The Gillette Soccer Saturday Experience
I had the pleasure this weekend of watching Gillette’s Soccer Saturday from Sky Sports for my very first time.
For those of you who don’t know, the show plays on Saturdays and brings viewers all of the latest scores and news live from the Premiership matches. While we in America are able to watch five real, actual live football matches on a Saturday, people in England can typically only see two of them on television that day.
So this means that most of the supporters who are at home have a choice of listening to BBC Radio Five Live or watching Soccer Saturday to find out the up-to-the-minute scores.
However, I must say that host David Bobin was pathetic. His fake sincerity was obvious and he went over the top throughout the broadcast as he tried to use his voice to create suspense and drama when announcing the latest developments in matches. By the way, Bobin often co-presents Sky Sports’s “Through The Night,” and the work he does on that show is far better.
Bobin was joined in the studio by analysts Charlie Nicholas (formerly Arsenal), Phil Thompson (formerly Liverpool) and Matthew Le Tissier (formerly Southampton). The debate among all three former players wasn’t that impressive. Also the site of the three men wearing big headsets as they watched three different matches unfold on their TV sets in the studio was quite silly. Phil Thompson’s reaction and lack of facial expressions was classic to watch when Newcastle went 2-1 up against Liverpool, his former side.
Overall, it gave me a deeper appreciation of how we experience the Premiership in America on Fox Soccer Channel and Setanta Sports. Instead of being glued to the TV and not seeing any footage from Soccer Saturday, but just reading the results on screen and listening to the football analysts, we’re treated to actual football matches where we can form our own opinions. If we have the added bonus of Setanta Xtra (available to DirecTV subscribers only), we have five Premier League matches on TV every Saturday and a tape-delayed one — numbering six in all.
America, what a country! Now if we could only get a show that has the football analysts dissecting the matches (sorry, but “Super Saturday +
” does not do it for me).
Founder and publisher of EPL Talk, The Gaffer (aka Christopher Harris) is a journalist who has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications as well as on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT.
Harris, who lives in Florida, has supported Swansea City since 1979. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005.