As a pundit Mark Lawrenson has always been known for his synical and often satirical view on football. During the recent Olympic football tournament he criticised refereeing in European competitions when he uttered the classic one liner “in the Champions League you sometimes get booked just for getting off the bus.”
Yet after a scathing criticism of Roberto Mancini this week, many would argue that Lawro may have over stepped the line.
In many ways Lawro has a point. Maicon was absent for much of the game at right back, whilst Nastasic looked out of his depth in his City debut against the might of Real Madrid. However is Lawrenson, who has no creditable managerial record himself fit to criticise a manager’s tactical decisions?
In many ways you’d argue that he isn’t, due to the fact that he didn’t take up a career in management following retirement.
However Lawro isn’t and will never be alone in the respect that he, as an ex-footballer, is paid to air his views and nothing else.
Football punditary, as well as the whole presentation of the live spectacle has slowly declined in recent times. Sky Sports, with it’s vast television revue is more likely to talk up a bad game compared to Alan Green on BBC Radio 5, yet each broadcaster, like each fan is entitled to their own opinion and bias.
Whilst Lawrenson may have been overly critical of Mancini’s tactical nouse during the Real Madrid game there is nothing to say he isn’t doing his job properly. Particularly when many fans who saw the game would be in agreement with the ex-Liverpool defender.
In many ways Lawro’s increased frankness and sarcasm over the last few years has been a breath of fresh air in the midst of the malaise that football punditry has descended into. A quick quip from Lawrenson can often brighten up the dullest of games and whilst we can forgive his misdimeanours we shouldn’t allow the wit he brings to the gantry to leave the televised game.