Quarantine Day Thirteen – ageism has its place

With football properly back including Coventry City playing their first league game in six months, my 13th day of quarantine did indeed go quicker than the previous 12.

Outrageous, I know, but I watched the game in bed – on iFollow – with Mrs Jones.  We both lay there drinking gin and tonic and eating dorritos with hummus. 

That’s me living the dream so Mrs Jones told me though not quite as Coventry managed to concede within 22 seconds, then after a spirited fightback were beaten by a late Bristol City winner.

In the background to keep in touch with all the other scores I watched Sky’s Soccer Saturday with its new line-up of presenters.  Out were long-term regulars Phil Thompson, Charlie Nicholas and Matt Le Tissier and In were the likes of Glen Johnson and Sue Smith.

The move to freshen the presenting team, still anchored by Jeff Stelling, has caused widespread controversy.   While I can’t help feeling some empathy with the white male presenters in the their fifties and sixties who have lost their jobs, I can’t help thinking Sky have made the right decision.

These presenters have always struck me as somewhat amateurish, living off past glories and surviving in their roles because of who they are not how good they are.

At the start of the show yesterday, the first of the new season, Stelling made light of the changes by saying: “I’m back, Merse (Paul Merson) is back… but not everyone is back!”

Stelling though was left devastated by the sackings of his “best mates” Le Tissier, Nicholas and Thompson and had considered leaving the show himself as a result.

I’m sorry but people don’t stay in jobs because they are best mates with one another and while Sky’s decision was, no doubt, partly driven by the quest for diversity, I think it result in a better show.

Yesterday Stelling was joined by former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood as a guest along with Merson, while Tony Pulis joined Glen Johnson and Clinton Morrison in ‘The Circle’, while Sue Smith was also part of the first programme of the new season.  All performed well.

The other guests set to join the team including Wycombe striker Adebayo Akinfenwa, Robbie Fowler and Joleon Lescott also sound promising.

In any case, the new replacing the old, isn’t that life is also about, isn’t it what’s supposed to happen to keep things fresh, the way of the world.

Inevitably the old will have more experience, more contacts but that doesn’t always make them better.  And the only way the young can improve and get the experience is for the old to move aside when the time is right.

Published by brianjonesdiary

Dad, husband, brother and son. Interested in travel, politics, sport, health and much more. Semi-retired and aiming to making the most of life as I approach my sixth decade.

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