Thursday, July 13, 2006

Finals Fantasy end of tournament round-up thing - part 3

What did you make of it, then?

Before the tournament, I was more keyed up than I’d been since 1990, when I was flush with the exuberance of youth. There were moments of genius, moments of tedium (which every competition needs for the contrast) and some genuinely bizarre diversions within the coverage. Found myself getting very tense within neutral games, which is always a good sign.

Not the best ever perhaps. but certainly an excellent competition that looked brilliant in terms of the organisation. When we stage it again, lets do it like the Germans. Big tellys in the river, all that.

Best defensive player

Take your pick from the Italians, able to nullify the threat of any irresistible force placed in their way.

Best attacking player

The temptation is to say Zidane, thanks to his inventive, “just mind my face” heart-stopping buller but, as has been noted elsewhere, a single performance already won him the writer’s best player gong above several more deserving Italian types.

Otherwise I liked Carlos Tevez for showing some incredibly neat touches whilst looking like a Sunday morning council-pitch dogger who’s recently suffered retribution for pushing crack on someone else’s patch.

Biggest letdown

Being an underdog kind of guy, would have been nice to see one or two unexpected names in the quarters but the good will out, I guess.

Sepp Blatter still being unable to offer no comment on anything he is ever asked about.

Item you'd track down for the National Football Museum

Dress up 3 mannequins in Otto Pfister’s pub crooner, salmon melt and yacht club touchline get ups.

Carlos Tevez’s head from the shoulders up. Possibly in a big jar.

The soggy digestive found whilst dismantling the BBC’s Berlin studio set. Inside several thickly paned cases, of course.

Best pundit

Yup, it’s got to be Martin O’Neill. Despite the fact he goes down as many blind alleys and explores as much cringeworthy territory as David Pleat with his only-child-that-collects-stamps-and-gets-picked-on-at-school banter, I can’t wait to hear what he’ll come up with next.

Best commentator

I’m in agreement in Ben, Simon Brotherton and Steve Wilson were excellent in the supporting roles. The game Brotherton did with Gavin Peacock early on in the tournament was easily the most impressive pairing in the box.

Worst pundit

Look, a barrel with loads of fish in it. For this and the next section, the ITV crew is far too easy a target, so I shall focus on the few times the Beeb let me down.

The unintentionally funniest, but also revealingly worst punditry moment, it has to be Alan Shearer’s “last 16, it doesn’t get any better than that.” I was just thinking how he was growing into the role when he fires off a reflex cliché without thinking it through.

Also Hansen saying the third place play-off first half was great then changing his mind once O’Neill had grumpily poo-poo’ed the entire affair. The leader has become a follower.

Got a bit bored with Marcel Desailly as the tournament went on too.

Worst commentator

Like I say, I can’t warm to any of the ITV team. On the BBC, Jonathan Pearce yowls out his pre-anthems crib sheet like a wounded seal. Aside from that, I've been fairly happy.

Main lesson learned over the last month

That Willkommen zum Fussball is such a complex German phrase it needs instant translation.

It's been fun, this, hasn't it?

Too right, thanks to my FF colleagues and especially to Simon for putting it together. Writing for this thing certainly allowed me to really delve into the action and, more specifically, the broadcasting of said action, which keeps you attentive as, to be fair, my attention span struggles with televised football. Nothing beats the real thing. Do I ever wish my application for tickets had been one of the lucky ones.

So, Austria-Switzerland 2008, what are we doing? No sleep ‘til the Wankdorf.


Blogger Ben said...

Shearer's "last 16, it doesn't get any better than that" was indeed wincesome - but the overall standard of punditry on the BBC was leagues above that of ITV.

I've always quite enjoyed Pearce's commentaries, but, as you say, this tournament he seemed desperate to trot out every stat and bit of information like a swotty schoolboy eager to show off his knowledge.

And if you ever become a curator for the National Football Museum, I won't be going...

12:31 PM, July 13, 2006

Blogger skif said...

Yes, I agree about the BBC being streets ahead of ITV. I focused on the BBC anomalies as, like I say, with ITV it really is too easy.

I understand your reluctance to visit my museum, it does veer towards the grotesque.

I imagine the Pfister mannequins were your main issue.

1:02 PM, July 13, 2006

Blogger Matt said...

Can I apologise to everyone for the rather unwiedly and not terribly good title I've given this feature? Sorry, everyone.

If you market it properly, I reckon Carlos Tevez's Head In A Jar could be the Christmas gift sensation of the year. I'd certainly buy one.

1:36 PM, July 13, 2006

Blogger skif said...

and I thought I was sick.

by the way, I like the title!

1:38 PM, July 13, 2006

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