Watching the games up here from England must be quite the eye-opening experience.
If Scottish football is seen, down there, as a desperate backwater then surely that’s partly down to how stinking our media is. You cannot hope to promote a positive image of our game by putting on, as pundits, people with no ability to analyse it.
Right out of the gate, you look amateurish and clueless.
This is the image that sticking Kris Boyd in the studio conjures up.
English football fans who do tune in for whatever reason take one look at this joker, listen to the words that come out of his mouth, and right away get the impression that this is a sub-par product, in much the same way as the presence of the idiotic Robbie Savage is why I wouldn’t watch BT Sports’ Saturday show.
For two people who played the game, they come across as being staggeringly underqualified to talk properly about it. Boyd, in particular, is just clueless. It’s about what you’d expect from a player who’s entire career can be summed up with coaches telling him “You just linger around the penalty area, don’t concern yourself with stuff that’s beyond your intellect.”
Swatting flies is beyond this guy’s intellect.
Making him a front man for Sky Sports Scotland’s commentary team is just unforgivably bad management. It’s like if you were running a multi-million-pound company and you put, on the front desk, a gum-snapping teenager whose standard greeting to the customers was to wave a disinterested hand prior to raising their arse cheeks a quarter inch off the seat to cut a loud fart.
Really, what would your customers think?
He was bad today, but bad is what we’ve come to expect.
But letting this guy on to do a Celtic game always guarantees that you get a standard below merely stinking.
This was the sub-basement of awful, a performance redolent of the worst bias, full of inane remarks, bitter snarking and trying to create controversy where there was none.
In some ways I am willing to forgive him his anti-Celtic prejudice.
We know what Kris Boyd is and we always have. He’s never hidden his predispositions; he’s never pretended to be anything other than a partisan know-nothing masquerading as a third-rate hack. Not a single one of us was surprised today by his gurning display, where he had every Celtic player on the brink of being sold in spite of saying that Scotland had a lot of good players but no great ones.
No, not since he retired anyway. Remember, this is the guy who bragged once that he’s a better finisher than Larsson because he scored more SPL goals than our club icon did.
Forget that the King of Kings is the finest footballer to play in this country in my lifetime, and a guy who has two medals from European finals. In one of them he scored twice but didn’t get his hands on the cup. In the other he came on late and set two up on the biggest stage world football has, and in that one he was a winner.
The King is respected throughout the sport for an immense contribution to the global game. The greater game doesn’t even know who Boyd is, except for a spell in Turkey where he scored – wait for it; drum-roll please –never and actually played only 76 minutes.
Boyd is known, is famous for, is feted over because of one thing … he played for the Ibrox clubs first at Rangers and then collected absurd wages as a lower league striker for the NewCo. Without that, most people outside of Kilmarnock would neither know he existed nor particularly care about his scoring exploits. It is his Ibrox connection that got him the gig.
Press outlets the length and breadth of the land love him because he’s “controversial” but he is the triumph of dumbing down, of treating the audience like absolute mugs.
Peter Oborne is controversial. Christopher Hitchens was controversial. Hunter S. Thompson was controversial.
These guys, political journalists and social commentators, wrote stuff that was wildly unpopular in certain circles, but they were, and Oborne still is, outstanding at the craft and fiercely intellectual. I have read everything they’ve written and I continue to read guys like Rafael Behr and Jonathon Freeland, with whom I disagree, and Fraser Nelson, with whom I share no common views at all, because they are brilliant at what they do.
So this isn’t even about shooting the messenger because I don’t like the message.
This is phoning the messenger service and saying “Don’t send that absolute idiot, that total goon, that brainless dolt, back to me ever again. If you want to keep him around the office that’s up to you, but I wouldn’t even trust him to boil a kettle and make the tea.”
Because it is not “controversial” to talk utter bollocks, and that’s all Boyd does. If it was every loudmouth from the pub with an ignorant opinion on immigrants would have his own column in a national title. (Which is probably how Richard Littlejohn got his start.)
His co-commentator, Kris Commons, is only marginally better by the way.
His only saving grace is that he knows he’s not knowledgeable enough about the game to be a coach or a manager. But it’s no coincidence that amongst those who do have intelligence and insight into the game which allows the average fan to appreciate things in a different way are those who actually have been in the dugout at the sharp end of the trade. Commons is another guy hired because he played football in Glasgow. He too, should be nowhere near the commentary box.
No wonder Scottish football isn’t rated. What nonentities we rely on to “promote” the game. Boyd’s remarks about no great players up here is especially absurd when you consider he spent the entire show trying to sell various players at Celtic Park to EPL level sides and is one of those who believes Juventus scouts are at Ibrox today to watch Glen Kamara. He also thinks Sevco will get tens of millions for the Colombian ned.
Are we even supposed to be taking that seriously?
He makes watching the football almost unbearable. The one positive of it is that when he does Celtic games these days we get to watch his squirming in the seat after matches and his wee face tripping him as the reality of our dominance sinks in.
For all that, I’d be eternally grateful if I never had to see his face on my telly again.
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