Sky Sports pick their first Soccer Saturday panel pundits ahead of the new season, though it’s not expected to be the permanent lineup according to reports.
It was last month that it was confirmed of Sky’s decision not to renew the contracts of Matt Le Tissier, Charlie Nicholas, and Phil Thompson along with Scott Minto.
The news of that got a divided reaction on social media, with thousands tweeting in about the matter, some disappointed of losing their favourites and other pleased to see them go.
The Athletic state that presenter Jeff Stelling, who was left saddened by the departures of their colleagues, will be joined by former Premier League managers Tony Pulis and Tim Sherwood for the very first episode of this season’s Soccer Saturday.
The report also states that Glen Johnson, Clinton Morrison and regular Paul Merson will also be in the studio for this weekend’s season opener, while Chris Kamara will remain reporting from one ground on one particular matches like the other Sky reporters.
This weekend’s lineup is not indicative of what the broadcaster plans for the future though because Sky are not expected to have a permanent line up just yet, instead they are said to be auditioning a few people and seeing what works and will no doubt see who is and isn’t a hit with fans on social media .
They’re set to rotate the pundits on a weekly basis with the likes of Robbie Fowler, Joleon Lescott, Matt Murray and Glenn Murray, with many others, all expected to feature in the coming weeks.
With regards to the decision to let the Le Tissier, Thompson, and Nicholas go, Sky released a statement which said: “We are changing some parts of our football coverage – Matt, Charlie and Phil have done a great job for us over the years, and they will leave us with our sincere thanks and very best wishes.”
At least a few of them seem to be looking forward to a new project, which has been kept quiet, for now it seems anyway.
Writing in his column in The Mail, Chris Kamara said that he’s “gutted” not to be working with the trio again.
He said: “Obviously, I’m gutted, absolutely gutted. And I know they are. I’ve spoken to Thommo and Charlie and I’ve text Le Tiss… we were such a good team and it was all going well.
“Decisions were made, we don’t have any say in those. Whoever made (them) has done it and the boys accept it. I can honestly say they are the best fellas you could ever wish to meet. They are top-drawer and it’s been a great time to have worked with them over the past 15 years or so.
“We’ve already talked about meeting up and having a night out together, reminiscing about all the good and funny stuff we’ve gone through. We’ll just get together and go for a meal – I hope that happens… I know Jeff, Thommo and Charlie definitely want to make sure it happens.”
Soccer Saturday returns to our TV screens and devices this weekend and the panel will have a busy day with four live Premier League games to discuss this Saturday – Fulham vs Arsenal, Crystal Palace vs Southampton, Liverpool vs Leeds, and West Ham vs Newcastle – while there are four more games on Sunday and Monday too, all of which will be televised.
Fans reacted as Sky Sports pick their first Soccer Saturday panel pundits of the new season after the surprise axing…
Pulis? Really? “It’s weird Jeff, they keep passing the ball along the ground and using their midfield. Bloody foreigners”.
— Baz (@l3azza) September 9, 2020
Dreadful panel… makes decision to get rid of @mattletiss7 @Phil_Thompson4 et al all the more baffling. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Can’t imagine @JeffStelling is very happy. Sure he’ll be as professional as ever but wonder if some of the spark and chemistry will be missing.
— Graham Hiley (@grahamhiley) September 9, 2020
You’ve obviously not watched BT sport, it’s truly awful. They make Clinton Morrison look interesting.
— Paul Goddard (@PaulRGoddard) September 9, 2020
Cancel a subscription based on that ??????
— peter-maurice (@petermauriceuk) September 9, 2020
Wheels out more of the old school. I mean, Sherwood and Morrison. Would it have killed them to offer a role to Alex Scott and/or Michelle Owen. Both speak well and give insight. Morrison can’t string two words together!!
— Longy (@paulwarsash) September 9, 2020
Thanks for the advance warning, I have sold my tv
— David Baker (@DavidBaker70) September 9, 2020
How is Morrison on a programme where talking is important
— Neil Richardson (@nricho68) September 9, 2020
— Spion Kop (@TheKopHQ) September 9, 2020
Poor line up! Not an ounce of excitement between any of the first 4. Not for me like.
— Mark Batey (@Batey17Mark) September 10, 2020
— Mark Scorr (@Fonzy09) September 9, 2020
So they’ve retained Merson & Morrison, the two semi-literate shining examples of how you can be incredibly thick but somebody will always pay you a lot of money as long as you once kicked a ball around, and let go the brighter and more eloquent Nicholas, Thompson & Le Tissier!
— whysayanything ?????⚽️? (@WSAnything) September 9, 2020
I guess if I say that Clinton Morrison is a poor choice I’ll be called a racist…… but then quickly followed by Leroy Rosenior is a far better pundit…..I’m not.
— Pig Town Pirate (@A419pirate) September 9, 2020
Jesus this show is going to be horrendous.
— dartsfan1002? (@dartsfan1002) September 9, 2020
That is sarcastic….isn’t it?
— Pig Town Pirate (@A419pirate) September 9, 2020
I understand why Glenn Johnson is on the panel as he talks sense but Sherwood & Pullis are awful pundits. As for Morrison, his commentary this season will be done in text talk & rap ?.
— Chris Perez (@ChrisPerez75) September 9, 2020
“Hows it going in the Palace game Tim?”
“0-0 at the moment, just like to mention the time i was in charge of Spurs. We never drew 0-0. Spurs really are challenging for the league this season. Winks is better than KDB in my opinion!”
— Harry D (@_harrydavies) September 9, 2020
Pulis & sherwood ? ????? sakeee!!!
— Anton (@AntonAstley92) September 9, 2020