Sunday, 20 March 2011

My Favourite Pundits: Rob MacLean

Being described as the Scottish Gary Lineker is not likely be a comparison that elicits rejoicing from most broadcasters North of the border, but given MacLean's role fronting SPL highlights program Sportscene it is an obvious one to make.

While MacLean has not enjoyed Lineker's illustrious footballing career the similarities do not end with their job descriptions. MacLean is far from the stereotypical dour Scotsman and is always an affable presence. Despite reporting on a league where allegations of bias and corruption are as rife as the zero's in Wayne Rooney's bank account MacLean is also refreshingly even handed. As with Lineker, MacLean seems so at ease in the presenters chair that a certain air of (obviously unintentional) smugness can creep in from time to time but it is thankfully always reined in to managable Pierce Brosnanesque levels.

Despite Sportscene's many faults as a highlights package the quality of its guests cannot be faulted, with a revolving door SPL managers taking part and even national team manager Craig Levein taking time out from hunting down passports and birth certificates to make the occasional appearance. It is with these high profile guests that MacLean demonstrates his aptitude for hosting, keeping discussion ticking over nicely without ever dominating proceedings himself.

His critics would perhaps argue that he is bland, but I would say that in an age where self promoting, obnoxious pundits are the norm a presenter of MacLean's quality deserves more plaudits than he generally recieves. ESPN sign him up!

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