All entries for Thursday 19 April 2007

April 19, 2007

Dave Bassett – A Poor Man's Mike Newell?

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Nice little Grauniad blog piece on the strange furore over Match Of The Day using a female commentator, Jacqui Oatley, for the first time this weekend. Apparently Dave ‘remember me’ Basset has decided to use this to launch himself as the Tesco Value Mike Newell, a half hearted attempt to embody old school sexism in football. As we recall (or don’t) Newell criticised a female assistant ref for a decision blaming it on her gender, then passed it off by proudly declaring himself to be sexist. Cue outrage, rows about political correctness, the assistant ref herself just getting on with her job, and then attention spans flitting elsewhere.

Possibly aiming for some profile (after all even his Wikipedia entry cannot actually tell us what he is currently contributing to the football world since Southampton sacked him two years ago) he managed to find this amazing piece of critique with which to attac Oatley:

You must have an understanding of the game and tactics, and in order to do that you need to have played the game.

Maybe it is a good criticism, although it does rather rule out the likes of Johnathan Pearce and Alan Green. And it fails to account for how useless people like Paul Gascoigne and Alan Shearer (he’s boring and crap!) are at this lark. But, like the lefty party poopers they are, the Gruaniad point out that:

Oatley was a keen amateur footballer until the age of 27, when she was stretchered off the pitch with a dislocated kneecap and ruptured ligaments.


So she knows and loves the game enough to get battered into tiny little pieces for it? Begone Tesco Value Newell!

I’m going to have a watch and a listen to MOTD this weekend, I think, and it’ll probably be nothing, a storm in a teacup. And I accept I’ve probably given Bassett more publicity than he deserves, even if he does now look like a spanner. But as a figure of a certain breed of men who’ve never really come to terms with women liking ‘their’ sport it’s nice to see his argument build on such flimsiness.

And there’s no way on earth she could possibly be any worse than the mumbling banalities which characterise ITV’s coverage. As has been said a lot recently, the FA Cup’s going to be unwatchable (or rather, unlistenable) for the next few years…

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