I’ve just finished John Giles’ book, A football man.  Really enjoyed it.  Giles isn’t afraid to call it how he sees it, a trait that can be trying in the half-bright whines of your common-or-garden footballer, but which comes over quite well from someone thoughtful and considered like Giles.

One of the game’s great players, Giles’ reputation has been perhaps tarnished by his Leeds team’s own tarnished image, a reputation that is not undeserved, but which ignores how very good they were, too (people know about the Clough years, but not about the early sixties to early seventies run in which they nearly won absolutely everything, a complete team that could beat you whatever game you tried to play). Giles is in reflective mood in the book, clearly adores Don Revie and his former team-mates, but was deeply disappointed by much of what he found in football outside that golden era.

He is now, of course, a fine pundit on Ireland’s RTE TV station.  When I lived in Dublin for a couple of years earlier this century I used to love watching Giles and his co-worker, Eamon Dunphy have at it. Dunphy would call a spade a spade and then call it a fork two minutes later, but was great value. The host, Bill O’herlihy, manfully tried to keep things together, a true pro.

Thinking back, and looking at what the BBC trots out, I do miss their discussions.  Here’s a sample (no Giles in this one, but good fun nevertheless):

Excellent, eh?

3 thoughts on “Punditry

  1. fantastic, this is what MOTD should be like, and dare I say it, sourness actually making some good points?!

  2. I agree that’s the first time I have warmed to Souness as a pundit. I also agree with him, there are a number of players who think they are better than they actually are (Terry, Lampard, you know the rest!). That press conference was actually quite disgusting and really showed the arrogance and more importantly the lack of intelligence of John Terry. Would Scholes have done something similar? I doubt it. Now there’s a great player

  3. I found myself warming to Souness when he was a pundit on the Champions League games, he is not afraid to take any prisoners and was very much critical of the English teams in Europe as the others in the studio (Jamie Redknapp) were talking about ‘Lamps’ and ‘John’.

    He is excellent here and 100% correct. The sad thing is that his views have meant that he can never be a manager because he always falls out with the players.

    He could easily replace Alan Hansen on MOTD (£1.7m a year salary!!) and James Richardson could replace Gary Lineker (£2m a year!!) on lower wages and would immeasureably improve the show.

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