Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: Don’t panic, Robbie Savage is happy when he’s slapping

There was a strangely persistent and annoying noise on Sunday evening’s Match of the Day 2 that caused me a good degree of consternation.

Given that Colin Murray was joined on the sofa by Lee Dixon and Robbie Savage, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to decipher one annoying noise from a cacophony of them but I persisted.

It reminded me of the same noise that the boy who sat next to me at school made when eating a cooked ham sandwich but I appreciate that not all of you will remember that so for the uninitiated it was a suspicious slapping sound.

Perhaps when they were all off-camera they whipped on the leather pants for a spot of lederhosen frolicking but there were to be enough thinly-veiled references to Germany to come.

Player of the season Paul Scholes (a bit early I know but there’s been less hype about the X Factor than his recent displays) was the main man as the build-up to Man United’s visit to Fulham was set to the music of Dad’s Army

“Old Man United they’ve been called, but come May they could be hobbling up to collect the trophy again,” said Colin, before handing over to Jonathan Pearce, sadly without a slap.

“Who do you think you are kidding Mr Critic, if you think that old United are done,” began Pearce and you got the feeling that they were going to flog this one to death.

Scholes obliged by scoring a cracker. “And down by the Thames, it’s old man river, Paul Scholes” wailed Pearce, and you hoped that the barrier would come and wash him away, but to no avail.

He would have been okay anyhow as United seem to have signed Ellen MacArthur, but on closer inspection it turns out it is Javier Hernandez (not below) or Cinquecento or Chicharito or whatever he’s calling himself.

And so a 2-2 draw was the result, a bit of a surprise, but in Dad’s Army speak hopes of an interview with the United boss were doomed.

“Sir Alex Ferguson once again respectfully declined to speak to the BBC despite a new directive from the Premier League,” smirked Colin. Don’t you wish the authorities would grow a set of sphericals and tell him to wise up.

There’s no more scunnering a sight than Fergie telling Sky’s Geoff Shreeves ‘well done’ after he’s manage to ask nothing of any interest to man nor beast. He doesn’t like it up ‘im.

Don’t panic though, we have Robbie, and I’m not saying he’s a stupid boy, but in between slaps there was incisive analysis.

“It does suggest a rollercoaster in terms of performance,” mused Colin, and after careful deliberation, the bold Robbie gave this clear, concise and original response: “Fulham’s performance today was the tale of a rollercoaster — it was chalk and cheese.”

Thank you, Robbie, and also thanks for throwing in that wee additional idiom at the end but as we all know chalk and cheese haven’t been witnessed on a rollercoaster since that episode of Jim’ll Fix It with the chubby scouts blowing milkshakes out their nostrils.

Colin, who is beginning to look right at home on the couch, was at it then, talking about a 25-year-old referee who wasn’t even a glimmer in the milkman’s eye when the scouts were playing with their woggles.

“No, Jim’ll Fix It isn’t back,” he told us, but with three sixes scored over the weekend he certainly fixed it for me, and not a gold shell suit in sight, by playing out with Iron Maiden.

All he needs to do now is grab Robbie by the fuzzy-wuzzies and we’ll be grand.

Belfast Telegraph

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