Football Focus fun with Dixon, James and Neville
I really enjoyed last Saturday's Football Focus. Lee Dixon was at his insightful best, while Phil Neville proved he is a pundit for the future and David James delivered that unpredictability you need from live television.
As soon as the show finished, Neville turned to James and laughed, "I think you just ruined any chance of a TV career". We had a few tweets and emails saying the Bristol City goalkeeper was hard work and a bit rude but that is far from the truth.
He does have a remarkably dry sense of humour that probably doesn't work as well in quick-fire TV as it does in normal conversation. If you watch the longer-form Focus Forums on the website, you'll see what I mean.
He and Neville started early, chipping away at each other from the minute they entered the building. A little bit of that spilled over into the show. Personally, I welcome it. Live TV becomes a little dull if you know what's coming next and good guests add an extra dimension to things.
It's great to have the dependable quality of Mark Lawrenson and Lee Dixon but, throughout the season, we will try to introduce some new faces and opinions. If you have any suggestions, let me know and I will throw the names into our weekly meetings.
At some stage, we will hopefully have John Hartson as a guest too. When he came on Focus last season, he was very open and honest about his fight against cancer. That is why it's a real honour to play in his England v Wales charity match at Pride Park tomorrow.
When Robbie Savage first suggested it, I thought it would be a rather low-key affair. As the weeks have passed, its significance has grown and I've had a few butterflies after reading the list of my England team-mates.
The squad will be managed by Harry Redknapp, who is perhaps rehearsing for the proper job. He will be barking instructions at Paul Merson, Stan Collymore, Dion Dublin, Ian Wright, Steve McManaman, Andrew Cole and Dave Beasant. In addition to that quality you will also be able to see the likes of Ricky Hatton, Darren Campbell, Idris Elba, a fella from The Inbetweeners, Richard Ashcroft, Ricky Whittle, Angus Deayton and me.
Hartson will be in the other dugout and has called on the powers of Savage, Dean Saunders, Gary Speed, Neville Southall, Kevin Ratcliffe, Mark Pembridge, Joe Calzaghe, Nathan Cleverly, Iwan Thomas and Gethin Jones.
Derby County's ground Pride Park will host our charity football fundraiser on Thursday 8 October. Photo: Getty
I've been having a recurring dream that involves me having a fight with Savage midway through the second half but hopefully it won't come to that! He has promised to decapitate me if I try anything stupid but, despite the warning, nutmegging Robbie would rank as a career highlight.
The last time I played in a charity game, it was at Wembley. I set up a couple of goals but also managed to injure one of my own team-mates in a slightly misguided goal celebration. I went for a double high five with Danny from McFly but looked away at the crucial moment and rammed my thumb in his eye! He was substituted immediately, so I shall warn all team-mates to avoid anything other than a firm handshake.
Proceeds from the match will help raise awareness of testicular cancer. Hartson ignored a lump for four years - a delay that led to operations on his lungs and brain and 60 sessions of chemotherapy.
You can still buy tickets if you'd like to help on 0871 472 1884 (option one) or at www.wearederby.com