Bad day to be wearing blue as even the panels put the boot in
O’Gara does a bit of eye-rolling at France’s drubbing, while Carragher pulled no punches
Pierre Bourgarit of France leads his team off the field during their Guinness Six Nations defeat to England at Twickenham on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images
The Sky Sports and Virgin Media panels could quite easily have swapped studios at half-time and we might not even have noticed. Both expressed shock at the shambolic defending of the Boys in Blue while being firmly in awe of the attacking qualities of the teams mullering them.
In fairness to Ronan O’Gara, Shane Horgan and Matt Williams, though, they didn’t – initially at least – entirely plunge the knife in to France, maintaining their decorum and just settling for a bit of eye-rolling, whereas Jamie Carragher was murderous in his assessment of Les Bleus of Chelsea.
Throwing the ugliest insult imaginable in the direction of their manager Maurizio Sarri, Sky not even having the decency to apologise once it left his lips, he spat: “He’s turned Chelsea into Arsenal.”
It really doesn’t get more defamatory than that, Sarri maybe even tempted to skip his half-time talk, which would surely only have amounted to “WTF?” anyway, and instead opting to scramble his lawyers to file for slander.
If you’re a Liverpool player, you’ve probably just taken the dog for a walk
Back on Virgin, Ronan had a hunch that France would concede another 50 after the break, which was kind of Graeme Souness’s fear for Chelsea too, his ire directed largely at Marcos Alonso, his new Paul Pogba, the Frenchman no longer a legitimate target now that he’s proved to be a snip at €105 million.
“This could be painful,” said Gary Neville in his commentary box when Manchester City made it 4-0, by then Chelsea’s pain – and Liverpool’s – already searing. “If you’re a Liverpool player, you’ve probably just taken the dog for a walk,” he added, the feet, by then, walked off the mutts of Merseyside.
These are, of course, difficult times for those who share Nev’s allegiances, but the consensus would appear to be – certainly among people of sound mind – that anything at all would be preferable to Liverpool prevailing. Even City. Although Spurs being non-Spursy and pipping the pair of them would be ideal.
Whatever, this may be the most annoyingly hyped league on this planet, but you’d want to lack a pulse not to be enthused; there are so many squeaky Premier League bottoms across the channel as we speak, you’d be deafened.
By full-time Ronan was tempted to insert his phone in the Seine, bidding a less than fond adieu to it
By the time it got to 6-0 David Luiz wore the look of a man who had been transported back to Belo Horizonte in 2014 when Germany put seven past the rearguard he was supposedly marshalling. By then the home fans were singing “who put the ball in the Chelsea net . . . half of ****ing City”, which actually was fake news: only Agüero (3), Sterling (2) and Gundogan (1) finding a way past the visitors’ rearguard.
Back again to Virgin and Ronan had told us pre-match that he’d got a few text messages from French players right after they’d lost to Wales last week promising him that “we’ll win in Twickenham!”, thereby reviving our Six Nations title hopes, never mind their own. By full-time Ronan was tempted to insert his phone in the Seine, bidding a less than fond adieu to it as it sank to the mucky bottom.
Too many tries
“We can’t look at all the tries because there were too many of them,” said Joe Molloy, Virgin having only so much airtime. “Abject, abysmal,” he said of the French efforts, “pathetic . . . shambolic,” Shane added.
Just time for a quick #AskROG before he returns to his coaching duties in New Zealand.
“Ronan, any regrets about never having played for Leinster?”
It was then that the ********** on the keyboard got stuck from repetitive tapping.
Back to Sky and Sarri was having a chat with Patrick Davidson. “At the moment I am not able to explain,” he said of the 0-6 carnage he had witnessed, his only consolation that his side hadn’t lost 8-44.
And that they hadn’t been likened to Arsenal.
There is, after all, only so much a man can take.