters here. Goalkeepers dress differently, and they have done since an amendment to the laws of the game in 1909 made them wear shirts that were either red or royal blue, with green being added as a third option three years later. Of late, however, we have come to note a certain sloppiness in goalkeeping attire. Standards are slipping, whether in terms of how ridiculous a goalkeeper looks – and one of the basic, fundamental rules of football is that the goalkeeping position is the most thankless task that any player can take, up to and...

Read More