Rob McCaffrey interview

Dubai’s best-known football pundit is back with a new show in time for the Premiership

Interview, Hot seat, The Knowledge

Showsports screened every English Premiership match live last year, but the channel no longer has the rights to show live matches. Pundit Rob McCaffrey’s new programmes, The All Sports Show and Goals On Monday, will instead focus on previews, news analysis, fan interaction and guest stars.

So, Rob, what else are you going to do on your show to make up for the lack of live action this season?
Derek [Whyte, ex-Scottish footballer and co-presenter] and I are going to present naked [laughs]. And we’re going to have two models dancing in the background. No, obviously we’re going to miss the live football, and we wish our friends in Abu Dhabi [Abu Dhabi Media Company] all the best. Fortunately, Showsports saw that the strength of our shows was as much about the action as the banter with the guests. So it was suggested from the top that instead of losing something that was so successful, we could do it in a different form. And Derek and I are delighted to stay in Dubai.

Where do you think are the best bars to watch football in Dubai?
Obviously, Barasti. Last year we were spoilt: we’d sit in our green room and have seven live games on seven TVs and we could keep up with all the news.

Back to the recent World Cup. Which was the best goal?
The Spanish goal in the final. I was there [in South Africa] watching it. It was a dreadful game, but it was the goal of the tournament for me. [Andrés Iniesta] is such a brilliant player. But the whole tournament was so disappointing – the standard of international footballing plummeted. Although I’m glad the best team won.

Who’s going to be in the top four in this year’s Premiership?
Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal.

What do you think of all the signings UAE club Al Ahli has made lately? We now have Fabio Cannavaro, and David O’Leary as manager...
It’s fantastic and hopefully it will signal the way for more British talent, which is arguably the best management talent in the world. I was approached in the summer by five top-class British managers wanting to work here in the UAE.

What have been your career highlights so far?

Interviewing Nelson Mandela and playing golf with Gary Player before the World Cup. On the day of the final, I went to a dinner in Johannesburg with Shaun Pollock, my all-time cricketing hero. They were the greatest days of my life.

What’s next on the agenda?
My family are so happy in Dubai, so I want to stay as long as I can. I’ll do anything – I’d paint and decorate, I don’t care. Maybe I’ll work in Barasti! I hope somebody thinks that I’m not too bad as a TV presenter and gives me more jobs!
The All Sports Show screens on Fridays at 6pm; Goals On Monday screens on Mondays at 9.30pm, both on Showsports 2

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