TV View: Tony Adams’ Strictly performance distracts from United’s on derby day

‘I almost can’t believe what I’m watching’, Roy Keane says before former Gunner struggles to tango

“It looks like he’s sh*tting a wardrobe.”

It was, admittedly, a crude evaluation of a footballer’s performance, one that, say, Sky would have had to apologise for if, say, Roy Keane had said it of, say, Scott McTominay’s performance in the Manchester derby.

But it was actually a reference by a Gogglebox person to Tony Adams’ tango in his opening Strictly Come Dancing routine, one that began with him sitting on an airborne canon (Gunner — geddit?) that was lowered on to the dance floor where he then performed a catastrophic routine with an expert dancing person called Katya Jones which ended with him jabbing the air almost in time to a soundtrack of ‘one-nil to the Arsenal’.

If you lived forever, you’d never see anything quite like it, Tony so stiff another Goggleboxer suggested that “he could have a great career as a spirit level — or, a hinge”.

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We mention Tony’s efforts only to dispel the notion that Manchester United’s derby performance was the most calamitous offering by people of a footballing persuasion on our tellies in the last seven days

In fairness to Tony, he told the show after that he’d gone “completely blank ... the fear just got me, I went back to my childhood about reading books in school ... I went, ‘Ah!’.”

Mercifully, his second performance went more smoothly, although when it was advertised as him dancing the Charleston to the strains of My Old Man’s A Dustman by Foster and Allen, all you could say was “What?”

It’s probably as well that Lonnie Donegan is 20 years deceased, because there’s a danger he might have sued over his soundtrack being credited to our lads, but no matter, Tony dug deep and while not one of his movements remotely resembled the Charleston, he at least didn’t look like he was attempting to expel a wardrobe — and not once did he raise his arm for offside.

Although, all the time you couldn’t but think how much comfortable he might have felt if Steve Bould or Martin Keown was his partner. Martin especially, one of the greatest pieces of football trivia ever being that he took Irish dancing lessons as a young fellah.

We mention Tony’s efforts only to dispel the notion that Manchester United’s derby performance was the most calamitous offering by people of a footballing persuasion on our tellies in the last seven days.

“Oh my God,” said Roy Keane at half-time, “I almost can’t believe what I’m watching.”

And he’d been upbeat too before the game, his mood helped by Gary Neville being drowned by the stadium sprinklers, reckoning United were “coming in to this game in a good place — I’m looking forward to it”.

Every time a caption popped up under Roy’s face it told us that he was unbeaten in all 14 of his Manchester derby appearances

And then, alas, the game started. And United had the look of Tony Adams attempting the Tango, the camera picking out Alex Ferguson in the stands, him looking like he wanted to incinerate the entire starting XI with an overheated hairdryer.

In other words, it was Groundhog Day.

Roy swivelled quite violently in his chair, while Micah Richards, accurately enough, described City as “poetry in motion”. The only comfort Roy could muster was that United were also 4-0 down at half-time to Brentford. “So, they shouldn’t be getting used it.”

Despite United winning the second half 3-2, which, if the rules had any fairness about them, would have earned them a point, his full-time mood was no lighter.

He swivelled again, sucked his cheeks, chewed on his lip, and counted to 100 when Micah emoted. He’s mellowing.

And every time a caption popped up under his face it told us that he was unbeaten in all 14 of his Manchester derby appearances, back when the oldest gag in the book was “they’re selling an Oxo cube in City’s colours — it’s called a laughing stock”. God be with the days.

“We didn’t have convincement,” Erik ten Hag told Sky. “Perfection doesn’t exist,” insisted Pep Guardiola in his post-match chat, aside from Erling Haaland, obviously.

Kelly Cates put a graphic up on our screens showing that it had taken him just eight Premier League games to score three hat-tricks. Next on the list was Michael Owen, it taking him 48 games.

Not to be crude, but every centre half City will face this season? Sh*tting a wardrobe.