“I haven’t brushed my hair for about three months!”
The Premier League is ready, the players are ready, David Jones is… getting there.
The Sky Sports presenter is preparing for a return to work after a COVID-19 imposed 100-day break, but life won’t be returning to the way it was just yet.
“We’ll be doing our own makeup – things like that. You know, we might have to clip our own microphones and brush our own hair.
“I’m looking forward to seeing some lockdown haircuts come through over the next couple of weeks. I know that Gary Neville’s daughter did his hair with some buzz clippers, and that had some interesting results!
“Our Monday Night Football set will become our studio. They’ve adapted the table on a very basic, practical level, to make sure that we are the required distance apart.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been temperature checked going into a football ground before, or had to wear a mask while I’m watching one either. That will take a bit of getting used to.
“And, of course, we won’t be getting up close and personal with people. I won’t be hugging Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards. That’ll be tough on Micah because he’s a hugger. I’m not sure how he’s going to get around that. And he’s a powerful one, as well!”
Jones shared details of ways Sky could innovate new ways to cover games, with a mobile Carragher potentially able to roam throughout the stands mid-game to cover it from all angles.
He explained: “We can’t cross the advertising hoardings, but we will be in the stands, and we have the ability, as far as I’m aware, to roam within those stands.
“One of the things we might do, for example, is to send Jamie off with a microphone, just to get a different perspective. We always watch the game from the same position.
“So what happens if he starts wandering around the grounds and seeing the game from different angles? Will he be able to bring us something else?”
The restart may provide new logistical opportunities a new way of operating on a practical level, but Jones hasn’t lost any of his enthusiasm for the source material.
It doesn’t take much encouragement to coax excitement from Jones when discussing what lockdown football could look like.
“My feeling is that we will see more technical football. I wonder if it will be a little more of a level playing field, then the cream will rise to the top? We might see a greater disparity between the best teams and the ones who have been struggling.
“That’s purely guess work. I mean, some players are going to react very differently to not having a crowd behind them than others. Will we see, for example, the most skilful players trying even more, or less? If you think about Wilfried Zaha for example, who will get roared on – fans are off their seat every time he dribbles – he’s going to be the same kind of character.
“But others will have less confidence when doing that [in front of a crowd] and have the fear of making a mistake and having the crowd on their back. Without that crowd there, I wonder if we will see more skill attempted, and see more of a technical aspect to the game. I’m going off-track a little bit here. I’m just excited about it!”
Jones also spoke to us about his three top match picks for the opening week of action. Check out his Premier League games to watch this week.
Check out the Premier League fixtures on TV or visit our TV guide for what’s on.