The Merse

Coverage

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.

Presentation

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.

Best innovation

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.

Commentary

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.

Punditry

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.

Relegation form

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.

Star man

Jeff Stelling pulls the Soccer Saturday boys’ strings like a master puppeteer.

Turn-off

Stay well back from the screen if Jamie is sporting a pair of particularly tight strides.

They said

John Salako is box office:
“He’s already on a yellow card, now he’s treading the boards.”

>> BBC

>> RTE

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