Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: BT Sport starters leave us all wanting less

By Billy Weir

Your heart always sinks a bit when BT Sport tries to be a bit clever. You never know what might happen, they may panic and think Michael Owen is interesting, that people want to listen to Robbie Savage or that Melanie Sykes knew which way round to sit on a motorbike.

So when you see Jake Humphrey loitering with intent beside a goalpost, you know that something is afoot.

"You know, one February weekend back in 1990, three historic events happened," he worryingly began on Saturday night as Chelsea played host to Spurs.

"Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Iron Mike Tyson lost his World title to Buster Douglas and a certain Gary Lineker - whatever happened to him? - scored a headed goal right here to pick up three points for Spurs and more than a quarter of a century later, Tottenham are still waiting for another win here at the Bridge."

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Pre-match, the highlight was when guest Gianfranco Zola was asked to keep off the grass by an over-zealous steward only to be told by Rio Ferdinand that he 'owns this pitch' but in fairness, the poor man probably thought he was an over-enthusiastic, if slightly getting on a bit, ball-boy.

The boy still knows his football though, predicting a 2-1 win for Chelsea, although back in February 1990 he had a fiver treble on the Blues, Tyson and Mandela staying banged up, so he has improved.

Talking of turn-ups for the bookies, Victor Moses scored the winner, parting the visiting defence like, well, Moses, to ensure the years of hurt ticked over to 27.

"Forget about Trump, forget about Brexit, forget about Honey G, Victor Moses is the shock of 2016," suggested Jake, but not everyone was happy.

'Arry Redknapp insisted Chelsea had three or four players who weren't good enough to play in a Premier League winning side, but when pressed to spill the beans, like a good East End geezer he said nuffin, saying "I don't want to name them", proving that the only grass at the Bridge was the blades Zola wasn't allowed on.

No such problems in Scotland the following day, though, as BT Sport was given the run of Hampden Park for the Betgianfranco, sorry, Betfred Cup final between Aberdeen and Celtic.

Presenter Darrell Currie was joined by reporter Eilidh Barbour in an opening sequence that would have had stomachs churning, toes curling and buttocks clenching in a manner not witnessed since Humphrey appeared the night before.

"I just can't take this anymore, I'm at my wit's end, Eilidh," he began, as our intrepid duo prowled the bowels of tartan football's home.

"These guys are absolutely abusive, they're appalling, it's been happening all season, I can't work with them anymore."

"It's tough, it's a cup final today, it should be fine but just in case I thought I'd set this up for you," she replied as we were met with a door saying 'Anger Management'.

Inside we were met by Stephen Craigan, Michael Stewart and Chris Sutton pretending to have a row and not managing their anger at all.

"Look guys, this is a big day for all of us, it's a big day for the channel, the bosses are watching, I'm not sure anyone at home is enjoying this," concluded a spot-on Currie.

The Celts raced into a 2-0 lead and in need of some wisdom, commentator Derek Rae turned to Sutton at the start of the second period to ask his thoughts.

"I just saw John Hartson barge Alex McLeish out of the way to get the first pie at half-time," he said.

"Any tactical analysis you want to impart?" pressed the rattled Rae.

"There was a tactic in there, it was a barge," came the response, but you didn't need to be Gianfranco to predict which way this one was going to go, with Celtic winning easily to collect their 100th major trophy, and a first for our very own Brendan Rodgers, although, to be fair, Ted Rodgers could guide the Hoops to glory at the minute.

And when it was all over there were some people on the pitch, although Rodgers was stopped on his way down with the cup by a man pawing at the trophy.

On closer inspection it was Hartson in a raincoat, who probably hoped it was a novelty pie, but then Rodgers galloped onto the lush, green sward of Hampden Park, while back in London a wee Italian lad cried his bulbs out.

Belfast Telegraph


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