Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sweden v Trinidad & Tobago, ITV1

At least they're getting it out the way early this afternoon, with England's goal in the opening titles. Not even pretending their audience shuns BBC coverage any more, then. What is notable is Gabriel and Steve Gerrard sitting next to each other in armchairs post-match, which makes something already overflowing in unnecessary civility even more so. Rosenthal takes the day's first main chair, describing the game as "very atmospheric" and Chris Birchall ungrammatically as "one of the most unlikely players you're ever going to find at the tournament", which leads to a Robbie Earle 'investigation' that just appears to be voiceovers. Jim's final comment before a break will be hard to top this tournament for sheer headslapping idiocy: "reggae to the right of me, ABBA to the left of me, and here I am stuck in the middle with you". "Carribbean heat against Scandinavian cool" is voiced by Gareth and Clive, who says "football is to be enjoyed, and nobody in the world knows how to enjoy themselves more". Well, at least we're not going to be patronising or anything. Clive, already seeming shocked by Shaka Hislop's appearance, remembers his ITV brief and thus comments that "like Soccer Aid at times, isn't it?" Nothing much happens in the first half, all the better for ITV to get to Ned Boulting in the fan park with a completely distorted mike that nobody thinks to question. Just as Sam Allardyce answers a question Jim has had to reword three times before getting a response we're back to the game and Clive adds a portent of what's immediately to come when he states "all commentators are neutral", as apparently he's "overawed" by Trinidad & Tobago - "they're going to be everybody's second favourite team", it says here. Gareth has other, more dressing room concerns, as when the crowd start booing a slow substitution he retorts "this is the speed they usually go at when they're at home" and a few minutes later "they're working to Trinidad time". As a draw looms he tops this with "these boys like to party at the best of times", to which Clive says "there'll be a strange scent in the air". So much for the counterculture. "Word is they're going to get a house each for qualifying - I think they should get an island each, there's plenty down there" takes a lot of thinking through that we're not sure Clive can easily pull off. "They've done it!" is his response as if Trinidad & Tobago had won, as "two teams from contrasting cultures" fight out a 0-0 and as Terry Venables goes even more hoarse Robbie advises "if we've got any sense we'll get out of here quickly, there'll be a party in the car park". Good god, will it always be like this?


Blogger paul said...

Yes. Yes it will...

12:04 pm, June 11, 2006


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