Wednesday, 19 August 2009


When a new kid moves into the street it's always a cause of gossip, and the arrival of a new presence in the TV football market is no different.
Generally, the columnists have given ESPN a positive reception although Martin Kelner in The Guardian complained that there was "scarcely a whiff of innovation." Oliver Holt in the Daily Mirror described presenter Ray Stubbs as "excellent" but Giles Smith in The Times was unimpressed by the set, describing it as "somewhere between the interior of a building society and the inside of a dishwasher."
The man who caught the critics' eye though was none of the players in Everton v Arsenal but Peter Reid in the pundit's role. "The world's first made-for-HD sideburns," was Smith's description, while Kelner reckoned that Reid's "patchy grey mutton-chop sideburns make him look either like a Dickens character or the new face of Special Brew."
High Definition is one of TV's latest advances but it does few favours to anyone with a less-than-perfect complexion. Smith used this to neat effect: "Who would have thought that Reid's facial hair would end up driving HD set-top box sales? But that's football in the 21st century."

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