One of sporting’s most iconic commentators, Barry Davies, has revealed what he believes makes good commentary ahead of the World Cup.
Davies is not happy with all of the talking that today’s commentators tend to do during football games, claiming ‘viewers can’t form their own opinions’.
The 80-year-old has also questioned why so many ex-players are flooding into studios the minute they hang up their boots, without having any real training.
Barry Davies has given his thoughts on the World Cup and claims commentators talk too much
‘Silence can be golden in the commentary box. One of the reasons I stopped doing football was because of the need for constant conversation during matches,’ Davies told 888 Sport.
‘Viewers can’t form their own opinions and everyone seems to speak at 100mph. Maybe it’s because I’m an old fogey.’
Davies, who has primarily worked with the BBC, held a long-term rivalry with John Motson, who recently retired.
He has opened up on the competition between them and their friendship – or lack of. The pair both sought after the biggest games, but Motson more often than not landed the finals.
John Motson commentates on 2018 FA Cup final, a long-term rival of Davies at BBC
‘John Motson and I were never close friends. We were friends but there was always a rivalry and I’d be lying through my teeth if I said I was satisfied with the amount of big games I covered.
‘I was lucky enough to cover other major events like Wimbledon and the Olympics, which I think helped make me a better commentator, but that perhaps counted against me with the football.
‘Motty, more often than not, got the finals, but I’m proud of the career I had.’
Davies began his commentating career with BBC Radio before moving to ITV, where he commentated on the 1966 World Cup. He moved back to the BBC for the 1970 tournament and never looked back.
Davies commentating on Wimbledon in 2002 as he moved into other sports commentary
But now he feels there are too many former pro’s involved, despite not having undertaken the years of training and patience that overs have.
‘Too many ex-players are in the media now. I’ve never been against ex-players offering their expertise.
‘I loved working with Brooking and Lawrenson, and Hoddle is also very insightful at times, but nowadays they seem to come straight from the field and into the studio– they were trained for their first career, so why not for their second?’