Opinion: No Saint, Just Greavesy – Roy Keane shines among other below-par BBC and ITV Euro 2012 pundits

By Andrew Greaves

The European Championships, from a footballing point of view, has been pretty good so far.

The Spanish have finally got into their stride after a less-than-convincing draw with Italy, the Russians and the Polish have looked inventive and industrious in equal measures and the Irish have, well, done what was expected of them.

And until tonight’s game with Sweden, I don’t want to pass any judgement on Roy Hodgson’s England side.

One area of the tournament which has been a massive let down is the punditry on both ITV and the BBC.

Whilst the commentators themselves are not bad – Clive Tyldesley may not be everyone’s cup of tea at domestic or European level but he is a comforting presence at major tournaments while the BBC’s roster of Guy Mowbray, Jonathan Pearce, Steve Wilson and Simon Brotherton are probably the best in the business – the level of so-called expert analysis is woeful.

The likes of Mark Bright, Jamie Carragher and Clarence Seedorf, with their knack of stating the obvious, is tiresome. And that is before I even start discussing Mark Lawrenson who should have been put out to pasture years ago.

I remember when Lawro used to be vaguely funny. Not anymore.

Our man in the Ukraine and Poland is reduced to bitter mumblings and making up nonsensical anagrams (his Together Everyone Achieves More raised a laugh from Pearce but a groan from across the nation no doubt!). It sounds like he doesn’t want to be there.

It’s not all bad news and I think Roy Keane’s refreshingly honest opinions add something to an otherwise drab ITV set-up fronted by quite possibly the luckiest man on TV Adrian Chiles.

Keane’s rapport with Gareth Southgate has an edge of tension to it but throw Peter Reid into the mix and I think you have the only bearable trio of pundits on our screens.

I may sound like I am creeping into Lawrenson mode here but I remember when TV punditry was an artform. Now it’s an excuse to leave the room!

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