Cheeky monkey Pat goes ‘mardy bum’ on Five Live

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IT’S not really fair to pick at the things radio people say on air.

It’s all in the moment and they have to keep talking no matter what, so you know they’re going to have to come out with stuff that makes them cringe after.

But - and you knew it was coming - somebody needs to have a word with Pat Nevin.

For years he and Graeme Le Saux were billed as the only two intelligent footballers and wheeled out when more considered and erudite views were required on BBC Radio 5.

Nevin, all Caledonian charm and nasal contrariness, is indeed a smart cookie and has some interesting and non-stereotypical takes on the football world.

But he ought to have a listen to himself now and again.

The other day on Radio Five he was jokingly pulled up by his co-commentator, John Murray, for missing an Arctic Monkeys song lyric reference that had gently been lobbed his way by commentator Will Perry in a previous broadcast.

“Arctic Monkeys? No, a wee bit too populist for me,”

Get you, eh?

Any man who rates The Fall among his favourite bands has my eternal respect but you have to hope he was joking?

Surely no-one would play up to their image quite so self-conciously and we have to believe it was said in jest.

As one of, supposedly, only two ‘intelligent’ footballers in the history of the game - plus Clark Carlisle of Countdown fame, of course - he’d surely be too smart to do that?

Not that the Arctics (for I believe that is how they are addressed) will care a great deal what he thinks of their lyrics.

And we thought footballers were overpaid.

Golfer Rory McIlroy’s wages just went stratospheric.The genius kid from Northern Ireland joins the world’s top ten sporting earners with his latest Nike deal that dwarfs even Premier League wages.

Ryder Cup winner Rory will earn a thumping $100-million-plus from sponsorship in the next five years.

But he’s still way behind the big league.

Look at these top five annual earners and weep.

Floyd Mayweather, boxing (£53m)

Manny Pacquaio, boxing (£39m)

Tiger Woods, golf (£37m)

LeBron James, basketball (£32.8m)

Roger Federer (£32.5m)

Referees can never get it right.

When they let things go they’re sloppy, when they pull players up all the time they’re too fussy.

There do seem to be signs however that the wrestling match that is every goalmouth as players jostle maniacally for position before a corner or free kick might be about to get the FA treatment.

At least three Premier League officials - including Howard Webb at Old Trafford - made a point of letting players, crowd and cameras know through word and gesture that they were issuing a warning about pulling and holding in the box.

We’re about to see a rash of high-profile penalties and sendings-off for such offences in the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for it during Spurs v Manchester United on Sunday.

For anyone interested ... the lad mentioned last week who had his ankle snapped in the Sunday morning game is still in hospital. By Friday the swelling around his injury still hadn’t gone down enough for the surgeons to operate.