Premier League

West Ham battling relegation because of fan boos, not Moyes wasting £170m and ignoring Scamacca

West Ham fans sing in support of the team

With goal difference separating their team from the relegation zone, West Ham fans will be thrilled to learn they are to blame, not the board or David Moyes


Highlight up your life
Everyone has had their fun with those weird folk who strained muscles bending over backwards trying to paint last weekend’s voiceless, 20-minute edition of Match of the Day as a success.

‘That was the best Match of the Day in ages,’ they insisted, having watched it for the very first time. ‘Finally, we get to see all the goals,’ they celebrated, as the world mourned those scored but never shown. ‘Perfect. It finished in enough time for me to get one final pint in before last orders,’ cheered the strange individuals who presumably sat watching the television in their coat and shoes before nipping out for their traditional 10.45pm drink.

Craig Hope of the Daily Mail is not one of those Tory backbenchers people. He acknowledges it was a ‘soulless’ broadcast which summed up a ‘self-inflicted wreckage of a public corporation so out of touch with, well, the public’.

But he does reckon lessons can be learned from it. And his main argument revolves how ‘much of the audience would have been drawn by seeing their team before their eyes closed’.

‘At present, Match of the Day’s analysis, in newspaper speak, is like that of a Sunday edition match report – it’s all headers and volleys. Producers clip up the key moments – invariably goals and chances – and we relive them with the help of a pundit’s voiceover. Do we really need this from every game, having already watched the match package and replays? It is that repetition which induces fatigue.’

It’s the fact it starts at gone 10 on a Saturday night which induces fatigue, Craig.

‘Front-loading it with goals and action felt fresh. Let us not cast aside this version as a freak show. Why not dedicate the first 40 minutes to highlights, followed by half an hour or more of in-depth discussion?’

Because a) highlights from every game are readily available long before MOTD’s airtime, b) audience retention is a thing, and c) 40 straight minutes of goals (or goalless draws) would be as weird and gradually tiresome as the half-hour of disjointed pundit reaction which would follow.

‘The BBC’s stable of pundits are more than capable – listen to them on radio or the excellent podcast series they produce. For me, they, too, are handicapped by the format – here is every match and every goal,…

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