Match of the Day pundit Mark Lawrenson was this morning the toast of London literary society after his ‘inspired and timely use of Christmas imagery’ to describe the generosity of a Premiership back four.
Poet Laureate Andrew Motion declared himself excited and ‘perhaps a little jealous’ at the brilliance of Mark Lawrenson’s seasonal metaphors. ‘We have been looking to our novelists and poets to take modern literature on to the next step, but it fell to an ex-footballer to find new similes and imagery to both surprise and delight.’
‘It just came into my head,’ said Lawrenson. I thought – it’s Christmas; Middlesbrough have just given away a gift of a goal, maybe there is some way I could work up the theme of giving and presents and all that.’
With Fulham already two nil up, the Middlesbrough defence failed to mark Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey, and Lawrenson paused for effect, then looked to Alan Hansen and Gary Lineker and said ‘I think the Boro defence must think it’s already Christmas if they’re giving away goals like that!!!!’
His fellow Match of the Day pundits were lost for words, while the cameramen and studio directors could be heard gasping and applauding. Alan Hansen attempted to continue with the Christmas theme, but struggled as two players squared up aggressively, ‘Not much er, Easter goodwill between those two’ he said, ‘No, hang on that’s not right…’
Despite offers from University English Departments, the London Review of Books and Literary Review, Lawrenson is already working on his punditry for Boxing Day. ‘I thought if a player was a bit too slow,’ he mused, ‘I could say he looked like he’d had a bit too much Christmas pudding!!!’ At which point everyone groaned as Gary Lineker mumbled ‘What a bloody cliché…’