Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"It's not often easy and not often kind - did you ever have to make up your mind...?"

Obviously I'm pretty much clueless as to how this summer's selection of BBC and ITV pundits are coming across, though I gather - and am not at all surprised - that Big Mart has been a bit of a star. ("So, Martin, are the Ukrainians still playing 4-3-3?" "Well, no, that would be imposschible schinsche they're down to ten men" sounds a fair enough schample, sorry, sample so far...)

But even Motty at his most tediously chucklesome would have been an improvement on my stammerings into a Russian radio microphone after last night's France-Switzerland game, challenged in the media centre for a view on French appeals for a handball in the Swiss penalty area - not given by local-boy Russian ref Valentin Ivanov.

Suddenly, all semblance of intelligent thought flew into the ether like a Paul Robinson goal-kick, and instead I found myself mouthing the most banal of identikit, rentaquote cliches, as seen and heard on TV...

"Well, was it ball-to-hand, or hand-to-ball...? ... I've certainly seen referees give them... You'd have to think the Swiss would have felt aggrieved, though... The referee was certainly close to the incident..." And on, and on, and so unilluminatingly on.

Until my docile-looking questioner suddenly turned justly sharp, demanding: "Yes, but should it have been a penalty? What do you actually think?"

"Yyyyyyy..... Nnnnnnnn.... Yyyyyyy...... No. No, I don't think so. No."

"Thank you very much for your thoughts, sir."

Bang goes that dream career as Eastern Europe's answer to Alan Hansen, then.

Alan Partridge instead, perhaps...

4 comments:

Mike said...

I've found that it's extremely difficult to say anything original or insightful about football without lapsing into cliche.

You didn't do badly under pressure though - where would we be without the comfort blanket of footballspeak?

It's a conversational crutch for males all over the world - and you're getting paid for it!!

prolix said...

It's a game of two halves though Adrian, you'll come good.

Lyndon said...

Motty is getting past it - big discussion on Grauniad blog bout it (http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/organgrinder/2006/06/motty_shown_the_red_button.html#more). Some of its slightly harsh, but he is a self-parody these days.

Worse still is ITV's coverage which seems desperate to link everything to English football, cos obviously otherwise we'd have no idea what was going on with all these strange for'ners...

No kidding: "Join us tomorrow for Dwight Yorke's Trinidad and Tobago versus Freddie Ljunberg's Sweden"

Yeesh!

Aidan said...

Sure, you know, I'm a little disappointed in myself, you know, but there were some things there I can work on, and now I've just got to concentrate on the next game. You know...