The surprising emergence of Gary Neville as an insightful and impartial football pundit has regrettably raised the bar for some of England’s rather more suspect football commentators. “Alan Shearer” has become the punchline to so many jokes about the dire standard of football punditry in this country that it almost seems unfair to pick on him for any misdemeanours.
One could argue that it’s not his fault he is so incapable of forming an independent thought about the game; after all, if someone waved a six-figure cheque in your face to offer your opinions on football, regardless of how inane, bland or simply incorrect they may be, I’m sure you’d snaffle it up like a Gosforth-born former Premier League striker scores from two yards into an empty net.
So mind-numbingly boring has his tenure as a regular Match of the day pundit become, that I can’t remember how long he has been doing the job. It must be at least over 4 years, as that was the first time I ever wrote about being dissatisfied with Shearer’s lack of insight. Though, I find it incredible that I haven’t smashed my head repeatedly into a brick wall after listening to his “thoughts”, so I’m thankful for that small mercy.
You may countenance that I’ve written over 200 words without levelling a single specific allegation of stupidity against Mr. Shearer. Ordinarily, I would argue that it was because he says absolutely nothing noteworthy during the course of a MOTD broadcast. But finally, on the evening of May 6th, 2012, he finally hammered the stupid nail into his moron coffin. He proclaimed that Alex McLeish was only booed and harangued by Aston Villa fans because he had formerly managed bitter rivals Birmingham City.
Now, to anyone that had zero knowledge of football and just a miniscule amount of knowledge about the rivalry between Aston Villa and Birmingham City, this may have seemed like a logical argument. But anyone that has seen more than 20 minutes of Aston Villa this season will tell you that Big ‘Eck’s managerial history has nothing to do with it. They are booing him because of the simple fact that Alex McLeish is a crap manager who has had Villa playing their most turgid football in almost 30 years.
For instance: Villa have won only 4 home games this season. This is their worst ever return from home games over a league season in over 100 years. They have been treated to a whopping 1.05 Villa goals per home game. Let me tell you, Villa fans would not have cared if McLeish had BCFC tattooed on his forehead if he had led Villa to the mid-table finish that their squad deserved this season. The reason that he has been getting jip from the home faithful is because HE IS RUBBISH. There is no other reason. To claim otherwise only highlights the spectacular lack of knowledge of Wor Alan.
And that was what finally sent me over the edge, as Shearer claimed McLeish’s Birmingham heritage as the sole cause of his trouble with the Villa fans. Had I been a man for whom money was no object, I would have undoubtedly smashed my television to smithereens in act of fruitless defiance.
And so high is Shearer’s level of General Ignorance that such wanton destruction could actually be considered justifiable in this case. Had he taken the time to talk to even just 3 or 4 Villa fans prior to tonight’s show, he would have found that his held opinion had absolutely zero basis in fact. Let’s do this in one sentence so The Talented Mr. Alan can understand:
VILLA FANS DISLIKE MCLEISH BECAUSE HE IS A SHIT MANAGER.
There are no ulterior motives. Get it into your thick skull and stop spreading your held opinions as fact on a national basis.
So if I may be so brazen as to say, “He should have done better with that.” Because Shearer hasn’t just missed an open goal, he has quite literally hit the crossbar from 6 yards out and the ball has rebounded into his face and knocked him out cold.
Shearer has been making money from saying nothing for well over four years now. Just because he’s been getting away with it for so long doesn’t mean we should forget he’s been getting with it at all. I’ll leave the final words to the brilliant Cameron Carter, who writes for When Saturday Comes:
“Alan Shearer. Ten years ago those two words meant a ball bursting the net. Nowadays they represent an interval between meaningful events. It’s not just that he sounds like a man sight-reading from the Bible, it’s the poverty of the content. On the same Match of the Day as Jacqui Oatley’s debut, Gary Lineker described Ben Foster’s mistake for Darius Vassell’s goal as summing-up Watford’s disappointing season. Over the replays of Foster’s miskick, Shearer indolently concluded “that goal really does sum up Watford’s season”, like a man in a circle who has been passed an idea and tried it without inhaling.”