Belfast Telegraph

Michael McNamee's friendly commentary leaves us in a flap

By Billy Weir

There is a question that has had theologians and philosophers at each others' throats since time immemorial. No, not how does Robbie Savage still get on the telly, but which came first, the chicken or the egg?

It is not for me to open a can of worms on the subject, but you know things are flagging a little in the action when Joe Allen's appearance in a magazine called Chicken and Egg is part of the commentary.

Then again, it's a bit like the BBC's policy, which came first, the live coverage or Northern Ireland qualifying for the Euros? Again, I'm not here to set wriggly things free.

Michael McNamee, given a rare opportunity to commentate, caused a bit of a flap labelling Liverpool midfielder Allen the 'Welsh Pirlo' - expect a solicitor's letter to wing its way from New York faster than a speeding pullet, sorry, bullet.

Allen has appeared in the magazine as his hobby is saving hens - you would think he would be a winger - but this wasn't a Trill a minute...

It wasn't like that back in 2004 when Michael Hughes did to Savage what Paxo does to many of Allen's nearest and dearest, and of course, there was the obligatory pictures of the pair locking beaks.

The first-half was a different beast - literally - as before the chicken or the egg, came a deer, with not one, but two, mentions of Bambi, one for Stuart Dallas and one for Conor Washington.

Incidentally, I was so bored in the opening period that I checked that apart from the two obvious ones, all 11 of Northern Ireland's staring XI are places in the USA. This is why friendly games should be banned forthwith.

Washington, according to Dowie, playing a 'pass that was a trifle overweight' to keep the American theme going.

He was then described as 'a contender for back-up rolls', but with chicken, venison and trifles, he's going to be stuffed before we get to France.

"Michael O'Neill is dangling a big carrot for the Euros," McNamee told us, so at least he'll get one of his five a day.

Thankfully a goal arrived to save us from this footballing feast, Craig Cathcart scoring but just when you thought there was salvation, the Church of Simon intervened to level, but said nothing about chickens, eggs, or the rolls.

Belfast Telegraph


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