Down to the bare bones with old favourite Match Of The Day the main attraction. Football League coverage seems to have taken all its inspiration from the worst possible source – ITV.

Reliable, top-quality picture and sound. Though visuals can sometimes seem flat compared to more vivid ITV colour.

Best innovation
Years on, still the only channel to put a linesman’s flag icon on-screen if an offside has been flagged off-camera. Why has nobody copied this one?

Solid frontline trio. Steve Wilson and Jonathan Pearce looked to be locked in battle for Motty’s old number one spot with many feeling Pearce would eventually shout down his more considered colleague. But Guy Mowbray’s Carling Cup final appointment might indicate he is set to edge out the pair of them in time for the World Cup.

Hansen’s “pace-power-control-pass-move-diabolical” grunting and Lawro’s “pound of bacon, lean back” shtick have long become tired. At least Ian Wright now seems like a bad dream and Lee Dixon offers occasional unflamboyant sense.

Credit is due
Football Focus’ sensitive piece on the Hillsborough anniversary was particularly well-judged.

Relegation form
Has anyone ever adequately explained the prominence of Mark Bright?

Star man
Guy Mowbray has long been the most under-rated commentator around. Now could be his time.

Gareth Crooks and his pregnant pauses on Final Score. It’s never worth waiting for. “The thing about strikers is ……… they like to score goals.”

They said
The drugs work for Martin Keown: “Obviously Sky gets its money from prescription payers.”

No 1. RTE

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