Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Jamie Redknapp: Guilty of crimes against punditry and Liverpool FC

THE THOMAS Cook advert was bad enough.
You know the one, where Jamie Redknapp prances round the beach with no top on, playing golf shots into the sea.
He might not play for us anymore but he’s a former Liverpool captain – we’re guilty by association.
Opposing fans across the land, once they’ve taken their fingers out of their throats, must chuckle every time they see it – I know I would if it was an ex-Manc.
So that’s Jamie Redknapp the sell-out – what about Jamie Redknapp the pundit?
Well, he’s not one is he?
A pundit, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is ‘an expert in a particular subject or field who is frequently called upon to give their opinion to the public’.
Tune into La Liga coverage and watch Guillem Balague – there’s a pundit, right there. He knows his onions, he’s done his research - he even pronounces the players’ names right and can throw the odd witty comment into the mix. All in his second language, too.
Then there’s Jamie Redknapp. Comparing the tight-kecked pretty boy to Balague is like comparing Fernando Torres and Victor Anichebe.
They might do the same job but the gap in ability is easier to see than Alex Ferguson’s nose on a winter’s day.
Redknapp, Harry’s son of course, has been sticking the boot in on the club he played hundreds of sideway passes for on a regular basis this last season.
Fair enough, you might say, it was a disappointing campaign after all.
No argument, but if you’re going to dish out stick - and get paid well for the privilege – you’ve got to get your facts right.
Get them wrong and your arguments look thinner than one of Jamie’s ties. Angrily perched on the couch during Sky’s coverage of Liverpool’s league defeat at Old Trafford in March, Redknapp told the millions that Liverpool have missed Xabi Alonso.
Nothing new there then, just the repeating of an over-stated viewpoint that has been doing the rounds all season.
But he went on to say that the Reds would particularly miss him at Old Trafford – because he had been so influential the year before in the 4-1 routing of Slur Alex’s side.
“Xabi Alonso was sensational spreading the ball to Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard that day,” he told viewers in a gaffe Garth Crooks would be proud of.
Of course Alonso didn’t play that day due to injury.
To use the clich├ęd commentary, Jamie is so fond of – it’s a schoolboy error. Maybe he should leave the Wii-playing to his old fella and the missus and do a bit of research once in a while?
To close the case against Redknapp, we must look at his favourite word. Literally.
Gems include: "He's LITERALLY left Ben Haim for dead there" and “Gerrard has been amazing. He’s literally covered every blade of grass on the pitch”
And who can forget: “Alonso and Sissoko have been picked to literally sit in front of the back four.”
Like ‘loyalty’, Jamie clearly doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘literally’. There’s even a Facebook petition to have him taught its correct use.
So for crimes against Liverpool Football Club and football punditry, we find Redknapp guilty. And for his punishment we propose a month of eating McDonalds three times a day.
That way his arse wouldn’t fit into those spray on kecks, the women will turn off, and there’ll be even less of a point to him being on the couch at Sky.
Leftover article from issue two of Well Red magazine: