The New Year is under way, the drinks have been flowing and Andy Gray, Jamie Redknapp, Gabriel Marcotti, Alan Shearer and Ron Atkinson got together for a little chat. This is an edited* version of the pearls of wisdom flowing from the mouths of our most revered football pundits.
The night started with this gem from Mr Gray
“Would Barcelona be able to cope with the physicality of the Premier League? With the long throws and long balls that teams like Stoke and Blackburn would play against them? I don’t think so.”
Marcotti: Didn’t Barcelona beat Chelsea and Man United on the way to winning the Champions League recently?
Gray: Yeah but…
Atkinson: Bloody Spanish teams, keeping the ball on floor, knocking it about, they’d be done over in the Premier League.
Redknapp: Literally my Dad, he’d know what to do.
Gray: If only I had my electronic master Sky curly lines and red circles, I’d prove Stoke are a better side than Barcelona.
Marcotti: Didn’t Barcelona recently win every competition they entered in a season? The sextuple?
Gray: They didn’t win the Premiership though did they?
Atkinson: No they didn’t.
Marcotti: No, erm, they didn’t…
Redknapp: Literally, no they didn’t.
Shearer: I can confirm he’s right Gabby. Although my knowledge of Barcelona is limited.
Gray: So we agree I’m right? Majority rule and all that?
Redknapp, Atkinson, Shearer: Yes Andy.
The conversation moved on, the pundits discussed the finer points of Zonal Marking, foreign players diving, too many foreign players, foreigners, immigration, the BNP**, and Marcus Desailly.
**that was mainly Big Ron
As things settled down, the conversation moved onto the World Cup 2010 – and more specifically the England failure.
Shearer: Too many foreign players.
Atkinson: Yeah, couldn’t agree more.
Gray: You’ve gotta blame the manager for me.
Redknapp: My Dad, literally, would’ve won it.
Marcotti: Don’t you think England achieved what was expected and lost to a better organised side in Germany?
Atkinson: No, we beat them in the war.
Redknapp: Literally, my Dad would’ve beat them in the war.
Shearer: I’d have scored. Although my knowledge of their team is severely limited.
Marcotti: But I was reading the other day, in this excellent book by Kuper and Szymanski , that England have done as well as can be expected over the past 30 years. Using a statistical analysis of every game, the players available, they found and I’ll quote
The record over the past 30 years has been remarkably consistent, with England usually hovering somewhere towards the back of the top 10 teams in the world. Which is about where we should be, given the size of our population and the percentage of that population that plays the game.
Marcotti: Thanks for that. Good comeback. I’m off. Bye lads.
Atkinson: Bloody foreigner.
*By edited I mean mostly made up. However, here’s a few real quotes.
For my money, Duff servicing people from the left with his balls in there is the best option.I don’t like to see players tossed off needlessly
There are a lot of tired legs wearing Tottenham shirts.
Goalkeepers aren’t born today until they’re in their late 20s or 30s and sometimes not even then. Or so it would appear. To me anyway. Don’t you think the same?
It’s like a toaster, the ref’s shirt pocket. Every time there’s a tackle, up pops a yellow card. I’m talking metaphysically now of course.
Chile have three options – they could win or they could lose. It’s up to them, the tide is in their court now
Anyway, to finish off, this is a video that is just classic and features my favourite football commentator, who, despite his many gaffes, knows what he’s talking about. Chris Kamara, teek a bow son.