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Euro 2012: So who's winning the battle of the TV stations?

We analyse the analysts… how have top, top pundits like Dunphy, Hansen and Keane fared so far this tournament?

Bill O'Herlihy crosses his fingers for an Irish win.
Bill O'Herlihy crosses his fingers for an Irish win.
Image: YouTube screengrab

RTÉ

IF IT AIN’T broke, don’t fix it, has been RTÉ’s approach to this year’s European Championship.

John Giles, Liam Brady and Eamon Dunphy are like the proverbial, well-oiled machine and with Bill O’Herlihy playing the role of stage master, the analysis has been entertaining if unoriginal.

Bill, not to be left behind by technology has embraced social media for this tournament, in fact you can follow the ramblings of the wily old Corkman here.

Brady, Dunphy and Giles haven’t been taken in by this Twitter rubbish: ‘Will Ireland beat Croatia?’ asked Bill,  in the first of many Irish polls that, like Trapattoni got it completely wrong on the day.  Some 86% of us — blinded perhaps by the euphoria engulfing the country —  said yes. The panel burst out laughing.

But, like Croatia, at least you can rely on the lads to give us a reality check when we need it most.

Star Pundit - Liam Brady: Although the Arsenal man got it wrong on Croatia (he had tipped them to win it), overall he’s given the most informed opinion in the studio. His time spent working with Ireland and Trapattoni during the World Cup 2010 qualifying campaign leaves him in a better position than most to comment on the motives behind Trapattoni’s decisions.

The RTÉ panel discuss Michael Robinson’s comments on Ireland:

YouTube: – RTÉ

BBC

If there’s one thing we can thank BBC and ITV for, it’s the introduction of the celebrity pundit. Without them we’d never have been introduced to Dietmar Hamann and his strange eyebrows, nor would Ossie ‘Tott-ing-ham’ Ardiles have graced us with his presence.

Still, who could forget Gazza on ITV in 2002, or that same tournament when Ian Wright turned up on BBC dressed as the Karate Kid? But for every risk there’s reward and for BBC this summer it has come in the form of Clarence Seedorf.

After his classy, informed stint back in 2010, the Dutchman has been  recalled to Salford. Yes, that wasn’t a typo, Gary Lineker and co. have been forced to swap the sun, golf and light shirts these tournaments usually afford them, for gloomy Manchester. For the first time since 2002 BBC haven’t relocated their entire studio to the host nation.

On Twitter, Lineker put up some lame excuse about BBC being unable to find a suitable location for their headquarters. Something tells me a lack of money and the looming 2012 Olympics had something to do with it.

ITV have no such worries…

Star Pundit - Clarence Seedorf: The Dutchman has been a breath of fresh air. The likes of Alan Shearer and Robbie Savage add little to proceedings besides grinning like maniacs so the insightful comments by the midfielder have been very well received. Sign him up for Match of the Day, please.

Roy Keane has had plenty to say on the ITV couch in Warsaw. Pic: YouTube screengrab.

ITV

Yes, ITV — or UTV for you and me — are out in Poland and boy do they like to let you know. Besides mentioning it every five minutes, we’ve had match analysis in a Polish restaurant complete with puzzled diners. All that was missing was James Richardson of Football Italia fame, in the background scoffing some expensive looking dessert.

The big attraction on UTV, for us at least, has been Roy Keane and the Corkman hasn’t disappointed.

Fighting with pretty much everyone on the Irish team at this stage, who knows where the knock-out stages will lead him. Gareth Southgate has been, well Gareth Southgate but Patrick Vieira has been a big disappointment.  Not quite Jamie Redknapp-bland but not far off. Can Adrian Chiles not do something to get Keane and Vieira fighting? Give the people what they want.

Star Pundit – Roy Keane: I know, I know. Roy Keane above all people. But, come on I can’t pick Gareth Southgate . Keane is ok, he’s drummed up a lot of publicity with his criticism of the Irish setup but has offered little else in the other games. The best of a bad lot.

Keane’s post-match reaction to Ireland v Spain:

YouTube:  Lee Averiss

Which is your favourite?


Poll Results:

RTÉ (473)
ITV (207)
BBC (54)



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About the author:

Joe Coffey

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