‘It made me wince’ – Des Lynam takes bizarre pop at Laura Woods’ World Cup presenting

    Des Lynam takes bizarre pop at Laura Woods' World Cup presenting
    The veteran broadcaster felt Woods was ‘overfamiliar’ with Ian Wright (Pictures: Getty)

    Des Lynam has taken a strange swipe at ITV World Cup host Laura Woods’ presenting style and claims her ‘over-familiarity’ with pundit Ian Wright ‘made him wince’.

    Former Sky Sports presenter Woods – who has fronted ITV’s NFL shows since the summer and has been the face of the channel’s women’s football coverage for even longer – made her World Cup bow in Qatar during Monday’s coverage of the Netherlands’ 2-0 win over Senegal.

    She was joined in the studio by former Sky colleague Gary Neville, Dutch legend Nigel de Jong and fellow Arsenal fan Wright – who she has worked extensively with particularly while covering England’s Lionesses.

    Yet veteran broadcaster Lynam bizarrely took umbrage with Woods’ rapport with ‘Wrighty’ and says it made him ‘uncomfortable’, with the 80-year-old’s comments slammed on social media.

    Writing in his column for The Telegraph, Lynam said: ‘This was the first live match for ITV and was presented by the ever–smiling Laura Woods.

    ‘She has done quite a lot of presentation work on both radio and television and comes over as both confident and capable.

    Des Lynam takes bizarre pop at Laura Woods' World Cup presenting
    Woods kicked off ITV’s World Cup coverage on Monday afternoon (Picture: ITV)

    ‘She called Ian Wright ‘Wrighty’ which sounds comfortable coming from the likes of Gary Lineker but it made me slightly wince.

    ‘I may be wrong and perhaps they are close friends but the over-familiarity made me a touch uncomfortable.

    ‘The other pundits were Gary Neville and the former Dutch international Nigel de Jong. Laura refrained from calling them Gaz or Nige.’

    Lynam’s strange comment was jumped upon on social media, with one person writing: ‘What a strange thing to take away from that! The fact Laura Woods and Ian Wright work together a lot on ITV women’s football coverage probably suggests they are good friends.

    ‘Perhaps some research for Mr Lynam before doing a piece really not fit for The Telegraph! Pathetic.’

    Des Lynam takes bizarre pop at Laura Woods' World Cup presenting
    Woods is quickly becoming a household name (Picture: Instagram)

    Lynam was also branded ‘Dinosaur Des’, while another viewer tweeted: ‘Someone tell old man Lynam that Laura Woods is good mates with Ian Wright!’

    The former Match of the Day presenter wasn’t entirely negative in his analysis, adding: ‘Once upon a time there were only a few presenters of World Cup football – and all of them were male. It’s a growing trade nowadays and many of the young women in the business are excellent. We will be seeing and hearing a good deal more from them over the next few weeks.’

    Reacting to making her World Cup bow, Woods wrote on Instagram: ‘My first World Cup match as a presenter tonight and couldn’t have asked for better company. Thanks to the ITV football family for having faith in me.’

    MORE : Qatar announce dubious World Cup attendance figures despite thousands of empty seats

    MORE : Former Wales women’s captain Laura McAllister forced to remove rainbow hat to watch match in Qatar World Cup stadium

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