Still the star draw
Still the star draw

Coverage:

Champions League and Ireland internationals the big draw. Premier Soccer Saturday time slot gives it an advantage over MOTD but still struggles to convince without punditry big guns. Much improved League of Ireland coverage.

Presentation:

Sharp picture quality and wide-screen as standard but no hi-definition. Still some sound issues on international trips. Expect George to bring news of a goal  milliseconds  before it hits the net.

Best innovation:

MNS finished its second League of Ireland season and remains the most credible packaging the local game has received.

Commentary:

George sometimes sounds a little tired these days but can still summon a mixed metaphor from nowhere.   Jimmy Magee’s idiosyncratic Premier Soccer Saturday voiceovers remain a treat.

Punditry:

The winning Giles-Dunphy formula still packs \’em in but looks increasingly stale. Recycled Ronaldo/ Benitez/Trapattoni rants getting old. Brady’s reason is a loss as Ronnie Whelan has added little.

Credit is due:

Amazingly, some research is being conducted before Ireland games. Dunphy ushered in the new regime with the chilling words:  “John also watched the DVD of Cyprus.”

Relegation form:

Research is conspicuous by its absence on all other occasions. “I don’t know much about them, Bill” is the Gilesy standard.

Star man:

You know yourself: “What they saw tonight Bill was an impersonator, a clown, a self-indulgent idiot…”

Turn-off:

Ray Houghton’s “Why didn’t he just square it, George,” 20-20 hindsight.

They said:

Kenny Cunningham earns his corn after Ismael Bangoura hits the woodwork: “If that’s inside the post, it’s a goal.”

Next up: BBC

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