Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Portugal v Holland, ITV

Don't know if it's showing or not, but circumstances mean I'm running behind on these. Well, it's not as if it's my own blog or anything. So, let's cut corners and do this remarkable game in unsatisfactory bullet point form:

- England to begin with, obviously. Owen Hargreaves interviewed next to the press room window. Gabby promises "a little bit more on England later, but England are through", and indeed straight after a short package of "two of Europe's most beautiful teams" we do more on England, namely a close-up - close-up! With warning, but still - of Beckham vomiting, then a question to Terry on how England should play in the quarter finals.

- "It wouldn't be the same if the Dutch didn't have problems!" laughs Ruud. 1994, anyone? He's just given enough time to say he thinks it'll be a win for "Holland, but it's going to be a tight gam..." before being cut off mid-flow by Gabby so she can hand to Clive and David.

- "Who is going to spend the next six nights losing sleep about England? No, I know. Who's going to spend the next six days worrying about England, then." David is so surprised by the question "who would you prefer to play?" - essentially "who's the worst team in this game?" - that he forgets to greet the viewers. "I don't honestly think it matters a great deal" Clive sportingly sums up.

- 4-3-3 has apparently been "written in Dutch stone for years".

- "The referee is being a bit card happy for me in these early stages" David presciently claims.

- "Who's he trying to kid?...and there's a yellow card being shown, I think, to Maniche!" Yes, Clive, it's in a great big closeup.

- "Pauleta, trying to set up Maniiiiiche...yes!" "Hopefully it's got the makings of a classic now" he sums up.

- Clive's brought his notes with him, and "I've got a lot of guff here that I won't bore you with" on the new ball. His main concern is Ronaldo's injury, concernedly remarking "I don't remember seeing that strapping going on" as he goes down again and asking "how quickly will that heal?"

- "He's the poor man's Makelele. I mean no disrespect for that, Makelele was magnificent." Was?

- Tyldesley finishes the first half wondering about sin bins, while Gabby sums up the culture of both sides as "two sets of fans who know about partying".

- Terry reckons the first Costinha booking is "like coming out of Swan Lake or something here". Gabby's amended her line of questioning now: "Which of those teams could England beat more easily?"

- "11 against 10 is rarely a spectacle"? It's nearly not that at all - "ooh, Luis Figo has thrown his head there at Mark Van Bommel" Clive states "I would be very surprised to see Luis Figo" in the next game if there is one, as it's "not in itself a hugely damaging action but not an action we want to see on the field" But... "It's a yellow card for Figo and if the referee's seen it..." even though the footage just shown disproves that.

- "Oh, wait a minute..." and ten against ten as we cut to lots of holding on the touchline, Pleat inevitably seeing "the ugly side of the beautiful game".

- "It's not Craig Bellamy's brother, it's Johnny Heitinga".

- "Usually a bit noisier and more optimistic than that, the Dutch fans" - how can you gauge optimism from sound?

- Carvalho "has loose moments in him", apparently, and there's a very loose one now as he's grounded. "It wasn't a head injury, by the looks of it. No, it definitely wasn't a head injury. He'll live."

- "I'm not one to see players sent off unnecessarily..." "It's not Sneijer, is it? Is it?" "Hope you're keeping score here" David hopes. I'm sure Pleat refers to the ref's position as 'invidious' at this stage, but he's certainly "made a rod for his own back".

- "It's so vital now that Portugal keep calm" Clive hopes, seconds before Ricardo is booked and less than a minute before Nuno Valente goes likewise.

- "Cocu has now thrown Deco to the ground, and Cocu will be red carded... it's Deco!" Clive's entered a new phase of astonishment now, especially as Cocu was clearly not in shot. "It's my job to inform you, and I'm making more questions...I'm not sure what is occurring here". Pleat dubs it "outrageous" after Tyldesley has identified the second yellow as being for timewasting.

- Pleat audibly giggles while claiming of Kuyt "thing was, it was a terrible miss".

- Another Clive obsession, and a telling one - "a huge snub for Van Nistelrooy, as Holland are going to bring on a centre forward who's not him." Meanwhile Tiago's substitution is annulled, at which everyone seems to lose grip while Pleat elects to tell us where the fifth official is from. Said centre forward is the dream comedy name of the tournament, as Pleat spots: "Hope Vennegoor of Hesselink doesn't get booked, that's take a couple of minutes out of the game."

- "Van Bronckhorst is off! It's going to be a fourth dismissal!", relayed by Clive as if he's been personally let down. He goes on to listlessly list the records now broken before resignedly stating "who cares? it's been ridiculous". A superb cutaway has him almost in awe: "look at that! The two Barcelona team-mates, both sent off, both blaming the referee." How does he know? He does know "the game's been allowed to get out of hand". David reckons of the ref "I think he wants this over now" as Clive reports on a keeper push that we never see.

- 1-0 is the final score, and "it's Phil Scolari again!" This appears to have already been elected the main selling point of Saturday's game.

- "Drama like I don't think any of us have ever seen" is Gabby's verdict. Tel is more circumspect, labelling it "a catastrophe". You can tell Ruud is trying to be reasonable but failing, resorting to pausing the discussion for "but...but...who's having the laugh here?" before putting his head next to that of the actually laughing Tel.

- I've never seen Gabby like this before. She's actually raging about the Figo headbutt, the yellow card award meaning "for England it's bad". Ruud interjects "so you want Figo off, Deco off..." Compassionate him then goes on to piss himself at Ronaldo crying.

- "Beware, Big Phil, hell hath no fury like a country scorned" is the illogical sign off before a montage to, obviously, Loco In Acapulco.


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