Early Doors

Overreaction Theatre: MOTD replace Hansen with ‘the embodiment of boring’

Early Doors

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Phil Neville: Saving you money on sleeping pills since 2014

Phil Neville was no doubt bursting with pride as he shared with the world the news that the BBC has made him Alan Hansen's replacement on Match of the Day.

The former England, Manchester United and Everton star turned his back on a fledgling coaching career at Old Trafford in order to take up the new role, but given the iconic nature of Hansen's spot on the sofa he was probably delighted as he Tweeted the news:

Phil brother, Gary, works for Sky Sports and - after a rocky start - has made a successful transition to television work, and was named best sports pundit at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards in March. The younger Neville brother was roundly criticised after making his commentary debut during the World Cup for the BBC in England's opening match against Italy, with his monotone performance prompting 445 complaints - and Neville himself admitting the abuse he received was "pretty brutal". But if he thought that his subsequent efforts in Brazil might have helped people change their minds, he was very, VERY wrong.

This is our favourite criticism, though, perfectly nailing the smug, old boys' club that Match of the Day has now become:

Rio Ferdinand, also confirmed as a regular MOTD pundit, was occasionally caught in the crossfire:

Almost as bad were the occasional messages damning with faint praise, or the slaps on the back from the spoof Twitter accounts - worse indictments of his dullness, perhaps, than any amount of straight-bat bile.

Equally toe-curling were the revelations that, despite Neville trying to make it look as he had turned his back on coaching, it appears that coaching turned its back on him:

Perhaps fans should be grateful, however. At least one person suggested alternative choices for Neviille - though in doing so, served only to remind us that as bad as things seem, it could always have been worse:

Be careful what you wish for, eh? Speaking of which...

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