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The Antagonist - ITV have been hammered by the Beeb

Published: 02 Jul 2010 - 06:52:39

We are approaching the sharp end of the World Cup and it's getting easier to pick the eventual winner.

This team are so far ahead of the rest that the bookies will soon stop taking bets on them.

They are a class above the opposition, their ranks packed with world class players as opposed to their dithering journeymenesque rivals.

No, I'm not talking about Brazil, Argentina, Germany or Spain.

I'm talking about the BBC who, so far, has wiped the floor with its commercial opponent in most aspects of their performance.

In somewhat unorthodox fashion, they employ four front men; Lineker who leads the line, Hansen, Dixon and Shearer, none of whom shy away from confrontation and have proved to be incisive, intelligent and direct in their approach.

In support for the champions in waiting are Lawro, Bright, McCarthy and Keown who provide an interesting variety of sullen pessimism, slightly camp breeziness, dour pragmatism and earnest honesty.

I'll let you decide which is which.

But it is the strength on the bench where The Beeb has really excelled. A good team is only as good as its subs and, in Clarence Seedorf and Jurgen Klinsman, they have delivered their coup de grace. They are both articulate, amusing, informed and, importantly, as I write, their countries still have an interest in the tournament.

By contrast, the ITV are fronted by the joker in the pack, Adrian Chiles, whose third form humour worked to good effect on The One Show but whose persona crucially lacks the authority and football pedigree of his illustrious opponents.

The ITV also dropped a bit of a 'gooley' employing the French duet of Marcel Desailly and Patrick Vieira as Chilesey's sidekicks; the former conspicuously embarrassed by his country's demise whilst the latter gives the distinct impression of certain smugness which maybe relates to his controversial omission from the dysfunctional squad.

Edgar David's dour simplistic comments further deepens the malaise the ITV have sunk into.

To be fair, our Kev (Keegan) has rescued it a bit for Chiles whilst Adebayor and his incomprehensible patter seem as baffling a selection for the BBC as Capello's decision to bring on Emile Heskey at the end of the Germany game. Similarly the pseudo intellectual pomposity of Garth Crooks does the Beeb no favours.

However, overall...no contest.

The BBC even had the edge on the post match montages and, on more than one occasion, had me Googling to find the source of the accompanying music.

To add insult to injury, the ill-conceived idea of 'James Corden's World Cup Live' finally convinced me that the ITV have completely lost the plot.

Don't get me wrong, in the right environment, James Corden is an extremely talented performer but this programme is amateurish and self indulgent (do we really want to see James Corden's mum re-enacting a Klose miss for Germany or continually listen to him waxing lyrical about his crush on David Beckham) . Its only saving grace is the quality of guests that take part, some of whom must, on reflection, have deeply regretted their participation.

It is a poor imitation of TFI Friday and very much second best to Baddiel and Skinners efforts in previous World Cups.

- - -

Changing tack, I have to have my say about the debacle that was England's non performance in South Africa.

I'm afraid I am in the 'Capello must go' camp on this one.

Apart from falling well short of his ultimate target, I am a vehement believer that our national manager should be English. This is not an opinion born out of racism or xenophobia but one that is grounded in the belief that: 1) True national pride and passion requires an intrinsic attachment to that nation; and 2)The leader of a nation's team should possess the basic ability to express himself in its native tongue.

The image of Capello, with his infant's grasp of the English language, attempting through speech to exhort his players to greater heights is laughable. Doing it through an interpreter surely further removes the manager from his players.

Maybe he should have painted his face, worn a pair of white gloves and done his team talk through the medium of mime (a la Marcel Marceau).

The 12 million quid to get rid of him shouldn't be an issue.

If everyone in England (population approx 51 million) all chipped in 25p that would cover it and we can start again.

So who would the candidates be for, paradoxically, the most desired yet historically most poisoned position in English football?

When you consider that a selection of the recent incumbents ended up being described as a turnip, a religious nutter, a randy swede and a wally you wouldn't think there would be too many takers.

Let's look at some of the candidates.

1) Roy Hodgson - Too bland, no charisma, probably too old and, since yesterday, manager of Liverpool.

2) El Tel – Dodgy dealings have blotted his copy book - too much of a risk for the FA.

3) Our 'Arry - Ditto El Tel plus we'd never get rid of Lampard if he took over (blood is thicker than water)

4) Return of the Wally - Long shot but could be a good longer term bet if his rehabilitation continues apace.

5) Becks - Eye Candy and fashion trendsetting qualities not really sufficient for this post.

6) Psycho Pearce - Motivation second to none but diplomacy may be lacking.

No, what we need is an Englishman who hasn't necessarily been a great player (witness Ferguson, Mourinho, Wenger), someone who would get good references from all his former employers, someone who doesn't go in for shooting his mouth off, someone who has experienced thrashing Germany, someone whose private life has remained private and someone who wouldn't be missed from his current employment.

It's obvious isn't it? Right under our noses all the time.

Emile Heskey of course!

I rest my case.

DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:the antagonist
Love him or loathe him you cannot ignore the Antagonist. His Friday blog tackles the big issues in our game today in an abrasive, often controversial style. He goes where others fear to tread. From wages to wags, diving to drugs - no subject is "off limits", no individual beyond reproach. Miss him at your peril!

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