First pick for all the “Grand Slam” clashes makes Sky Sports the definitive Premier League channel. Barca and Real Madrid focus has made La Liga action a must.
Best hi-definition picture of the lot. Though off-tube La Liga coverage sticks out like a sore thumb with broom-cupboard commentary and frequent satellite link breaks.
With some judicious Sky+ forwarding at injuries and corners, you can compress Stoke-Bolton into 40 minutes and not miss a thing. Some might say 40 seconds.
Martin Tyler is now the grand doyen of English commentators. Ian Darke well clear of Leslie, Hawthorne, Parry chasing pack.
Andy Gray’s “What a hit, take a bow son, if I’m honest and I really, really mean that” are either becoming, or belong in, an institution.
Jamie is certainly no top, top pundit but Sky’s Champions League lineup of Gullit and Souness adds substance. Souness’ clear contempt for Redknapp always amuses.
Credit is due
The Sky Soccer Saturday panel are the jewel in the crown with sense and grammar taking a back seat to entertainment – take a bow, Paul Merson.
Tony Cottee. Paul Jewell. You’re on Sky Sports. And the extended bout of hand-wringing and recrimination after Chelsea-Barca last season was as unedifying as it was typical. Gullit was anxious to distance himself.
Jeff Stelling pulls the Soccer Saturday boys’ strings like a master puppeteer.
Stay well back from the screen if Jamie is sporting a pair of particularly tight strides.
John Salako is box office:
“He’s already on a yellow card, now he’s treading the boards.”