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and the prize for 'Most Self-Indulgent Football Coverage'...

Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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?goes to the BBC.

After years of hiding a love light for all things Arsenal under that iconic bushel known as Saturday Grandstand, the Corporation appear happy to ?out? themselves on all Media fronts these days and their admiration for the Capital?s Foreign Fledglings is now so evident that presentation of this latest award was a mere formality. Appreciating that self praise never makes for good recommendation, let?s nevertheless hear from a few Arsenal diehards who over the years have blended in with the Beeb?s promotion of the Red Bull that now dominates their reporting in every area?

?As an opinionated ex-Arsenal goalkeeper I welcome the opportunity to speak about the game of football on the air waves ? said an ageing Bob Wilson on the line from his Spanish villa ??and the BBC have always been helpful in this respect. The Today programme on Radio4 contacts me regularly and asks me to pass on my views on the game to the listeners. Last week I commented on the current situation at Tottenham and compared the shambles there with what?s going on at the Emirates. I know those Spurs fans would have wanted to hear all about the lessons they need to learn from a great club like Arsenal and I?m grateful to the BBC for giving me the platform.

Later on in the week I was back to tell the listeners what I thought would happen in the big match at the weekend against Manchester United and was able to pinpoint the battle in midfield, between Fabregas and Scholes, as being the critical clash. Apparently Scholes didn?t play because of injury, (news hadn?t filtered through abroad to tax exiles like me and Danny Fizman), but the sports presenter on the morning show didn?t pull me up over it so I suppose I got away with that one, clever old pro that I am!

Sometimes I even get to comment on something that I am, seemingly, qualified to give an opinion on - like a few weeks ago when Paul Robinson was having such a bad time between the sticks for England and, less importantly, his club side. Although Paul wouldn?t have been quite so keen, I know those Spurs fans would have wanted to hear all about the lessons he needed to learn from a top class keeper of yesteryear and once again I was grateful to the BBC for giving me the chance to remind everybody of my own ability and the fact that I was the Arsenal goalkeeping coach only a few years ago. So, well done the BBC on winning this award and I?m proud to have played my part in the achievement.?

?Radio5 Live was always my mouthpiece? bemoaned a glum looking David Dein from his retreat somewhere far away from the Emirates ??that is until Peter Hill-Wood got rid of me from the board and suddenly Garry Richardson stopped appreciating what I?d got to say on almost every subject under the sun and axed me from his shows. Used to comment for him on subjects ranging from the Champions League draw, the pristine condition of the Arsenal annual accounts, Chelsea?s buying of the Premiership and, of course, Russian tanks on lawns. All good fun it was then - and always at the expense of everybody else except the boys in Red. Nowadays I can?t get past first base at the Beeb, such is clout Hill-Wood and Co have in those parts - and I should know! Influence, eh?! Wish I had some now! Still, congratulations BBC on this award, it is well deserved, as all Ian Wrighty thinking people will testify.?

?Hi, my name?s Jason and I?m one of the backroom staff boys from the BBC.com brigade - lots of B?s there and lots of B***** from us in the cause of winning awards like this Self-Indulgent thingy. Playing our part over the years has been a lot of fun because we?ve had a nucleus of Arsenal fans at the Beeb for ages now and to see some silverware for all our efforts is both pleasing and testament to our credo in the Sports Room when it comes to the club we love to love - accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative. That?s why you don?t hear us mention the fact that the Gunner?s back four is a complete French speaking unit, that Saturday?s team didn?t feature a single Englishmen until some kid called Walcott got separated from his parents and wandered onto the pitch, that the average age of the side was 25yrs and not, contrary to popular belief, fostered by our fawningly false propaganda, only slightly above the voting age.

Here at the BBC we pride ourselves on the fact that there is no Arsenal negative we cannot ignore. Kroenke?s getting a foothold - don?t like him he?s a Yank - ignore it. Usmanov?s throwing his weight about - definitely don?t like him he?s a Russian and might do bad, bad, things - kill any story involving him increasing his interest in the club and start liking the Yank because he?s got dollars, not roubles, and there may come a time when we can?t be fussy. Neither of them have got pounds of course, not like good old Peter and Lady Nina (she might even have guineas), but with these beggars sniffing around even our two English stalwarts may not be able to be choosers for much longer.

So, that?s why we at the BBC do what we do - keep the Arse financial Johnny Foreigners off the sports pages and ignore the proliferation of football Johnny Foreigners on the pitch. Oh, nearly forgot, keep banging on about the beautiful style of play and keep calling Arsene a genius, win, lose or draw. I guess that?s how we?ve got our award all wrighty, and, along with MoTD, Radio5 Live, Radio4?s sports team and an unsuspecting British public, it only goes to prove that you can, in reality, if not with fact, fool most of the football public most of the time.?

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Excellent stuff! I've never understood how the world's dullest guy - the 'Scottish' ex-Arse keeper - could get a job presenting football for so many years.

And then along comes Lee Dixon. But, to be fair, he is pretty knowledgeable and no ith the same league as Wilson for sheer dullness.

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I could'nt agree more Dorset.Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative indeed, although i could argue the same is done for Man U and Liverpool too. Perhaps it is down to the fact we have no voice on these shows (Marcel has made a few recent apperances on MOTD, and you would never know Townsend was a former player of ours for all the good words he has to say about us on ITV. Andy bitter Townsend who left us to win trophies and then lost in 2 cup finals to us).

Most pundits, press men etc are more fickle than the average fan anyway, they are all blowing up Le'arse now, when only last year they were one dimensional, they overplayed and had no plan B. Did'nt score enough goals from set-pieces, could'nt defend, had no width etc.

When you see an ex player of a club giving a report on a match at least you know where that mans allegence lies and can therefore take what he says with a pinch, its worse when you have commentators or reporters who are supposed to be giving a neutral match report spouting obvious bias dribble that you really want to smash there fu*king faces in. 1064.gif

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