The Decline Of Match Of The Day


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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11 Responses

  1. Dave says:

    Good thoughts, added to which the commentary is so obviously added afterwards giving the programme even greater opportunities to be condescending to its audience by pretending to anticipate goals. The only way to watch MOTD these days is to record it, skip the studio bits and try not to think about the “experts” being driven home afterwards at great expense to us all.

  2. JD says:

    The commentary is definitely not added afterwards.

  3. anonym13 says:

    You can not have someone sitting there as expert but then behavibg as spurs fan. What GL did about Wenger is very silly & he needs to apologize on MOTD for that.

  4. pat says:

    Can’t disagree with anything here. I haven’t watched a whole episode for quite some time due to what it has become. If they simply showed highlights – and longer ones at that – I would happily resume regular viewing. Instead it is filled with, at best, dull and obvious punditry and at worst, a lack of understanding or knowledge from it’s highly paid panel.

    Here’s a suggestion – what with all the cuts the BBC is having to make, why don’t they get rid of these useless pundits and just show the highlights or just employ some people who actually know what they’re talking about. People like Jonathan Wilson and Simon Kuper spring to mind. I’m sure they’d be a lot cheaper than Shearer et al.

    While we’re on the topic of Shearer, the man is just awful. I remember an article a while back discussing his response to being asked about Newcastle’s new signing, Ben Arfa. His reply – “Nobody knows anything about him.” Millions well spent by the BBC.

    I think that these guys have the idea that they are paid for their expertise and that’s that. They come on and give their opinion because that’s all that’s expected or all they assume they have to do. They clearly do no research, nor can they explain the finer points very well and somewhere along the line this is seen as acceptable.

    Anyway, you’ve got me going with this article. I really do think Match of The Day is tired and needs refreshing because it’s so bad these days and like you say, it’s becoming irrelevant.

  5. Dave says:

    I’ve don’t have Sky so can’t compare, but I agree the MOTD pundits could probably do with a clear-out; Mark Lawrenson especially. Lee Dixon is probably the only one worth keeping.

    I think I read somewhere that the BBC were restricted in how long the highlights could be for each match. It seems quite noticeable on days when there are maybe only 2 or 3 matches, but as they can’t show extended highlights, they need more analysis/punditry to pad out the show.

  6. Josh Tidy says:

    Couldn’t agree more. The lack of insight is breathtaking! Aside from anything else it makes you wonder who the BBC thinks the audience for MOTD is…
    The MOTD approach has increasingly crept into (and ruined) the live broadcasts of summer tournaments, although we at least sometimes get better pundits then (O’ Neill, etc)

    Don’t get me started on the talentless Irish idiot and vacuous self-styled ‘Sav’…

    I wish they would approach MOTD as if its audience, like me, is voraciously interested in football, but not at all in footballers. That’d be a start at least…

  7. B Jones says:

    It has all been said but I just want to add my two penneth about Savage. Who in the BBC actually thinks this ex headless chicken of a footballer has anything of interest to say? Garth Crooks, Shearer, Lawrenson and Savage – get rid of them all. I fear we’ll have the ubiquitous, but irrelevant Gabby Logan replacing Lineker next. Awful
    (Steve Claridge on the Football League programme is just as bad…seems to be fixated with formations, and has little in depth knowledge of the game). It could be worse though….Jim Beglin!

  8. mike says:

    Excellent piece. Auntie Beeb should get back to showing the football, employ a presenter to introduce and link, and send the so-called pundits packing. Those like me who don’t have Sky or any other ‘pay TV’ channels and are, as has been said elsewhere, interested in football but not in footballers deserve better than the BBC is giving us.

  9. Andy Brown says:

    Wholeheartedly agree with all that has been said so far. MOTD has became an anachronism, a relic of a time when a minority had access to Sky and you had to go to the pub to watch a game live.

    The punditry is woeful apart from the odd flash from Dixon. I have lost count of the amount of times that a pundit says “I don’t know Gary” in response to a question. The pundits have access to every camera angle under the sun and like the rest of us the Internet and so should have no excuse for being in the dark about a player or system.

    Two things I would add

    1. Many football fans want to see the goals from the games rather than the endless chat about parts of the game that had no bearing on the result. ESPN Goals provides this and so why would you watch MOTD if this service is increasingly available?

    2. On the issue of the licence fee and value for money. If the people want a better show than expect to pay an inflated licence fee. so that the BBC can compete with satellite broadcasters. If not then for me it is better to let Sky have a monopoly and provide in depth, high quality coverage. And as for those fans without Sky, then tough. It isn’t like Sky isn’t widely used around the country as pretty much every council house I look out has a dish.

    Much needed post!

  10. Toby says:

    Nice article. And brilliant use of the word ‘enfeebled’!

  11. Keith says:

    Agree with all that’s been said above…but will anyone from the BBC take note? I doubt it.

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