14 August 2015
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MOTD is about brilliant skill, not bad decisions – Ian Wright
If, in years to come, Terminators take over the world and people ask me ‘where did it all start?’ I will say it was when
on the opening day of the 2015-16 season.
That decision was ridiculous and it really was the beginning of the end for me – it is an Armageddon moment if it sets the tone for decisions for the rest of this campaign.
I know referees are always very whistle-happy at this stage of the season but, if you are disallowing goals for an overhead kick where the ball has gone before the defender’s head is anywhere near it, then where do you stop?
Jerome’s goal for Norwich against Crystal Palace was disallowed for dangerous play
From a striker’s point of view, it is very frustrating because we should have been talking about how quickly Cameron adjusted to put himself in a scoring position, and celebrating a creative and instinctive finish.
That is exactly the sort of point I will be making on Match of the Day this Saturday.
When I am on the show, I want to highlight bits of skill and showcase them so that kids want to do the same, and it is really annoying when brilliant goals like that are disallowed, because the decision then becomes the talking point instead of the skill itself.
Making my return to Match of the Day
Ian Wright will join Gary Lineker and Jermaine Jenas on MOTD at 22:20 BST on BBC One on Saturday
This weekend will be my first appearance on MOTD for seven years and I cannot wait.
The show has been an integral part of my life since I was a child. I’ve said before that it is my Graceland and it still is the Holy Grail of football shows.
When I first started out as a pundit, it was always quite nerve-wracking to appear on Match of the Day because it was such an institution, and it still is.
I have done a lot of TV work in the last few years but I know I will get some butterflies in my stomach on Saturday night when that famous music starts.
It will be the same feeling I used to get as a player, when I knew I had trained well and was ready for the game but the anticipation of playing and hoping that I would do well would still affect me beforehand.
With Match of the Day, I will have done my homework on the teams I will be analysing so again I will be fully prepared, but again I will be thinking about putting that work into practice, and live TV is always a buzz in itself.
I love Palace and Arsenal in equal amounts
Wright started his professional career with Palace in 1985 at the age of 21. Arsenal signed him from the Eagles for a then club-record fee of Â£2.5m in 1991
The other parts of what is a big footballing weekend for me will come on Sunday.
I will be presenting 606 again on BBC Radio 5 live on Sunday evening, but before that I will be at Selhurst Park to watch the two teams that I am closest to, Crystal Palace and Arsenal, play each other.
Being totally honest, especially this early in the season, it is a situation where all I want is an entertaining high-scoring draw.
But whatever happens I am not going to be sitting there next to Palace chairman Steve Parish and jumping up when Arsenal score, just like I would not do it if the Eagles score.
Ian Wright’s record for Palace and Arsenal
If I go and watch either team play in other games and they score against different opposition then of course I celebrate but, against each other, I have got to be respectful to both sets of fans because whatever I do could be misconstrued as a preference.
People already think I prefer Arsenal when I love both clubs in equal amounts simply because I got so much joy from both of them.
Obviously Arsenal have got a special place in my heart because
used to play for them with me and I won all the medals I wanted to win there. I fulfilled my dreams with the Gunners.
But in the same way I have got a special love for Palace because they gave me the opportunity to play professionally and I would never have tasted any glory without making that first step.
After the frying pan, into the fire?
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had a day to forget as his side lost to West Ham last weekend
Whoever comes out on top at Selhurst Park, I think it will be extremely close.
I am expecting a big reaction from Arsenal on Sunday,
But I don’t think they could come up against a more in-form or up for it team than Crystal Palace. It will be a massive test for the Gunners.
And the pressure is really on Arsene Wenger’s side already after what happened to them against the Hammers.
so what happened was a massive disappointment for me – a bit like being in a cartoon where you walk round the corner and a frying pan hits you in the face.
It didn’t look like they saw it coming either, and that shows the problem with their mentality – they did not look ready and it appeared they just expected things to happen, rather than making them.
Yes, they have got the players with the ability to win the title but that is not enough on its own in the Premier League and the Hammers have opened up some wounds that other teams will try to keep open.
Palace, in contrast, are buzzing right now. I am so happy for my friend and old Eagles team-mate Alan Pardew, who is proving what a good coach he is. They look set to have a very exciting season.
Pardew returned to Palace last season after leaving Newcastle
I have already backed Palace to win the FA Cup and to challenge for a European place via the Premier League, so no pressure!
Seriously, though, I know what ‘Pards’ is capable of but right now only he knows what his team can do. They have got creativity, pace, power and experience and it is frightening to think what they are capable of if they click.
The only positive I can think about this fixture from Arsenal’s point of view is that they are away from home.
This way they escape the pressure of the home crowd at Emirates Stadium, and the sighs and the tuts they get when players misplace passes or when things are not going well.
The away supporters are much more tolerant and that is what the Gunners players need at the moment while they look to put things right.
Ian Wright was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.
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