7 Reasons That Match of the Day 2 is Better Than Match of the Day
1. Gary Lineker. Unlike many people, I don’t mind Gary Lineker; he’s knowledgable, charming and his ad-libs are great. In an incident during a live match, when someone in the crowd hurled a coin at Jamie Carragher, the cameras showed Carragher picking the coin up and forcefully throwing it back. “It’s probably his change,” Lineker drolly observed. The problem I have with watching Gary Lineker for more than ten minutes is that I start to crave crisps. Speaking of which:
2. Adrian Chiles. Part-man, part-potato, Adrian Chiles is the television presenter equivalent of Marmite. I like him. I love the seemingly limitless supply of daft questions that he uses to torment Lee Dixon:
“Did Ian Wright ever borrow your shorts, Lee?”
“Did Tony Adams kiss you like that when you scored a goal, Lee?”
“Did you ever get the ball mixed up with a balloon, Lee?”
“Did they celebrate like that in your day, Lee?”
Some people can’t stand him though. Stewart Lee likened watching him to “… being stuck in the buffet car of a slow-moving train with a Toby jug that has miraculously discovered the power of speech…A Toby jug filled to the brim with hot piss.”
I’m firmly in the I-like-Adrian-Chiles-camp and I even miss his much-criticised beard. Anyone interested in starting a campaign to bring it back?
3. Alan Shearer. Alan Shearer is the dullest man in the world. He’s always on Match of the Day where he provides no tactical insight and no wit. Essentially, he just states the bleeding-obvious in a really dull way. Here’s a Shoot magazine interview with him from 1991 (click on it to see it full-sized):
4. Whooshing. Both MOTD and MOTD2 suffer from this. Seriously, could the sound effects that accompany the opening titles be more ridiculous? At the end of the title sequence, there’s about thirty seconds of whooshing noises, for no reason. Why? Stupid pointless bloody whooshy noises! MOTD2 wins here as I’m quite busy on Sundays and I usually manage to miss the first couple of minutes of it.
5. Kevin Day. While MOTD is serious and analytical, MOTD2 is a more light-hearted and jovial affair. The most obvious manifestation of this is the presence of former comedian Kevin Day. His role is that of the travelling buffoon, turning up at a different ground every week to mock daft supporters, eat pies and generally annoy the clubs’ staff. I want his job: I can mock and annoy, I can eat pies. My football team is crap too. And I’m cheaper.
6. Keown. Martin Keown often appears on MOTD2. Martin Keown is the scariest man alive, scarier even that Sebastien Chabal. When he’s on screen I find myself trying to slide down the sofa and hide behind the coffee table. Conversations with my wife tend to go like this during MOTD2:
“Are you scared of Martin Keown, darling?”
It doesn’t matter who asks the question. We’re both afraid of Martin Keown. He mostly appears on MOTD2, so even if I didn’t believe it, I’d tell you that MOTD2 was better. Otherwise he might beat me to death with a rock. Or discover fire and burn an effigy of me in his cave. While grunting, possibly.
7. Finale. The denouement of MOTD2 and, often, the highlight of Sunday is 2 Good 2 Bad, and it’s obviously the part of the show that Chiles relishes too. This means that Match of the Day 2 ends on a high. Match of the Day doesn’t though, it ends with the knowledge that if you don’t get off the sofa soon, you’ll have to watch the awful title sequence for the Football League show, featuring chirpy-cheeky football fans having a knees-up, and then watch Manish – apparently lost – wandering aimlessy around the studio introducing the show. Why can’t he just stand still? He’s been doing it for almost a season, why doesn’t he know where to stand yet?