Ian Wright appeared to hit back at Des Lynam following criticism of Laura Woods, urging his friend and colleague to refer to him as ‘Wrighty’.
Woods, who is fronting ITV’s World Cup coverage, was slammed by Lynam in his column for the Daily Telegraph, bizarrely taking offence over her friendly rapport with the Arsenal legend.
The former Sky Sports presenter and Wight have worked extensively together, particularly during coverage of England’s Lionesses, with 80-year-old Lynam left ‘wincing’ by Woods daring to refer to the Arsenal legend by his popular nickname.
‘She has done quite a lot of presentation work on both radio and television and comes over as both confident and capable,’ Lynam wrote.
‘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.’
Wright and Woods were back in the studio for coverage of France vs Denmark on Saturday evening, alongside Graeme Souness and Hal Robson-Kanu.
Discussing French striker Olivier Giroud, Woods turned to ‘Ian’ for his views, with Wright responding: ‘Lozza, we’ve been mates long enough, you don’t have to call me ‘Ian’, you can call me Wrighty’.
Lynam was branded ‘Dinosaur Des’ after receiving a fierce backlash following his comments with Woods herself clapping back at the retired presenter on Twitter, suggesting that her role was rather insignificant compared to the bigger discussions around the World Cup taking place in Qatar.
Responding to the article, she tweeted: ‘Jeez. Of all the things covered this is what made Des wince?’
Woods received plenty of support 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.’
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