Mark asks who should be brought in as a football pundit to replace the droning Vuvuzelas of Thought and Comment that the current crop represent, and on the way drops in what should be etched on Shearer's gravestone: 'He looked like a squaddie who'd just beaten someone to death with a shoe.'
In many televised US sports they now have professional comedians as the co-commentator. I think this would be vastly preferable (in principle). We could end the say-what-you-see idiocy you get from the likes of Keown ('It's come out to him and he's hit.') or Le Saux ('He won't be happy with that' -- no shit Graham, he didn't score did he?) which suggests they believe themselves to be principally providing a service to blind viewers.
The problem with the ex-pro as pundit is they so rarely provide the actual insight their experience is supposed to furnish. You get the occasional figure like Strachan when he was on MotD2, who genuinely enlightens the audience... But mostly the performance as a pundit of a Platitude Production Engine like Shearer simply follows through on the logic of their appointment. That is, they've been appointed to these jobs simply through virtue of who they were and are. I'm sure that deep in Shearer's cerebral cortex lies an assumption something like: they gave me the job because of who I am - why should I need to do any homework? know who Marek Hamsik or Alexis Sanchez are? I don't need to work on being Alan Shearer. I don't need to train to be Alan Shearer. I AM ALAN SHEARER. HEAR ME PUNDIT.
Having co-commentators and post-match pundits drawn from outside the realm of the ex-pro would also introduce a cleansing sense of neutrality. Few things are more agonizing than watching Redknapp Jr jabber obsequiously about his Old Dad.
But the comic as commentator introduces a whole new raft of problems.
'And joining Simon Brotherton for England-Algeria, his co-commentator Michael McIntyre........'