World Cup coverage
There are few things that can get such a wholehearted endorsement as the World Cup. It doesn’t matter how much those scumbags at Fifa mess with the rules, how many stale nil-nils Ecuador and the Dominican Republic serve up, how many referees whore themselves out to Fifa directives, the spectacle of the finest exponents of the finest game on the planet doing battle for six kilos of golden trophy is never anything other than a joy, a miracle and a triumph of the human spirit.
"You’re not going to improve the experience much and you’d have to colossally fuck it up to significantly diminish it."
So the World Cup coverage is in many ways incidental. You’re not going to improve the experience much and you’d have to colossally fuck it up to significantly diminish it. What is interesting is how the rival networks square up against each other with their carefully hand-picked line-ups of presenters and pundits. This battle for supremacy is as keenly fought as any on the pitch although they don’t go head-to-head for any of the group games so, for the time being at least, everyone’s tuning in to the game regardless.
"I’m not really clear what beauty contest Gaggy won – unless it was one where having a crooked nose, fat ankles and no neck is considered a plus."
ITV are retaining the services of Gabby "Gaggy" Logan – the former beauty queen and daughter of Terry Yorath – carrot nosed Welsh hatchet-man of the Seventies. I’m not really clear what beauty contest Gaggy won – unless it was one where having a crooked nose, fat ankles and no neck is considered a plus.
Having lost out to Steve Rider as anchor for England’s big World Cup games seems to have unsettled the delicate balance of Gaggy’s mind and she seems intent upon applying more and more eyeliner, perhaps in an attempt to usurp panda eyed, honey cunted goddess Sarah Lou from Coronation Street as the blankly staring vixen of ITV. Fat chance of that. Gaggy needs to shut the fuck up and realise she’s had an incredibly easy ride in TV. And ease up on the eye pencil, fatty – you’re starting to look like Kurt Cobain.
Like abortion and lying to your spouse, punditry is a necessary evil in the World Cup. Football, above all sports, demands instant reaction, be it purring over silky skills or slamming the ropey defence – people want to know what the man on the telly thinks (with the benefit of slo-mo replay of course).
"The BBC feature Alan Hansen (excellent), Gordon Strachan (knowledgeable and witty) and Ian Wright (gurning cabbage)."
The BBC feature Alan Hansen (excellent), Gordon Strachan (knowledgeable and witty) and Ian Wright (gurning cabbage). Wrighty fills the role of bloke next to you in the pub – a role I thought was already filled by the bloke next to me in the pub. His dislike of Sven-Göran Eriksson is palpable and you can have some sympathy there. The tactically dubious shagger prefers a more studied safety-first approach to the blood-and-guts up-and-at-’em approach that has characterised English football over the years. England are going out in the quarters whichever way they play because they can’t keep the ball for chewy toffee so the pundits want some box-to-box action as they watch England exit.
"Marcel Desailly is employed by the Beeb despite speaking not one clear word of English, understanding football at all or remembering ever having played the game."
Apparently in some kind of reparation for slavery and racist abuse from commentators, Marcel Desailly is employed by the Beeb despite speaking not one clear word of English, understanding football at all or remembering ever having played the game. Marcel’s people are holding out for 40 acres and a mule but they may be forced to settle for a further set of half-time Comic Relief style shorts where Marcel shows all the good work he’s doing in That Africa. Truly, we should all wear a cereal box on our heads in silent tribute to the square headed colossus of Marseille and AC Milan.
You felt bad for Desailly having to explain the abysmal French debut where the former World and European champions performed a 90 minute mime whose themes were insouciance, ennui and collaboration with the Nazis. At the time of writing, the French are simply an embarrassment to football – turning up for the most important sporting event on the planet like it’s some soiree they decided to swing by to at the last minute. They also have the worst supporters in the solar system – attendances of under 10,000 are not uncommon in their top division and they are uniformally colourless, chain-smoking ne’er-do-wells. The one-song wonders should probably stick to race riots as it seems to be the one thing they do consistently well.
"Sven-Goran Eriksson will pass custody of his charges over to clueless fist faced mook Steve McLaren."
None of this matters. The World Cup will always be fabulous. And despite what Mars would have you Believe, on July 9th the World Cup will be lifted aloft by the captain of a country not called England. Sven-Göran Eriksson will pass custody of his charges over to clueless fist faced mook Steve McLaren who will spend the next four years pissing the legacy of the finest array of English talent in 40 years up a wall.
And you wouldn’t have it any other way.
The best thing about it: Ar-gen-tina! And Brazil, I suppose. .
The worst thing about it: Stupid bloody French.
The verdict on World Cup coverage: The world’s in motion
Marks out of 10: 8.5