It is something I’ve questioned for a quite a while now but it wasn’t until recently that I discovered other people with a similar view.
Sky Sports’ coverage of sport trumps all others, whether that is commentary, production, channels and whatever else.
Amazon’s recent coverage has been top drawer but there is a way to go to top Sky.
A lot of that is down to the pundits, guests and personnel, and in Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher Sky have two of the very best in their field.
Punditry wise they are first class, I’d say the best out there.
On co commentary they can be entertaining, and of course they are articulate and analytical because they have played at the highest level for so long.
That isn’t the point of this though.
The point of this is that having Neville co commentating on Manchester United games and Carragher doing the same for Liverpool fixtures leaves them open.
Yes they’re good at what they do, and as I’ve said, probably better in the studio than in the gantry.
You can’t have two passionate fans, two greats, commentating on their own sides without some unconcious bias creeping in.
You can’t, and it isn’t the fault of the co commentator themselves.
Put any professional in that position in front of a team they’ve played for their whole lives, and they too would be biased even if they didn’t know it.
Sometimes it is more obvious that not, sometimes its subtle things.
If you listen hard you’ll hear it. In Neville’s case though you could have been mistaken for thinking he was a Leeds fan the way he was carrying on after their 6-2 Old Trafford defeat.
But my point is pundits are there to be shot down, especially in the age of the cesspit that can be social media.
However, by having these two greats on the games of sides they are so passionate about puts them there to be criticised further.
It also puts them at risk of losing a bit of their credibility. As unconcious bias creeps in they could potentially say something in favour of their team that they wouldn’t towards another unrelated side.
And from the reaction I’ve seen on social media recently, it rubs people up the wrong way.
People want to see balance.
You’ve got an ex United man in the commentary box so the chat is going to be heavily weighted towards them.
What happened to a neutral type of co commentator, and two in the studio with connections to opposing sides.
Fans want balance and by having these two covering the clubs they are adored by, then that balance is skewed.