It's Not Snazzy, but We'll Take Darragh over Gary Any Day

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Byline: by MIKEY STAFFORD

SO MATCH of the Day is 'stale, cliched and smug'? In other news, the sky is still blue and the woods are still subjected to bears' bowel movements. Gary Lineker and Co have been phoning in the smarm for the past couple of years but at least RTE provide Irish fans with an alternative. The name of the national broadcaster's Premier League highlights show has changed more often than Manchester United's away strip (it is currently called Premier Soccer Saturday) but it is irrefutable that it has taken its template from the BBC's flagship football show. Until recently the RTE offering's greatest selling point was its early airing, with MOTD going out after 10pm.

But the addition of Magners League coverage has bumped PPS back, meaning it now goes toe to toe with the supposed doyen of football programming. So, how does PSS measure up? Budgetwise, RTE simply cannot compete with the might of the BBC and this manifests itself in the title sequence, the set and the technological bells and whistles afforded to the pundits. In comparison, the presentation of PPS looks drab. Irish viewers are used to naff television sets - we've grown up with them - but what we won't abide is bland presentation. Give us excellent (Pat Kenny on Frontline) or give us eyebleedingly bad (Brendan O'Connor in anything) - just don't give us mediocrity.

Luckily for football fans, in Darragh Maloney RTE have a gem. In fact, so competent is multidisciplined Maloney that RTE seem a little unsure what to do with a man who is comfortable across myriad sports. …