TNT Sports has confirmed its broadcasting lineup for football coverage since rebranding from BT Sport in UK homes, with Laura Woods now the face of Champions League nights.
You’ve already read all about that, though. You’ve seen the lineup and so have we. What really matters is how all of the key members of their football coverage team would handle a pub crawl – the pinnacle of British culture.
Ultimately, the pub crawl – be it a Didsbury dozen, an ale trail or any other variant from across the country – is the perfect way to get to know someone inside out. How well do they travel? Do they drink? What’s their tipple? Can they handle a few scoops? Are they a nuisance? No stone is left unturned.
And with a new era for football coverage, the new team has to earn our trust as viewers. So we’ve done our best to imagine a day in the pubs with the TNT lot, and pulled together a ranking based on how they’d all handle themselves.
14. Rio Ferdinand
Don’t think this one needs much explaining. Probably show up topless, wearing a snapback or both. Obnoxiously loud, terrible opinions. Starts shadowboxing after approximately four pints.
Freshly 18 and first legal night out vibes. You’re in a pub and on a train, Rio. Inside voices.
13. Steve McManaman
Won’t shut up talking. Second loudest in the room after Rio. Insists everyone calls him ‘Macca’ yet nobody ever has or ever will.
Probably drinks Madri.
12. Darren Fletcher
Actually, we lied when we said nobody would be calling McManaman ‘Macca’, because ‘Fletch’ is on the crawl and would be the only person to be.
He’s not actually that bad on his own, but he’s insufferable when with his partner in crime above. Madri and awful football conversations galore.
Leave them to it in the corner. If they get lost between pubs, so be it.
11. Robbie Savage
Turns up in boat shoes, no socks and a blazer. Sets the tone early. At least you know what to expect from him.
Has jumped on the round when it’s your turn but will only order the annoyingly expensive craft ale. Did you know he has a stake in a local semi-pro team? You will by the end of the night.
10. Michael Owen
You think he’s alright. Asking you about bets and the horses, seems to be sound on the surface.
Then you realise all he’s done on the day is prop his phone up against empty pint glasses and watch the horse races unfold, in between conversations about HMRC.
Has also shown up in some very questionable jeans.
9. Reshmin Chowdhury
Bought a first-class ticket on the train – didn’t get the memo.
Not too keen on sinking pints, but a decent chat when you look beyond that. Exits early.
8. Joleon Lescott
Unassuming, and came across as a knobhead in the group chat while things were being organized, but turned up with cans for the train journey and is actually quite sound.
Loosens up after a few scoops, but does have a tendency to try and prank people by tweeting from their phones. Not that funny, Joleon. Drop it.
7. Owen Hargreaves
Friend of a friend. Came over from Germany to do uni here, but has a Canadian accent. Weird. Probably got loads of money, but he played university football and has good chat.
Stopped because of injuries, though, and doesn’t travel well. Bad knee. On the bud lights to avoid a gout flare-up. Good chat, though. And very keen to buy you a pint. You’ve added him on Facebook and would go for a pint with him again.
6. Paul Scholes
Comes across as a bit of a knobhead when you first meet him, but he’s alright. Just not a fan of all the hustle and bustle.
Get him sat down in a pub, though, few beers in the system and he’s good to go. Change for the pool table and constantly asking bar staff if there’s a jukebox.
Slyly very funny.
Rumour has it that Antony is the reason Paul Scholes hasn’t slept since August.pic.twitter.com/CxluFYBZp1
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) May 31, 2023
5. Rachel Brown-Finnis
Dab hand at darts. Has absolutely obliterated everyone at killer and earned a series of free drinks.
Husband is a golfer which she’s all too keen to talk about. Boring. But ups the ante after several beers and starts prank-calling Olympians.
4. Peter Crouch
Drinks everyone under the table. Pints after pints after pints. The benefits of being about 10 feet tall.
Disappears halfway through the day, though. Nobody’s got a clue. Re-emerges at the final boozer of the night on the quad vods. Has intercepted a hen do.
Fan favourite, is Crouchy. Liability, but a fan favourite.
3. Laura Woods
Pestered by just about everybody in every pub you go to. Makes it a nightmare for her. She handles it well, though.
Gives it back tenfold. Class, is Laura. Versatile with the drink choice, too. Starts on pints, moves to wines, might even graduate to shorts. Knows what she’s doing. Organised as well. Head screwed on. Nobody’s missing last train with her around.
2. Joe Cole
The Southerner on tour. Back up in the north after graduating and going back down south, but everyone loves him really.
Embraces his role as the adopted Southerner. Relishes it, even. Seriously good craic and get stuck it. Can’t hold his beer, but brilliant fun. Golden retriever energy.
Life and soul of the place. Argument diffuser, drink buyer, vibe provider.
1. Ally McCoist
Who else? There are very few people in the world who would pass up the chance to partake in a pub crawl with McCoist.
Imagine the vibes. Immaculate. Good jokes, good music, pints galore, and a day out that tuns into an exceptional night and subsequently horrid morning after.
The old boy would show you right up. Drink you under and spit you out. This is Ally’s world – we’re all just living in it.