This is a series that looks at the greats (and goods) of the beautiful game that went on to sully the ears of footy fans around the world in the cushy confines of the commentary booth. Occasionally, though, we get charitable, and find a player that can turn their transcendence on the pitch into broadcasting competency. Today’s subject: Le God from Guernsey, Matthew Le Tissier
Despite being a sublimely talented footballer, “Le God” as his fellow Saints called him only received 8 caps for England. Quite honestly, he didn’t match the “Spirit of ’66” style of footballer that England managers always look for; his languid play was much more continental than would “fit” England. But the goals. Oh, Lord, the goals. Le Tissier popped in 162 in his 443 appearances for Southampton, and the form of most of them were absolutely delightful. Le Tissier created shots and chances that most mortals would only dream of. To whit:
Are you back from your cigarette yet? Good; then join me after the jump.
As a further indication of just how good Le God was, Le Tissier was Xavi’s favorite player growing up. And yet, he wasn’t good enough for Glenn Effing Hoddle and Terry Venables. Some of that may have been Le God’s own doing, but still. Think about it- Macca and LeTissier pulling the strings in 1998. That might have even countered Henry, Zidane, Thuram, and Makelele in their pomp.
As a studio analyst on Sky Sports’ “Soccer Saturday,” Matt Le Tissier sits between Paul Merson and Jeff Stelling. Crikey. However, unlike Ms. Foudy, Le Tissier manages to up the level of analysis. He’s quick to deflate the pomposity of those two, and perhaps most importantly, doesn’t take himself too seriously. It’s almost like he realizes he’s covering a game. Observe his reaction when he gets caught out in this clip:
When he takes it seriously, he provides decent, honest analysis, and he’s pretty insightful:
And, of course, he’s not afraid to celebrate his former club’s success:
That’s a Proper Pundit.