Edge of the Box: Chris Kamara spices up Carling Cup final

Old Spice Boy Kamara gives Carling Cup coverage the Chris of life

You know, it wasn't always easy like a Sunday morning for Lionel Richie.

Truly. Back when he was a team player as one of The Commodores, life was decidedly more down and dirty, and tunes like 'Machine Gun' and 'Brick House' was how he did his business.

Back in his playing days, when Chris Kamara was also one of a team – and he was, quite a few teams in fact – you could say the same about him.

Chris Kamara

Spice boy: Kamara

All white on the night: Chris Kamara at Wembley for the Carling Cup final

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But just like Lionel did when he went solo, Chris found a distinctly more relaxed way of going about his business when he became one of TV's most fun and insightful football front men.

Nowadays the only thing that anyone need fear from him is the all-guns-blazing shirt he's likely to assault our senses with for the Sunday morning romp through Saturday's highlights, Goals on Sunday on Sky Sports.

However, for Sunday's edition, TV's Mr 'Incredible Jeff' really did pull out all the stops to kick off a great day out at Wembley Stadium; even for those of us enjoying it from in front of the telly with Sky or the BBC's live coverage of the Carling Cup Final.

Playing away from their Isleworth base for the first time, the show opened on the turf that can now finally justify being called 'hallowed'.

Chris's ideally suited (and, indeed,
nicely suited) sidekick Ben Shephard clutched the Carling Cup, and Chris
did keepy uppies with the actual match ball in an appalling white suit
that had not been on that particular patch of north London since 1996.

And to be fair to him, you couldn't fault his touch, especially given the white leather slip-ons he was wearing at the time.

Silky skills: Kamara struts his stuff in front of Ben Shephard at Wembley

Silky skills: Kamara struts his stuff in front of Ben Shephard at Wembley

Dream team: Shephard and Kamara

As we were soon to discover in this extremely well-executed outside broadcast, this was the very ensemble worn by one of the guests for the morning, Jason McAteer, before the Manchester United v Liverpool FA Cup Final of 1996, and something 'that has never been out of the suit carrier since that day when I put it away in tears'.

And I think we can all say as one: and quite right too!

Aside from being nearly drowned out by a low-flying helicopter that was getting some tricky shots of the setting, this edition of Goals On Sunday was the usual slick mix of well-cut highlights, excellent analysis and knowledgeable guests (alongside McAteer were John Aldridge, Jay Bothroyd and Michael Chopra).

Let's get fizzy: The Liverpool players celebrate their big win at Wembley

Let's get fizzy: The Liverpool players celebrate their big win at Wembley

As a bonus we had the chance to look forward to the game with men who had both a professional and emotional investment in the day.

And the way the new stadium was looking on a gloriously sunny Sunday morning, who could wait

Well, given what was happening up the road between Arsenal and Tottenham, I'd guess quite a few of us were sticking with the 5-2 on Sky Sports as Gary Lineker welcomed the BBC audience at 3pm to thee Final show, enticing us with the notion that – with the national side's victory at Twickenham and Nathan Cleverly's title retention – the Welsh were on a hat trick.

This though was later echoed by Sky's commentator, Alan Parry, on their live coverage – at least that's what I assume he meant when he said we could be on the verge 'of a glorious threesome'.

Yes, well. Both the BBC and Sky decided the ideal man for their pre-match pre-recorded interview was Steven Gerrard, with the BBC sitting him down in front of a sepia image of Liverpool managers past for their chat.

Mersey paradise: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard lifted the Carling Cup

Mersey paradise: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard lifted the Carling Cup

However Sky must have thought that much too down to earth and instead opted for a glowing, bright, white background that was positively celestial.

Perhaps it was because they had Robbie Fowler as a studio guest

Of course in the end we were treated to a game that had no trouble emerging from the shadow of that earlier classic north London derby.

Indeed, it may end up being remembered as the game that finally helped define the new stadium as football genuinely coming home.

Certainly the weather helped with that, as well as the two sets of fans and the stage management of event.

But the arena itself, captured in some glorious aerial shots as a golden sun began to set, seemed to become a star in itself that day.

Mr BBC: Gary Lineker was steering the Carling Cup ship on terrestrial TV

Mr BBC: Gary Lineker was steering the Carling Cup ship on terrestrial TV

Equally compelling was the camera shot that tracked captain Gerrard and his team-mates up the steps and inside the stadium as they waited briefly, smiling and joking, before returning out into the light to collect their first piece of silverware in an age.

Alan Hansen had earlier sighed wistfully and said 'look at the pitch, look at the weather…I'd love to be out there', and you could see what the usually stoic old campaigner meant.

This was a great Wembley day we'd witnessed – easy!

WEDGIES

Sky Arts on Wednesday, and in First Love Alistair Campbell embarks on indulging one of his early passions – playing the bagpipes. Although the fact he kept them in a claret and blue Burnley FC bag suggests there's something else that competes for his affections…

Thursday on Sky Sports News and Stuart Pearce looks a natural in his first press conference as an England manager, explaining he picked Micah Richards because 'he makes me laugh..'

Also Thursday on Sky Sports and you can tell we're nearing the end of a long road trip as David Lloyd addresses the camera before the first Pakistan England T20 in a shirt he borrowed from a cameraman and a tie he 'hired by the hour' from Nassar Hussain…