Given his chequered commentary career, you have to wonder how Ron Atkinson became a successful football manager and conveyed his messages to his players.
From his lollipops to the two Ms (movement and positioning), Big Ron spent many years of the European Championship frankly ruining ITV’s coverage of the tournament with his inane rambling. This site does a better job of summarising than I do.
But Atkinson really excelled himself in Euro 88 and seem to single out Marco Van Basten for his vitriol. Describing the Dutch striker as having ‘fallen down with exhaustion’ as he won a penalty against West Germany in the semi-finals, Atkinson went one better in the Final.
After witnessing perhaps the greatest goal ever scored, Atkinson’s could only offer ‘it’s as we’ve said all along, the Russians can’t defend cross balls’ as a summary. Because Lord knows, such luminaries as Big Ron’s former charges like Kevin Pressman and Carlton Palmer would have gobbled up a moment of absolute genius for breakfast.