Since his dismissal as Chelsea assistant manager, Ray Wilkins has joined the Sky Sports team. Love him or hate him, he’s on your telly most weekends and he’s got a few commentary habits that you can’t help but notice. Here are a few of our favourites, translated to help you fully understand Ray the next time you’re watching the football and he just won’t stop talking:
Ray’s most common catchphrase and his number one choice for verbal exclamation. Any piece of skill, powerful shot, big tackle or sharp reaction save is likely to be met in the commentators box by the immediate cry of “My word!” It’s not difficult to imagine Ray sitting at home, watching a particularly exciting game of football on the telly, rocking back and forth in his chair and muttering “my word” repeatedly for 90 minutes. Still, I suppose it’s better than him using a phrase like “F*****g hell” and getting kicked off our screens altogether. Or is it?
This is Ray’s preferred phrase when describing a bit of football that was easy on the eye. Examples may include, “Some of City’s play today has been very pleasant”, “Van Persie’s shooting technique is very pleasant” or even, “In those shorts Frank’s arse is very pleasant”. The latter is a combination of this Wilkins-ism and his affinity with the Chelsea squad and insistence on referring to them by their first names, just in case we forgot he knows them all personally.
“Well done young fella”
Ray is a big fan of congratulating a particularly pleasant piece of football by referring to the player in question as a “young fella”. It appears as though there are no real age restrictions on being a “young fella”, as Ray is happy to attribute the nickname to just about anyone. I wouldn’t be surprised if a heroic save by the 40-year old Brad Friedel was met by Ray with a shout of “well done young fella!”
“Pull the trigger”
Not exclusively a Wilkins cliché, but one he uses in abundance nonetheless. The common definition of “pull the trigger” in a footballing circumstance is “take a shot at goal” and Ray doesn’t use it any differently. You just feel as though he might occasionally actually use the words “shoot” or “shot at goal”, as opposed to constantly urging players to “pull the trigger”.
“You’d have to say”
This is Ray’s ingenious way of convincing people his opinions are correct. In a very Derren Brown-esque way, Ray will put forward a particular opinion, preceded by the words “you’d have to say” in the hope that those who disagree with his judgement may be mind controlled into thinking otherwise. For example, “You’d have to say, Fernando has been an excellent signing for Chelsea”. Judging by public opinion on Twitter during Sunday’s game at Loftus Road, the technique isn’t really working.
“Stay on your feet”
Possibly Ray’s most famous catchphrase. In a world full of divers and cheats (Seb Larsson, Hamit Altintop and Luis Suarez to name a few), Ray won’t stand for it and can be heard constantly urging a young fella to “stay on your feet”. You’d have to say, football would be a very pleasant game to watch if players would stay on their feet; they’d probably even create more chances to pull the trigger. My word…