Sunday, June 18, 2006

Portugal v Iran, BBC1

So how to introduce Luiz Felipe Scolari? Apparently, "he's got all the moves". As have half the coaches in the tournament, Gary. Your team is Leonardo, Dixon and Wright in what appear to be almost matching pinstripe shirts, Wright with an on the face of it unlikely tie added. Leonardo, resembling Gerard Depardieu playing the latter-day lead in The Lee Sharpe Story, is still receiving a unique approach, Gary asking him ungrammatically "how do you say in Portuguese Big Phil?" At least he found it funny, and Gary got once again to emphasise the words Big Phil where no emphasis was surely needed. Nobody gives Iran much of a chance against the team Ian Wright calls "the European Brazil".

Guy Mowbray's our man noting that the stadium roof is closed, something which doesn't seem to have had that much of an effect in the end. And a big welcome back, please, for The Official Iranian Big Framed Square Of Carpet, which this time the Portuguese mascot has to hold during the handshakes, clearly baffled by the responsibility thrust upon him. Mick McCarthy joins Guy as ever, noting "I have pals who are Portuguese and they're worried about this game". A worldly man, Mick. His gameplan would be to "catch one of the Iranian defenders out of position, do it brighter" while Guy reports on "a new English word...Decodependence". Eh? It's not yet looking great for them, Guy almost chortling "Portugal fans must have looked at the draw and thought it was Christmas" for want of much else to talk about until Luis Figo gets kicked in the face, the replay greeted with Mick exclaiming "ooh yes" rather too vigorously. "We might just hear the Portugal dressing room from here when Big Phil uses his big voice" Guy remarks, while Mick delivers a magnificent backhanded compliment when he praises Iran and then tacks "they know how to fall over" onto the end.

"Not exactly thrill a minute, is it?" Gary underplays before the first sign of the summer that the broadcasters are just about out of feature ideas as they voxpops Berliners on the divided past. Back at the game, and not a moment too soon, Mick's bemoaning the way refs "flick the card in some grand manner" while Guy runs off Iran's past: "they won 7-0 against Laos. My geography doesn't extend as far as Laos. I'm not sure I'm even pronouncing it properly". There's a tourist board with work to do. Mick now finds fault with Iran's keeper, commenting on one save "he's gone down in stages, like a roll of lino to get this", which makes me wonder about his DIY arrangements. Something had to give, and eventually "Figo's found Deco...and Deco has scored a screamer", Mowbray changing up from casual to excitable at a moment's notice. Guy then has to interrupt his own running through the radio coverage spiel to declare "here's a chance for Iran, and what a chance it is - and it's been put wide". Mick's still not impressed, reckoning "I don't see a World Cup winning side out there today", but there's definitely one going through when "Figo goes down, referee says penalty!" "Do I lose my nickname now?" Mowbray rhetorically asked, chided by Mick about previously not seeing goals in his games as illustration, before the inevitable Scolari cutaway. "He might sometimes come across as a dour character - there's a change". Guy's up for this now, announcing "now we'll see the trickery" just as Ronaldo is tackled. He doesn't even seem to notice the final whistle for a small while.

In contrast to, well, how the entire rest of the tournament has been received Lee reckons "the players seemed to be scared" but everyone agrees a Portuguese win was deserved, especially with the opening goal that "came just a few minutes after you were saying how overrated Deco is", as Gary put it to to Ian. Wright then bafflingly describes Golmohammadi as having "had a grumpy kind of day, and he's got a Captain Hook kind of face". Oh, well, then. Leonardo ascribes Scolari's passion to his being from the "south of Brazil", everyone obligingly pissing themselves at footage of him putting his hand to his head, although at least Wright wasn't allowed to go on one of his lengthy diatribes about showing passion. Gary, however, cites the lack of Porto players in his national side at one point to how he didn't like their coach, adding "imagine that, the coach of the national team and the manager of a top club side falling out. It'd never happen at home." It goes down so badly he nearly has to spell it out for us, which would at least have meant no time for a reiteration of the previous day's Rooney statement (Lee: "kept us in work for a couple of weeks, didn't it?") or the cut to to the street entertainments outside and the film of Leonardo doing kickups. "A goal to Decorate any game" is his particularly weak outro.

What we've learned: like England Portugal have the skills in abundance but can't seem to show them properly; Iran lack experience, as they say, to really make an impact; that carpet warehouse and framing service must be anticipating a rush


Blogger Ben said...

Loving the bit of carpet!

I think it was Figo that Wrighty was describing as grumpy and like Captain Hook.

"Leonardo, resembling Gerard Depardieu playing the latter-day lead in The Lee Sharpe Story" - spot on.

4:27 pm, June 18, 2006


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