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World Cup diary: I can’t take much more of the BBC’s coverage

15 June 2014

10:20 PM

15 June 2014

10:20 PM

It takes quite a lot for me to feel even mildly sympathetic towards the French, but they had my support against the semi-reformed death squad of Honduras. One should not put too much store by the character of a country’s football team – but watching the way in which the Central Americans set about France, much as they had previously set about England, it did not wholly surprise one that the benighted mosquito-ravaged country has the highest murder rate in the world. Yes, including Iraq. Its murder rate is not far off double the next contenders (all of whom come from the Caribbean, natch).

I’m writing this before Argentina’s game against Bosnia and Herzegovina; I don’t think I could bear to contemplate the Argies and the French winning on the same day. It’s meant to be bloody Father’s Day, after all. We now have to suffer an hour of fawning over the exquisitely talented half-wit, Lionel Messi.

Just to say, though – where is Alan Hansen? Where is Mark Lawrenson? Can we suffer Robbie Savage’s banalities, Thierry Henry’s comic impersonation of a wry and laconic Frenchman and Phil Neville’s mogadon monotone drawl for much longer? BBC, you chose bad this time around. Very bad.

RodBook2Rod Liddle’s new book Selfish Whining Monkeys is available from the Spectator Bookshop for just £12.99. Click here to buy now.

Show comments
  • Radford_NG

    Just press the Red Button and switch to the Radio 5 commentary on the digital TV platform.

  • Gabba, Gabba.

    Who cares Rod Liddle you limp wristed middle class clown and Xenophobe; If you need the simplistic game of football explained to you by the the two vicars pot plants in Hanson and Lawrenson you shouldn’t be commenting on commentary.
    England are Guaranteed not to progress we all know stylistically and skillfully England can not compete they still can not play one touch Football and retain the ball for more than a few panicked moments unlike Italy who never got out of second gear, they didn’t have to against England who had to go up the gears just to get out of a group game which they still lost.
    Complain about the state of English football not the Commentator whom relayed the information correctly and succinctly unlike the current batch of commentators that currently distort the news on behalf the UKPLC & the Foreign Office.The commentary would not have made a woeful England side who looked like boys playing men play any better,(this is the same BBC whom knew who J.Savile was and still employed him as children’s entertainer what do you expect). Football has soured in this country as its a cash cow for corporations to exploit for short term gains giving long term headaches. Football today in the UK feels as cold, insipid, soulless and uninspiring as a waltz through a Call Centre.

  • MikeF

    I always liked Lawrie McMenemy – author of that all time great Colemanball: “Most of these lads could never even have dreamed that one day they would be here at Wembley playing in a Cup Final, but here they are now fulfilling those dreams.”

  • StephanieJCW
  • edlancey

    No doubt you’ll be accused by waycism by the (inevitably) million-strong Honduran-British community.

  • global city

    I’m supporting Iran tonight, as much as anything just to be contrary. Common consensus at the BBC seems to be that the whole nation is behind ‘an African country’…. why?

    Does this make me waycist?

    Does it prove that those who fetishise these issues are the most racist of all?

  • disqus_JXTaH3N9kU

    The Hondurans certainly were scary. A game against Millwall circa 1972 or so would have been fun. Imagine a 50/50 tackle between Harry Cripps and “The nightmare”, the entirely accurately nicknamed Honduras number 5.

  • foto2021

    Alan Hansen is not there because he has retired.

  • FrankieThompson

    What we are witnessing is the radiation from that very unusual thing. A good English performance in the World Cup producing nothing whatsoever. An heroic failure. Unlucky. Bounce of the ball. Good, but heck, just not good enough. Not humiliated just beaten by a better team.

    Being Scottish, I’m used to it.

  • Wessex Man

    I’m a season ticket holder at one of the lower league sides, have supported them from when they a big league side decades ago, who stopped watching Match of the Day years ago, the hystrical commentators and dour unhappy pundits are now boring beyond belief.

    Never bothered to watch the England game, have only watched Spain v Netherlands so far. I understand that there are more BBC staff out there than any other nation’s presence, all having a jolly on fee payers back. Sick sorry and tired of make believe fans making so much noise, using the World Cup for a p*** up every night.

    These ‘England’ fans woud be unable to find the biggest Clubs stadiums if you asked them and will be in the same sorry state when the Rugby Cup comes around.

    hopefully they’ll all gow up when England are knocked out and there won’t be so much sick to dodge on the paths around here.

  • DougS

    I think that you’ve pretty well summed it up there Rod.

    Looking forward to your next World Cup post – if you can still take it!

  • Kitty MLB

    Oh I forgot before returning to my dusty Tomes,( not about football, the ancient Greeks never played football)
    May we have a daily Wimbledon Diary? ask Isobel or Camilla.

  • Fraser Bailey

    The Honduran coach looked like he’d fathered most of the team himself.

    With his sister.

  • Kitty MLB

    Oh come on Roddie, I am sure you prefer watching the preening BBC and all
    those French little boys kicking their ball then actually burning the midnight oil.
    At least whilst doing that it keeps them out of trouble.
    I remember a rather annoyingly French chap in Toulouse years ago..
    fortunate for them they are better at football then trying to be interesting.

  • John Lea

    I understand their using ex-players and managers, who very often can provide an insight into what it’s like to play in ‘big games’ and a world cup etc, but personally I would rather see more good quality football journalists acting as pundits. They’re invariably brighter and more direct in making their points. Still, could be worse, Rod, Ian Wright might be on the panel.

    • Fraser Bailey

      Good point. At least we have been spared Ian Wright, so far. Meanwhile, in all the hype and delusion leading up to the Italy game, not one person pointed out that England have NEVER beaten Italy in a game that mattered. (And they have only very rarely beaten them in a game that didn’t matter). There is no deep knowledge or perspective.

      • Kitty MLB

        As English with a drop of Italian blood swishing
        around in my veins . I shall say England are
        very unlikely to do that, quick on their feet the Italiano’s. English are good at Cricket.

    • DazEng

      CRAP! Give me Ian Wright ANY day over the excruciatingly annoying Neville.
      Sky Sports is even worse. They must have sat round a table and thought “How do we ruin a good program?”
      “I know… with Mancunian and Scouse accents”
      Just be thankful the beeb aren’t punishing us with Carragher as well!

      • John Lea

        ‘Give me Ian Wright ANY day over…Neville.’
        …that’s like being Polish circa 1941 and preferring Stalin to Hitler, non?

        • DazEng

          Sorry buddy but I love Wrighty. Unpolished and raw, so different from the sterile status quo!

  • Alexandrovich

    Yes but, Neville’s incoherent, monotonous and incomprehensible murmurings are a small price to pay for the enrichment of regional diversity.
    Whether we like it or not.

  • ItsAlreadyTooLate

    Watch with the sound off, sorted.

  • laurence

    Come now, Rod. Henry isn’t the worst. I take it you have yet to hear Juninho? A bemused juvenile chipmunk voicing seemingly random agglomerations of phonemes. When some sense is established, it turns out to be nothing but a vapid cliché.I think he’d be more understandable were he to speak only in Portuguese.

    • John Lea

      Where’s Joey Barton – surely football’s philosopher king should be on there, making sexist comments and hitting people?

      • laurence

        To be honest, John, I’d rather hear Jean-Paul Barton than ‘Lily’ Savage, or cope with Thierry Henry trying to effect some nouvelle vague cool.

        • Barakzai

          Jean-Paul Barton AND Dutch McClaren, perhaps?

  • Mynydd

    The BBC performance is almost as bad as the English team, Yet another defeat by a team who cannot play for 90 minutes, with a tea break, without getting tired, The FA must propose that in future England games are two 30 minute periods, that way Garrard can be captain until he’s 90. For some of these players it is harder to get out of the team than into it.

  • mandelson

    Even worse is Alan Shearer and his hysteria.

  • gelert

    The most boring game imaginable.

    • Kitty MLB

      Maybe you should have used the recorder and watched it backwards.

      • gelert


        Now that’s a game I can watch 😉

  • anyfool

    Why does the BBC have to go straight to the bottom of the barrel for its football presenters, half witted comments spoken with a French accent, are still that.
    Although when compared to the other two empty vessels, a half wit sounds profound.

    • Max07

      But Thierry does look lovely in a cardi.

    • you_kid

      Excusez-moi, buteh haveh you eveur won se world caap?
      All eh youeh got is eh Gordon Stretchman who onceh scoreh a goal when eh no one eh was looking.

      • Wessex Man

        you really are dopey arn’t you.

        • you_kid

          Wessex was eh rooled eh by France eh once. At the time eh of eh the Magna Carta eh, supposedly eh your eh greatest moment in ‘istory eh, given eh that eh goal line technologie in 1966 eh would have eh put you, comment dirais-je, in your place.

          • Wessex Man

            you really are dopey arn’t you.

    • SeaSickSteve2

      It makes you realise how good Sky is when you watch the BBC coverage.
      I find Gary Lineker totally boring and the match commentaries are also woeful.
      I’ve resorted to listening to TalkSport or 5Live on the radio (slightly out of sink with the TV unfortunately) to get a decent match commentary.