Now some might say that after my article on Comical Peter that I’ve singled out a much loved Leeds United legend, guilty of nothing more than `telling it how it is’ in his weekly article.

Even my own dear mother was unhappy with my missive on the insights he has to offer, he remains after all a legend. A term I’ve never really been comfortable with when it comes to footballers? Did Peter Lorimer slay the Minotaur? Rid Ireland of snakes? Drive a stake through the undead heart of Count Dracula? Now that would confirm him a legend. Whilst on the other hand Ancient Greek Demi-God Perseus didn’t play for Whitby Town, or run some backstreet boozer on an industrial estate in Holbeck.

He did inhabit a world where the mighty Zeus, white bearded, and all seeing, cast thunderbolts of wrath at those who questioned his rule, so maybe some similarity exists – I digress, hugely

It struck me though that Mr Lorimer is not the only one who seems `in hock’ to a paymaster, step forward Dom Matteo.

Now first of all I want to say that I’m a huge fan of Matteo as a player and as an all round good bloke, anyone I know who’s ever met him has nothing but good things to say about him. I happen to think too that he really does `tell it how it is’ but his latest article just left me a little cheesed off.

Now Dom’s never been backward in his `ambassadorial role for sportingbet’ (one assumes he hands Ferrero Rocher round at parties for them, indeed really spoiling people) but this article takes the biscuit. Let’s do the math – to coin a phrase

Of 416 words

  • Analysis of the Leeds Forest Game – 40 words
  • Discussion on the types of bets you might have had on that game – 104
  • Comment on whether we can still get promoted (the title of the article) – 56
  • Discussion on the Cheltenham Festival – 215
  • Mentions of Sportingbet – 5

As journalism goes, this has got to rank as one of the most overtly non-journalistic, most commercial articles to ever not be described an advert. So what?

Scrolling through NewsNow in my lunch break I’d noted the Matteo article and thought I might find some crumb of hope or well considered analysis from Dom, but no, all you find is a thinly veiled advert. He might be more up front than Lorimer, but it makes for poor reading, and just like Lorimer’s article his football knowledge and opinions become less appealing still. So that leaves us now with only Brendan Ormsby to fly the flag for ex-players actually writing about football, how long before we see the following? Though

“Bob Jones of Mytholmroyd asks – Brendan you’re a Leeds Legend (Matt BB rolls his eyes) what do you think of Neil Warnock’s chances of building a title winning squad next season given current resources?

Well a blend of youth and experience is key isn’t it, the rough with the smooth if you like. That’s why I always choose Nescafe Gold Blend, as it counters the richness of dark Arabica beans, with the light youthful effervescence of a cinnamon roast in their new exciting blend mmmmmm. Oh and O’Dea he wants his head testing that lad… etc”

They say you should never meet your heroes as you’ll only be disappointed – can that be extended to making them keep their gobs shut? Opinions are all very well, but an advert posing as a piece of journalism? Not happy with that, really not happy, so unhappy I’m going to get in my Spacious Megane Grand Scenic, and drive home to spend some Miller Time.

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