Cooney and Black

Livingstone’s excitement was palpable as the nine-birdie Americans were vanquished. ‘This is a tribute to Justin Rose and his dancing queen, Henrik Stenson!’

mario ballotelli

Steve Bott byline

HUSH THAT MOUTH! Steve Bott takes a light-hearted view of the faux pas in our great world of sport. He begins with a highly embarrassing moment for one of Sky Sport’s top presenters…

THE fact that it was Ryder Cup weekend did strange things to people. It certainly affected Sky Sport presenter David Livingstone’s grip on his descriptive abilities.

Lunchtime Saturday, the Europeans had just clinched another point via the relentless partnership of Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson. The giant American figures of Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar had made nine birdies and yet had been vanquished.

Livingstone’s excitement was palpable. “This is a tribute to Justin Rose and his dancing queen, Henrik Stenson,” he gushed.

I wonder what Stenson thought of this unfortunate reference to the Abba hit. Perhaps European euphoria took the edge of what might have been an interesting confrontation with Livingstone.

Mind you, it seems to me you can’t say anything today without upsetting some sensitive soul and causing much angst and gnashing of teeth. There is a dividing line, of course.

Many people located their sensitive spots the other day when Italian stallion Mario Balotelli took to Twitter to ridicule Manchester United after their 5-3 defeat at Leicester.

Balotelli probably won’t bat an eyelid, but his tweet – “Man Utd LOL” – certainly stirred things up. Did the Liverpool and former Manchester City striker really have to twit, sorry tweet, anything?

Manuel Pellegrini, meantime, has done himself no favours with his “small team” jibe at Chelsea. Social media as well as the ordinary media channels are more than quick to jump on things like this now, and it’s better if you can control your tongue and your temper.

Far from being a small team, Chelsea look like the best bet to take your title off you come May, Manuel, so in future try to think before you speak, or just button it.

Rio Ferdinand definitely sings from his own song sheet. He took a leaf out of the Bee Gees book when he described Glenn Hoddle’s sacking as a Tragedy.

For him, maybe. In fact, his criticism of various England managers, Fabio Cappello, Roy Hodgson and Sven Goran Eriksson, has a lot to do with himself throughout the diatribe.

He liked Steve McLaren and wasn’t too critical of Eriksson, but his dislike of Hodgson, particularly after Roy told commuters that Ferdinand had reached the end of the line with England, is more than obvious.

Rio, stop whingeing, or your career, despite the fact you are still playing at QPR, will go down the Tube in a not so glorious blaze.

Not too long ago, Louis Van Gaal was firmly stating that it would take a miracle for Manchester United to win the Premier League title this season. Now he wants them to do just that. Amazing what a few short days and one good result can do for you.

It sort of backs up that phrase that has crept into football parlance over the last few years – how can you tell a football person is lying? Answer: when his lips move! A tad harsh in this instance, maybe – but it hits the spot!

Back to Rio, and it seems he’s had his chips as far as Manchester United and David Moyes are concerned.

Now I know he is just trying to boost sales figures for his book, with all this and the above, but that line about former manager Moyes banning United’s superstars from having fries before a match takes some swallowing.

I tried to chew the fat over it for a while, but I just can’t help thinking that Rio and the rest of the United old guard sound like big, spoilt, stubborn babies full of their own importance in their attitude towards Moyes and maybe in general.

“We are Manchester United. We do things this way and we don’t like that. You can’t change us.”

Moyes was not the man for the job at Old Trafford and he came across as being a little confused in everything he tried to do during the short time he had at United.

Rio and the gang made it hard for him from Day One by the sound of it, but I reckon Moyes should be mighty relieved that United cashed in his chips for him and he walked away a slightly sadder, but wiser and richer man.

The commentator covering the new Formula E cars race last weekend in Beijing, meanwhile, cannot be accused of over dramatising things as he described that horrendous crash involving young Nicolas Prost and Nick Heidfeld.

There was a slight coming together and as Heidfeld’s car spectacularly somersaulted through the air before smashing down onto the side of the track, the commentator calmly stated: “That’s an accident.”

Heidfeld crawled out of the wreckage and walked away unscathed. That was quite cool – but that commentator was calmness personified. Jonathan Pearce, take note.

Finally, Newcastle’s woes have been widely chronicled recently, but hats off to Match of the Day commentator Martin Fisher who tried to give them a bit of a lift as their match at Southampton kicked off.

He stated that the red and white stripes in the Southampton strip might remind Newcastle of the Sunderland v Newcastle derby games and inspire the Magpies to better things at St Mary’s. They were thumped 4-0 !

 

 

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