Get rid of cliches, give us opinions: Sports editor Mark Lea’s column

Programme Name: World Cup 2014 - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Retouching/Design by Matthew Burlem Gary Lineker - (C) BBC - Photographer: ANdrew HAyes-Watkins PPP-140807-115306001
Programme Name: World Cup 2014 - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Retouching/Design by Matthew Burlem Gary Lineker - (C) BBC - Photographer: ANdrew HAyes-Watkins PPP-140807-115306001

It might be a difficult decision over what to do next as soon as anyone retires from professional sport.

But far too many these days seem to be taking the easy option – and presumably decent payments – to spout loads of cliches and pointless ‘statistics’ on TV and radio.

Coverage of every event has a former star who should be sharing an expert insight – but too often they barely offer an opinion at all.

It’s a shame that fully-trained journalists are not given more opportunities ahead of these ‘celebrities’.

Although admittedly that argument is flawed each time ITV’s number one presenter Adrian Chiles struggles to string a basic sentence together into a question.

I’ve absolutely no idea why the BBC chose Gary Lineker to front its primetime Commonwealth Games show.

Yes, he was a great footballer. But how does his goalscoring record give him the qualifications to talk about these other sports?

He doesn’t even give his own views on Match of the Day and merely offers the chance for Alan Shearer to sit on the fence. Again.

Punditry should be all about analysis and these former players should be able to tell us much more.

When the new Premier League season kicks off next week, Alan Hansen’s verdict will be sorely missed in the MOTD studio.

Contrary to his reputation for talking about ‘diabolical defending’, at least he was willing to give an opinion.

So many ex-footballers in particular are going into the world of media when perhaps they could have offered something back through coaching youngsters or helping a non-League club.

Personally I’d love the option to switch off these so-called experts and watch a game on TV without any commentary while keeping the atmosphere of the crowd. If only...