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Does Jamie Redknapp even watch football?

21 March 2011

Jamie Redknapp: clueless (Flickr: iron_smyth48)

Sky are in a dark place after the departure of Andy Gray and Richard Keys. Commentators Glenn Hoddle and Kevin Phillips have proven themselves to be less than adequate replacements, whilst much of the punditry team remains poor and agents of hyperbole.

I’ve been critical of Jamie Redknapp before, and I imagine I’ll continue to criticise his incompetence whilst he remains on air and has his words printed. His latest comments on the Mail Online are indicative of his general laziness.

Stoke have been getting a lot of stick for their direct play lately. People say they’re all about long throws, set-pieces and route one. But three of their four goals against Newcastle came from open play.

Redknapp’s argument is that Stoke are more than just a long-ball and set-piece team, but his case isn’t convincing at all. Whilst he correctly says three of Stoke’s four goals on the weekend came from open play, with Higginbottom scoring a 49th minute free kick, he completely ignores the fact that Stoke’s first goal initially came from an unsuccessful long throw in from Rory Delap (which enabled defender Ryan Shawcross to get involved in the build-up), and their fourth a long ball from goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Only Stoke’s second goal genuinely did not originate from “long throws, set-pieces and route one,” as Redknapp puts it.

The reason for Redknapp’s blind line of reasoning quickly becomes apparent:

Tony Pulis, my old team-mate at Bournemouth, has done a wonderful job.

He is, of course, trying to defend his old friend. The chummy element of the football media will probably never go away, but it’d be nice if Redknapp actually had an case to support his point.

Meanwhile, a word on Stoke. I have nothing against their direct style of football, indeed I have nothing but admiration for the job Tony Pulis has done with the club. They do score a lot of their goals from set-pieces and long balls – the Newcastle win provided their first goals from open play since 4th January – but that’s no basis to criticise them on if they stick around in mid-table. So whilst Redknapp’s intentions are good, he has no idea about what he is arguing.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. jamestaylor11 permalink
    21 March 2011 2:55 pm

    Apart from not knowing how to use the word literally, I think Redknapp is a pretty decent pundit. He is always willing to stand up for his opinion as he did during Mike Summerbee’s stupid rant after the Manchester derby. He has had a few disagreements with Souness and Gray too, so I don’t really understand your criticism.

    • 21 March 2011 3:40 pm

      Cheers for the comment, but I do think standing up for your opinion should be a given for a football pundit. Not sure Summerbee’s the best example either – don’t know why anyone would support him there!

      His opinions are consistently unsupported by facts, or entirely misguided, and here’s links to a couple of examples:

      I’m not saying everything he says is wrong, nor do I have anything against him, but he does exhibit a certain degree of laziness in his punditry that needs to be addressed.

      • 18 April 2015 10:18 pm

        Totally agree. Redknapp encapsulates perfectly the epitome of the preferred modern day, glossy football pundit. Easy on the eye with a smooth likeable pitch & tone, his uncomplicated (& often simplistic) points are quickly and easily digested by the modern day televised football customer. People thesedays often don’t want depth. They want well packaged, if shallow, easily consumed opinion. Probably why he does columns on Sky Sports & The Daily Mail. Known haunts for ‘Football Fans’ who wish to lazily ‘skim off the top’ for basic football opinions they can easily re-work as their own. Henry is another one, if with slightly more depth. Silky, good looking, nice french accent & easily recognisable. The reasons above (& more) explain why Football Analytics is still struggling for wider, deserved recognition.

  2. 1 April 2011 9:23 am

    Jamie’s a nice guy. His obvious discomfort over the comments of Richard Keys about his ex-girlfriend was endearing in a world where blokes are tempted to be blokey at every turn. But he isn’t the sharpest tool in the box. I watched an interview with him back in the days of the Liverpool bi-monthly videos where he spoke for a good 20-30 seconds without making any sense at all. You could argue that being occasionally incoherent doesn’t mean he’s stupid, but it’s a problem for a TV pundit!


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