by : Colin Illingworth
Gary Lineker: Hello and welcome to the new and improved Premiership Managers Brawl live from Ewood Park where, tonight, Blackburn Rovers manager Graeme Souness gets to grip with his Everton counterpart David Moyes. With me for this new look PMB is the commentator of all commentators, Mr sheepskin himself, John Motson.
John Motson: Hello.
Gary: Alongside Motty is his faithful co-commentator, the man with the best managerial record ever, Mister West Ham, Trevor Brooking.
Trevor: Evening Gary.
Gary: And in the studio with me, two of the most respected analysts in the game, and former Liverpool defenders, Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson.
Gary: Tonight’s brawl may appear to some like two angry, fiery, Scots knocking ten bells out of each other but if you look back at their careers you’ll realise that there’s been a bit of history between the pair.
Mark: There is that. Souness of course use to be the hard tackling midfield maestro with us at Liverpool and squaring up against an Evertonian will definitely spur him on to win, even though he needs no incentive.
Alan: Aye but it’s not just that. There’s an even bigger hatred between them as both men have played for opposing sides of the Old Firm, and as we all now there’s no love loss between those two.
Gary: Don’t we just but the thing is that we have never seen any kind of trouble brewing between the two.
Alan: No we haven’t but theses kind of feuds are like spots. They’ve a nasty way of festering inside before finally exploding when you least expect it, and I for one am hoping that this will be the case tonight especially for these die hard fans inside the ground, and around the world.
Mark: You have to remember that at the mur-ment both managers are dogged with the threat of relegation but I’m sure that’s because they’ve directed all of their energy into this fight tonight.
Alan: Aye, neither of them likes to lose and I’m sure that this is going to be a right mouth-watering clash.
Gary: Indeed, well, we’re just moments away from this huge face off and it’s an ideal opportunity to get the latest betting news from the only man in the know, Statto.
Statto: Evening gang. Well as you can expect the bookies have made a packet out of these contests and tonight will be no exception with a whole list of exceptionally good bets on offer. First off let’s start with the odds on a winner, Souness has been installed as slight favourite, what with home advantage and experience of playing and managing across Europe, at 2/1. No doubt Souey has picked up a few tricks on his travels but you can’t discount Moyes who is fairly priced at 1/3. However, as you must surely all be aware by now, anything can happen in Premiership Managers Brawl and the bookies will except any bet going and these are some of the best on offer. At 33/1 you’ll get good money if former Old Firm pals become involved in a pitch battle. At 50/1 you’ll get odds that Souness will grow his trademark 70’s perm back for the occasion while only those with money to burn will be tempted by this one at 100/1, Wayne Rooney and Lucas Neil to hit the ring and appeal for calm!
The studio panel laugh.
Alan: There’s more chance of me becoming a manager than Rooney and Neil saying ‘Calm down, Calm down!’
Gary: Thanks Statto for the betting news. Well we’ve got it on good authority that both fighters are ready so without further to do, let’s hand over to the boys in the gantry, John Motson and Trevor Brooking.
Motty: Thanks Gary and well this crowd is certainly pumped up for this. I’ve not heard this stadium so vocal since the famous Premiership winning campaign in 1995.
Trevor: To be honest, Motty, they haven’t had much to cheer about since then really, have they?
Motty: No but then neither have your beloved Hammers!
Trevor: Oh, we’ll have less of that, Sheepy.
Motty: We certainly will, as here comes the ring announcer with the all-important ring introductions.
Ring announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen… it’s Showtime!
The Blackburn faithful cheer ecstatically.
Ring announcer: Introducing first, fighting out of the blue corner, weighing in at a lean 12 stones, and standing 5ft 10, wearing the blue and white shirt of Blackburn Rovers, it’s the one, the only, Graeme ‘The Savage’ Souness!
Souness jogs down to the ring looking totally focused as Tina Turner’s epic ‘Simply the Best’ booms around Ewood Park.
Motty: He’s looking in great shape.