The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

RSS feeds: v0.91; v1.0 (RDF); v2.0; Atom.

Previous entry. Next entry.

11:59am on Sunday, 24th June, 2018:

No Comment


The commentary on ITV for the World Cup is dreadful.

I watched the Germany/Sweden game yesterday. The commentary in the first half an hour was basically "Germany need to score to stay in the competition". After Sweden scored, it became "if it stays like this, Germany are out of the World Cup". When Germany equalised at the start of the second half, we got relentless different ways of saying "Germany need a goal", which then morphed into "Germany will have to beat South Korea and hope Sweden lose to Mexico" then "Germany have no way back after this". We got occasional banter between the commentator (Sam Matterface) and the co-commentator (Lee Dixon), and bizarre remarks such as comparing the height of one of the Swedish players with that of a light entertainment TV presenter of the 1990s, Matthew Kelly, or the impressiveness of a substitute's beard. It was mainly about stating and restating the drama if the result stayed how it was, though (and the implicit assumption was always that it would).

There was little actual commentary. Great strings of passes were made without any mention of the names of the players involved. Instead, we were asked to imagine what the newspaper headlines in Germany will be saying after the game. We were asked what this result means for the manager. We were asked what the problems were in the German camp that led to this. We weren't asked anything about Sweden, it was all Germany, Germany, Germany. Swedish players were sometimes named with reference to the less-than-salubrious teams in the UK they play or used to play for ("the former Wigan man", that kind of thing). On the whole, though, it was about Germany (often referred to as "the Germans" — you don't even get that with "the Argentinians").

The punditry was bad, too. Not so much the half-time analysis, which would have been better had it not been squashed between extended advert breaks, but the in-match punditry from the co-commentator was woeful. Why, when one of the German central defenders was sent off, did Sweden not leave a man upfield to keep the Germans from pressing forward? Why, in the dying seconds when the Germans had the free kick that led to the goal, did Sweden not have a man on the far post? I myself could see the danger from sitting in my armchair: why didn't the former professional footballer whose entire job it is to make pertinent tactical observations not mention it? What's the point of having a commentator who may just about recognise that a free kick is dangerous (because that word can be applied to any free kick taken in that location), but not say why it's especially dangerous right now because Sweden are making an error in their defensive positioning?


Fortunately, the commentary for this afternoon's match is on the BBC. I'll be able to watch England's plucky attempt to overcome the might of Panama without the suspicion that I could get better match analysis in the pub up the road.

Latest entries.

Archived entries.

About this blog.

Copyright © 2018 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).