Gary Lineker is back on the BBC doing what he does best: sticking to the football
He is back. Though it looks like he didn’t bring his voice with him. When Gary Lineker returned to his day job, presenting “Match of the Day” coverage of the FA Cup quarter-finals. between Manchester City and BurnleyThe BBC’s “bad boy” frontman sounded like he’d spent his fortnight avoiding Twitter, instead grabbing a bullhorn and shouting his opinion straight out to the world.
Husky, croaking, he returned without a screen word about his power struggle with the BBC hierarchy. Perhaps sensing that his larynx was not ready for a long repetitive step, he left it at the opening of the program instead to his colleague and business partner Alan Shearer to reflect on what had happened in the last two weeks of the BBC’s self-flagellation.
“I just wanted to say how upset we were that all the viewers missed out last weekend,” Shearer said of the stripped-down, comment-free and pundit-free highlights that replaced the regular broadcast during Lineker’s forced absence. “It was a really difficult situation for all involved. Through no fault of their own, some great people in television and radio have found themselves in a hopeless situation. It wasn’t fair. It’s nice to be back in some kind of reality and talk about football again.”
Lineker limited himself to adding: “I share these feelings.”
Then they started talking about football again. And what conversations.
“Both sides are desperate to get to the semi-finals,” Shearer suggested of the upcoming match, demonstrating an unrivaled insight that we all missed last weekend.
Mind you, Shearer was right about the no-win situation. Of course, this was not the best tactical hour of the BBC hierarchy. Although, oddly enough, they didn’t seem to think he was acting politically, when he tweeted “Bean Corbin” about the former Labor leader four years ago without complaint, the corporation’s bigwigs removed Lineker from office for violating their social security rules. networks when he complained about the government’s policy on refugees. By the way, the rules of social networks, which may or may not exist. Nobody seemed completely sure.
The casualness of their punishment quickly showed on their faces, and it’s no surprise that Lineker returned, apparently without having to make any changes to his Twitter posts. Because although it was almost plausible to run comments and the best moments without experts as one offs last weekend – a move that seemed to go down well with no one but half a dozen Conservative MPs and newspaper columnists – was not possible this weekend with two live FA Cup broadcasts that weekend.
With all of Lineker’s colleagues giving up careerist opportunism to show solidarity with him, BBC management needed someone to broadcast live to make sure they were not violating their contractual obligations. And they might as well come back for the better. Because no matter how noisy he is politicized, only the ignoramuses can assume that Lineker is not like that. Cosy, unflappable, good-natured, despite a week in the headlines, he immediately did what he does so well.
“He’s so enthusiastic about these pre-match interviews, isn’t he?” he said sarcastically after Kelly Somers struggled to get the word out of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola before the game. It was a kind of irreverence that distinguished him. And it was good that he returned, talking about what he knows so well. As he suggested in a selfie posted to his favorite Twitter media channel shortly before the game, “Oh, how happy you are to be allowed to play football.”