We Are The World

World Cup1

This is how to talk football.

You’ve gotta hand it to Sky Sports. Unlike their domestic monopoly, they have no rights at all to show to show any World Cup football and yet, if you need a sensible update on what’s been happening out in Germany, there’s not much better than tuning in to one of their 6 or 7 daily World Cup Reports. Nick Collins has based himself with the England squad in Baden-Baden (so good they named it twice) and manages to talk very sensibly about the state of the team. It is something that the BBC and ITV should start to take notes on. It is at times like these when the BBC’s advert-free style should be paying dividends, but the cliche-ridden commentaries and cringe-worthy panels are almost too much to bear. Gary Lineker seems to want to be a stand up comic rather than a sports pundit and his persisent interrupting almost came to a head with Martin O’Neill yesterday afternoon…. “Theo Walcott couldn’t come on in the 2nd half because he was having his afternoon nap” [cue self-congratulatory laughter]. Ha-Bloody-Ha… the look of disdain from Martin was priceless. Over on ITV, the scene is not much better: the sporting equivalents of c-list celebs litter the studio as the amiable Gaby Logan presides. Sam Allardyce, Stuart Pearce and El Tel are watchable enough, but the rest detract rather add to the event.

World Cup2

This is not!

On the pitch, we thankfully find much more palatable viewing. The big teams are all doing well (so far) with Germany, England, Argentina and Holland all having secured victories in their opening games. 16 of the 32 teams have made their World Cup bow, but none have really stood out from the crowd. It bodes well for some unpredictability and close matches as the tournament progresses. Currently we’ve had 8 games, 18 goals, 1 red card, 30 yellow cards, and no penalties (!), who’d have thunk it.

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