The comments for which Sky football pundit Andy Gray has been sacked from his £1.7m job (surely some mistake?), were not only ill-advised from a sexism point of view, but also for being one of the most hackneyed football clichés ever, alongside “sick as a parrot” and “over the moon”. The offside law is only even slightly complex because the rules keep changing, and comments about women’s ability to understand them are a generation out of date.
Still, clichés are still a massive part of a football commentator’s weaponry, so here are some that you will hear in every Match of the Day, along with explanations:
“I’ll tell you what – how good was THAT save/shot/tackle, by the way!”
Said any time anyone does anything. Anything at all.
“Ah, he knows he should have scored!”
That was nearly half a chance.
“The keeper should never be beaten at his near post!”
It’s fine, however, for the keeper to be beaten at his far post.
“He’ll be disappointed with that miss”
I had £10 on him to score the first goal. Idiot.
“Is that the most important goal he’ll score this season?”
“You can’t show your studs/raise your hands in the modern game.”
I miss the 70s when I was able to rake my studs down someone’s leg and punch them in the face.
“The boy has went down the wing.”
The player went down the wing.
“The boy has give it early.”
The player gave it early.
“That truly was a world-class save!”
That was a save.
“The referee got that one totally wrong!”
With the benefit of super-slow-motion action replays from 17 different angles, we have spotted something that the referee could in no way have seen.
I haven’t got a thesaurus to hand and I know no other adjectives.
And their managers are no better…
“I ‘ave to say I did not see ze incident.”
Hello, my name is Arsene Wenger.
“That was a Creme Egg of a performance. We looked all chocolaty to start with but once the opposition started biting we were just too soft and sweet. I’m not saying we need to be more like Mars Bars or Curly Wurlies, although we might learn something from the Curly Wurly. Unpredictable. To be honest, we shouldn’t really be like any type of confectionary… we should be more like cheese. Solid, but not too yellow…”
Hello, my name is Ian Holloway.
“You know me, I don’t like making any excuses, but the referee was clearly being paid by the opposition and my team are all carrying notifiable diseases. Still, you know me, I don’t like making excuses.”
Hello, my name is Steve Bruce.