Steve: Well Played, Sky TV, Well Played

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Another reader submission for ‘From The Terraces‘, as COS reader Steve recaps a rather underwhelming Premiership weekend on the telly in rather overwhelming detail. Oh, and he hates Sky.

Due to illness over the weekend I became armed with the most important piece of weaponry a household can have -the TV Remote. SKY Television had been telling me all week that “The Showdown” between Manchester United and Chelsea was the game to end all games. This, we were promised would be all out warfare between two sides who genuinly don’t like each other. The climax of a “thrilling weekend of Premiership football on SKY” (their words not mine). Any true boxing fan will tell you that the Main Event is just one match and true fans stick around for the undercard. So, like any true football I sat myself down for a weekends viewing that left me totally underwhelmed.

It began on Saturday morning with Soccer AM. Now, I find this programme genuinly funny at times and clever but sometimes my fiance actually has a point – it’s got nothing to do with football. I mean this week had that loud mouth wild haired freak from Big Brother Russell Whatshisface telling us to buy his new DVD. I would sooner spend a weekend trying to decide who is uglier Peter Crouch or Dirk Kuyt. I got myself through practically the 3 hours where the build up to the “match for the ages” began with host Tim Lovejoy confidently predicting a 2-0 win for Chelsea – the prat.

On to Sunday, Main Event time. The pre-match show inexplicably starts at 1pm to allow for THREE hours of Jamie Redknapp and Steve Mclaren babbling on aimlessly as if the title is going to be decided today, yet somehow I find myself falling for it and brimming with excitement. Somewhere else in the country an actual match is being played – Newcastle and Portsmouth. Another dull game made only entertaining by David James’ haircut ended with Newcastle winning 1-0. Portsmouth may look dismal and any side that doesn’t give Newcastle’s defence problems is heading for a difficult winter in my book.

Finally, it’s time for “The Showdown” – Ferguson v Mourinho, Terry v Rooney, Lampard v Carrick, North v South, Red v Blue.

But if SKY compared United-Chelsea to a boxing contest then I fail to see how the next 90 minutes got past the sparring stage. They jabbed at each other but no one took a wild swing that would knock the other out. Man Utd shaded the 1st 6 rounds and Chelsea the 2nd 6 rounds calling this an even draw. There were no bad tackles, no controversial incidents, no real goalmouth action, no saves, NOTHING. This wasn’t a heavyweight contest – more like two old mates having a bit of a laugh and spar. Arsenal and Man Utd back in the day was a war – Martin Keown leaping at Ruud Van Nistelrooys like an ugly Bruce Lee. Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira getting at each other in the tunnel before the game even kicked off. To call this match a “Showdown” is an insult – if this was a Boxing Match the fans would have been booing long before half time demanding their money back!

Sky continue to pull the wool over all of our eyes with their hype, and the worst part is I’m already gearing up for tonight’s bout of “must-win” Premiership fixtures.

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