(image culled from The Denim Kit)

…in that he’s somehow managed to make Eric Wynalda come off like a thoughtful commentator.   Next Sunday morning, Fox’s US terrestrial network will air a live broadcast the Chelsea v Manchester United match prior to their Super Bowl pregame coverage. Let’s hope that unlike last weekend’s transmission of Manchester United at Arsenal, unabashed Gooner Morgan is kept off far away from an analyst microphone, lest he deliver the sort of performance described below by When Saturday Comes’ Ian Plenderneith ;

Arsene Wenger’s substitution of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, he declared, was the worst substitution he had ever seen. Get that! The teenager had just set up a goal and then off he went for Andrei Arshavin, who failed to track back when Valencia went on a run that set up United’s winner. Again, Morgan table-thumpingly declared it was all Wenger’s fault, then loudly proclaimed: “I’ve had enough of this!”

Rob Stone and Wynalda looked at him, slightly worried. Would Morgan stab himself in the chest as a gesture of protest? No such luck. Rip up his season ticket live on US television? That might have been difficult, given that season tickets at the Emirates are small plastic cards, and a cynic might doubt whether Morgan actually owns one anyway. Make a run for the board? Wealthy, overbearing, clueless about football and with the requisite plummy accent, he’d be the perfect fit, but no announcement was made. Stop supporting Arsenal and change his allegiance to the New York Giants? That might have been in the Fox script, but at that point the football coverage came to a close. We are yet to find out what action Piers is preparing to take now that he’s had it up to HERE with Arsène Wenger.

Of course no one is fooling themselves that this was anything besides theatre, and that Morgan was briefed beforehand to step up and look like the passionate homer. Gloat if you win, get mad if you lose and don’t forget to find a hero or a scapegoat depending on the scenario. It is only a shame (though hardly a surprise) that the opportunity was missed to present football to a wider US public in an intelligent and more balanced fashion.