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Setanta Jockey For Position


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There seems to be a strange symmetry going on between ourselves, the Gunners and the Scousers at the moment - almost as if these Reds are belatedly following the Blue suit when it comes to TV card playing. Perhaps this analogy should really go in a different direction and I should use the phrase ?bleatedly following?, so sheep-like is it in it?s copying of our Chelsea TV and, of course, the forerunner of them all, MUTV. However, the difference here is that the French Pretenders to the Premiership title have gone to Setanta and ?Yes, They?re the Great Pretenders? [Liverpool] launched LFC TV yesterday. Ironically, it would have begun life at around about the time that Chelsea were pulling the plug on their Thursday phone-in show, Points of Blue, but more of that later.

First of all, I?d like to return to the animal analogy and Setanta?s new stable of club channels. Whilst undoubtedly current form horses, these two self proclaimed thoroughbreds have fallen at more final hurdles than either would care to mention in recent seasons and, as their Irish TV backers like a bet or two, they see the opportunity to cash in on what must surely be a closer race this season. Or will it?

Like their respective teams and Premiership success, the Sky based TV channels both took time to settle in before MUTV became a Pravda hybrid, reporting on umpteen titles and nothing contentious, and with similar Russian overtones, our own phone-in show lurched from initial trophy praise, through to meltdown abuse following Jose?s dismissal, and now complete canning. Indeed, the word ?canned? was used by Alison Bender to describe its passing, along with the touching epitaph that ?it was rubbish anyway?, in what turned out to be the most flippant end of series report ever seen on television.

Chelsea TV must have really taken some stick over the last week for them to react in a way that also saw them compile a finale that ridiculed fans who had previously contributed to Points of Blue and end it with Tommy Langley supposedly providing a two fingered comment on the program which, all to easily, could be interpreted as a response to fans? recent incoming criticism. Doubtless Setanta would have taken note of what might be around the corner for them in the controversy stakes bearing in mind that, although the well bred Emirates contingent are akin to docile dobbins, the Anfield lot are potential runaway steeds who are noted for paying little or no attention to such things as Starters Orders.

Still, at least Setanta lifted the television tape more cautiously than most Starters have at Aintree in recent years, as they chose to ease viewers in gently over the first furlong with a chat show hosted by none other than John Barnes. I?m guessing that there is no immediate need to plead for viewers to calm down yet awhile, then, although the same may not be said for later in the season when fourth place spoils an each way bet and the grounds for criticism will be good to heavy.

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