World Cup 2014: ITV Preview Belgium v Algeria

James Dutton and Greg Johnson imagine the scenes in the ITV studios as they cover Belgium’s opening game at the 2014 World Cup against Algeria…

Adrian Chiles: Goeiendag! Hallo! Welgekomen to ITV’s coverage of the Red Devils from Belgium against the Desert Foxes of Algeria. Yes, that’s right, Belgium are in town and the golden generation is ready to take the world by storm. With me, overlooking the beauty of the Copacabana Beach are Lee Dixon, Roy Kea… sorry… Patrick Vieira and Fabio Cannavaro. Continue reading

ITV Preview Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund

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Greg Johnson and James Dutton imagine the scenes in the ITV studios as they discover Borussia Dortmund during tomorrow night’s Champions League semi final second leg against Real Madrid…

Adrian Chiles: “Vorsprung durch football! And welcome to ITV for Real Madrid versus Borussia Dortmund, in what promises to be a night to remember with one of the all-time classic match ups of the Champions League.

“After last week’s heroics, it looks like the Germans will be invading London in May, but will they be saving their Blitzkreig for Wembley? As always I’m joined by Roy Keane, Lee Dixon and Gareth Southgate, and I think it’s fair to say gang, that this wasn’t the situation we were expecting, or prepared for…” Continue reading

Are English commentators that bad?

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David Dodds explores the world of the English commentator…

Football hipster checklists have abounded over the last couple of months, and there have been more and more incarnations lately. Most of them are spot on and I imagine the writers and most readers of TFN find themselves either playfully nodding in agreement and being good sports because they see a picture of themselves painted in these checklists, or rendered incandescent because they see themselves in the lists but are reluctant admit it.

But there’s one curious omission to the lists I’ve seen. None of them mention our—which is to say the generation of hyper-informed and thoroughly post-modern omnivorous consumers of football from leagues of all shapes, sizes and stadium attendances—attitude towards commentators. When I say commentator, I mean play-by-play commentators, the people who are there to tell you what’s happening and who’s doing it. Martin Tyler, David Coleman and Ian Darke, for example. We often malign our commentators for their shoddy pronunciation, their obsession with regurgitating stats and their unbridled chauvinism during international and European games. These hipster checklists all point out rightly that we revile any pundit who isn’t Gary Neville or Pat Nevin, but make no mention of our similar attitude to play-by-play commentators.  Continue reading