Showing posts with label ITV1. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ITV1. Show all posts

Friday, 20 August 2010

International Wednesday

Wednesday 12th August

Sweden v Scotland 19.00 ESPN
England v Hungary 19.30 ITV1
Republic of Ireland v Argentina 19.30 Sky Sports 1
Wales v Luxembourg 19.30 Sky Sports 2


Have you ever tried to watch more than one football match on tele at once? Of course you have. I have on untold occasions which generally has the same outcome that I don’t end up seeing very much of any of them. With this in mind I decided to try and 'watch' not one but all of the four ‘home’ nations friendlies available to me last Wednesday. If we have any sensitive readers from Northern Ireland please be assured that had I been able to access Setanta Ireland then your game in Montenegro would also have been featured.


In textbook ESPN fashion the first of the nights featured programmes opened with the players already lining up on the pitch ahead of the national anthems and commentators Derek Rae and Craig Burley introduced themselves. As Rae pointed out on no few occasions, the colours each team were wearing would’ve confused the less-skilled eye (which I know none of you are) as both teams wore their away kit which looked vaguely (in Sweden’s case) or frighteningly (in Scotland’s case) similar to the oppositions home kits. Anyway, immediately after kick off Scotl..sorry Sweden took control and returning superstar Zlatan Ibrahimivoic finished off an aesthetically pleasing but surprisingly easy move by side-footing past Scotland’s (similarly returning from international exile) goalkeeper Alan McGreggor.

The game continued like this for majority of the opening half-hour but the most noteworthy moment came when Scotland’s Kirk Broadfoot attempted what could only be described as a ‘De-Jong’ on Sweden Keeper Andreas Isaksson. After half a minute of lying on the ground Isaksson then remonstrated with the offending full-back which looked fair enough to this onlooker. However the impressive number of Scotland fans behind Isakson’s goal largely seemed to disagree with Isaksson, me and the referee and when Broadfoot was booked they booed vociferously and as a result of some advice they surely must give at TV Editors college, we saw a close up of a handful of fans handing out 18-certified abuse to the ref.

At this point we were approaching half-seven and decided I couldn’t let miss the opportunity to see the opening to England’s potential booing against Hungary so immediately switched to ITV1. After what felt-like a lengthy opening credits, Adrian Chiles set the scene and welcomed us to Wembley: ‘the player’s didn’t particularly want it, the clubs definitely didn’t…and the fans didn’t seem too interested.’ This was followed by a predictable montage of clips highlighting England's World Cup campaign.

Almost immediately we went to Gabriel Clarke at pitch-side to find out what kind of reaction the England players received when they came out for their warm ups (‘mixed’ apparently) and what struck me most at this point was that I don’t think I’d actually recognise Gabriel Clarke if for instance, I was stood next to him at a bar. As soon as he started waxing lyrically about having ‘caught up’ with Janet behind the bar to gauge the ‘mood in the camp amongst the girls’ I’m sure I’d have no problem, but on looks alone I’d fall short.

As we went back to the studio to get the thoughts of Gareth Southgate and Sir Les Ferdinand I thought I’d have a gander at the coverage of the Ireland v Argentina and Wales v Luxembourg games that were shortly to begin. I got to see a graphic of the Argentina line-up and veteran Welsh ‘supremo’ John Toshack being interviewed so took the sharp decision to go back to the only live action taking place at that point from the Rasunda Stadium. This then provided me with a disappointing moment no.2 in as many paragraphs. I’ve always believed I can tell the score of a football match on TV/radio by hearing the first few seconds of crowd noise upon turning it on. As the time/score display had disappeared I sat watching a couple of eventless minutes of this comfortable in the belief Sweden were still 1-0 up. Then to my disgust I saw a replay of a 2nd Sweden goal. First the realisation I don't know what Gabriel Clarke looks like then this! If I was to tell a blatant fib I'd say I had a good mind to give up this whole TV Sports watching gig as my head and heart are clearly not in it any more.

Flicking onto the Wales v Luxembourg game which had now started at the flamboyantly sounding Parc Y Llanelli I could hear the players shouting to each other which is always a barometer that is used to highlight what a low crowd is at a match and I can safely report that in this case it was a truly accurate barometer. A quick move to the Aviva stadium Dublin alerted me to how ridiculous one of the stands of this new, much celebrated ground looks. If you haven't seen it think three sides of the Emirates with one end about the size of the away section at Roots Hall but with the roof still at the height of the Emirates (stick with it) and you're on the right lines.

Another possibly arthritis inducing movement of the fingers took me back to Wembley for the most hyped sporting event in recent memory: the England players entrance onto the pitch for a overwhelmingly meaningless friendly game. You won't be surprised to hear (regardless of the fact many of you will have heard it yourself) Clive Tyldesley absolutely lapped this moment up. As we saw the players in the tunnel and edge towards the pitch Tyldesley paused before describing that 'the reception is.......forgiving, loyal and fairly warm.' He then proceeded in doing what comes most naturally and annoyed me with a standardly nonsensical comment with deliberate pause for emphasis 'it's a night I think for the players to sing...their national anthem.'

A further flick through the games saw me back in Llanelli and just as Joe Ledley shot wide with the game still goalless the perils of attempting to view multi-game were painfully brought home. A scores update appeared at the bottom of the screen and alerted me to the fact Sweden had further extended their lead. Naturally I turned to this game only to see play had re-started and a replay of the goal wouldn't be forthcoming for a while. During this time I then missed David Cotterill's opener against Luxembourg and Angel de Maria's goal for Argentina. As a veteran multi-viewer I should use my wealth of experience to tell you that this occasionally happens quite regularly.

My self-discipline in deciding I'd stick with one game for five minutes was rewarded when Luxembourg equalised in Llanelli. This prompted one of the more enthusiastic celebrations I've seen in what appeared such a low-key game as the jubilant Joel Kitenge and his team-mates sprinted towards the management and subs in the dug-out to share in the giddiness. As I'd now seen a goal I allowed myself to re-visit Wembley and see how the game had settled down now all the Brouhaha about people shouting 'boooooo' or not should have died down.

Not a lot happened for the ten minutes I persevered with this bar Joe Hart comfortably saving a Zolton Gera effort and maybe I'd managed to block out Tyldesley as I don't have any quotes from him during this period. The advertising boards around the uncharacteristically good Wembley surface did catch my eye as in bright lights I read 'REF ASSAULTS DOWN 13%' which I took to be in relation to the FA's respect campaign rather than some reduced rates being offered by hired goons.

I caught the final whistle of Scotland's dismal showing in Sweden and immediately turned back to England v Hungary and the only game that was at this point in-play. I imagine there was a stoppage at this time as the camera's were focussing on England's subs warming up. Tyldesley then mused that Fabio Capello would be asking Stuart Pearce 'which one's Frankie Fielding and which one's Scott Loach...he'll know he's the under-21s coach...not sure I would.' Now pretty much all that I write relating to the England v Hungary game could've been viewed if you follow all the great football bloggers I do on twitter. One (the identity of which I can't remember) asked at this point 'why is a lack of knowledge found so amusing at the ITV?'

I'm quite confident that for all his faults Tyldesley would be able to tell me which one was Frankie Fielding and which one was Scott Loach if they were stood together but chooses not to for the purposes of what he perceives as 'banter.' This is obviously absolute bollocks. For one it's not a bad thing to know the subject you're paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to talk about and secondly you won't lose any 'street-cred' if you tell us such information. I won’t carry on in this light as there have been plenty of writers out there who have highlighted these shortcomings better than I am now but strongly support the criticism of this seemingly intentional dumbing-down of football coverage.

While I was getting more annoyed watching the England game I missed Wales re-take the lead against Luxembourg but to their credit they added a third goal soon after which was nice of them. This was a simple Andy King header from Craig Bellamy’s corner with the keeper providing a near-perfect example of being at ‘sixes and sevens.’ Sticking with events in South Wales the commentator who I think was Allan Parry told us that Luxembourg ‘once went 11 years without winning an international friendly’ and just as he was doing so one of their midfielders ‘ballooned’ a long-range effort a long-range over the bar so he added ‘…and with shooting like that, you’d have to say they’re in for another long wait.’

Off to Dublin again and Lionel Messi picked up the ball slightly in his own half to beat three or four Ireland players before having a pass intercepted by Richard Dunne. This prompted the big Irish, long-time hero of mine to try and replicate the skills just shown by arguably the greatest footballer in the world. He started well beating one of his Argentine opponents before a heavy touch saw him stumble in his desperation to keep the ball around the half-way line which was undeniably the footballing highlight of the evening thus far.

Back at Wembley the crowd noise (not to mention the display in the top left hand corner) told me it was still 0-0. As the very commendable crowd of over 72,000 began to show their frustration we were shown a group of fans (two grown men, two children) holding up a banner which read ‘WE STILL LOVE U’ which I’m sure was the kind of worthy ‘talking point’ Tyldesley, tabloid hacks and ‘the lads at Talk Sport’ were enjoying getting their teeth into.

My attentions were once again back at the Aviva stadium where I heard that Andy Keogh ‘has a point to prove’ saw Carlos Tevez eating a lolly and decided that Ireland Assistant Coach Marco Tardelli does still bare a decent resemblance to himself in that iconic picture from the 1982 World Cup Final.

Back at Wembley and I turned on just in time to see Wayne Rooney being substituted after Hungary had just taken the lead. I was fortunate in that I enjoy witnessing a footballing ‘state of crisis’ which is what this undoubtedly now was so stayed here and as a result, shortly got to see a couple of moments of brilliance in the form of Steven Gerrard’s two goals. I’m not a huge fan of Gerrard to be honest and if you’ve read this blog before you may know I’m even less of a fan of his nickname but for all the hype that surrounds him and the England team/players I believe these two goals were ‘World-class.’

More rubbish from Tyldesley followed and a stand-out included the bemoaning of Capello for not having stood up: ‘It wouldn’t hurt.’ It also wouldn’t make any difference to anything with the possible exception of the longevity of the seats in the Wembley dug-out Clive.

Back in the studio Chiles continued in a similar vein and made sure we were back focussing on the over-riding issue of the evening: ‘you’ve got to feel sorry for the boo-boys, they paid £20 and couldn’t do any such thing.’ Did they really? Did ‘the boo-boys’ pay £20 to ‘boo their heads off’ or did they go hoping that the team they support that represents them would win a game of football? I’m not unfamiliar with people who seem to get a level of enjoyment at criticising players they’re supposedly at a football match to support but what proportion of that ridiculously large crowd went there to do that? Personally I don’t think it was large.

To finish off we had interviews with Joe Hart (more articulate than I remember though still reminds me a bit of Jedward lookswise) and Fabio himself. The first question he was asked by Gabriel Clarke was if he enjoyed it as he sat down? Over a week after seeing this I’m now running out of ways to get annoyed that such minor irrelevant issues are made into issues worth quetioning. Capello was dignified in his responses saying he was surprised by the positive reaction from the crowd and thanked them for it. I didn’t really pay much attention to the remainder of the interview as it was about something as insignificant like how he felt his team had played or something.

With the climax of this final game of the evening and Wales having finished their game 5-1 against Luxembourg it falls on me to report that the games featured 13 goals in total of which I’d seen five hit the net ‘in real-time.’ This really isn’t good enough for a self styled ‘TV Sports Enthusiast’ and if any of you feel inclined to boo after giving up your time to read about this disappointing performance I won’t hold it against you. God knows, in your shoes I’d probably do so myself!

Happy Viewing Guys and Girls, Dave


Friday 3rd September

Armenia v Republic of Ireland – Sky Sports 1 16.30
Montenegro v Wales – Sky Sports 3 18.30
Slovenia v Northern Ireland - Sky Sports 1 19.00
Lithuania v Scotland BBC1 - Scotland 19.15
England v Bulgaria - ITV1 19.30

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Interview - Our Man on the Inside

As a blog that concentrates specifically on watching sport on TV (not that we don’t watch it live fellow enthusiasts. We do, and berluddy enjoy it as well) we thought we’d try and approach our subject from a different angle. Influenced by our blog hero and inspiration Danny at European Football Weekends we decided we’d seek out an interview with someone involved in the old TV Sports game and are pretty happy with the scoop we’ve pulled off here.

We tried to get Adrian Chiles, Alan Hansen and even Gabriel Clarke but to no avail and just when all hope was looking lost we pulled this gem out of the bag!

Yes, it’s EVS operator for ITV’s coverage of the World Cup: Steven ‘Cheets’ Cheetham!

A marginally easier interview to get from the TV Sports World due to him being my old housemate, Cheets took time the time to answer a few questions all the way from Sarf Afreeka.

So Cheets, first things first, what are you doing for ITV out in SA?
Well Dave, first of all I'm not actually working for ITV I'm actually working for HBS - Host Broadcasting Services (DTVSr: sincere apologies to HBS.) Basically they show all the games, but they get companies from different countries to provide the crews to work on them. ITV have two English crews out here, the team I'm in do any games that are at Ellis Park in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

We do all the match coverage from games at those two stadiums and have done 12 games so far with one quarter final to go (Spain v Paraguay). We basically show all the slow motion replays during the games and build players wraps, closers etc. (DTVSr: oh aye, player wraps and closers.) My job is a bit different from what I usually do as I have to build a 3 and a half minute highlights edit of the game for half time and full time. It gets played out at the end of each half and the commentator voices it as it’s played out. This goes round the world to any broadcasters who can use it as they like.

So do you get to go to any games while you’re there?
We've not been to any games while we're out here so far as they have all been sold out (DTVSr: that’s just the two stadiums Cheets works at readers.) We could have gone to the first Holland game as tickets were still on sale but it was early in the trip and after a heavy night out and no-one actually realised this until just after kick off. Its difficult to go as most games that are local we work on, we could go to games at Soccer city as this is also in Johannesburg but they have all been sold out and I'm told it's a dodgy area to go flashing your money around trying to get tickets outside. We are looking to go to the quarter final between Uruguay and Ghana on Friday though which would be good.

What do you get up to in your spare time then?
We haven't had much time off to be honest. We got here a few days before the tournament started but had to go to the grounds and make sure that everything was set up and working properly and sort out accreditation etc. Then most days since the games started, we generally work two or three days in a row and then get a day off. When we work on the early games we get back in time to go to the hotel bar and watch the later kick off.

Then we have been out into town a fair bit, where we are based there is a big mall right outside with lots of bars and restaurants. It seems like quite a safe area where we are and there are a lot of people with loads from different countries about. I've basically been doing a lot of drinking and eating steaks. When we have had a day off we've tried to do a few different things.

The first day-off we went to a fan park and watched Argentina v South Korea. That was good as although its winter over here its still boiling in the day and it’s not until the sun goes in that it gets pretty cold. We had a good drink, took a ball with us and had a kick about with some South Africans. One of the lads we’re working with used to live out here as well and one of his old friends had a BBQ one night that we all went to.

Another day we went to a safari park and had a look at some lions and stuff (DTVSr: Good in-depth stuff this mate.) It was amazing as we actually got to go in with some lion cubs.

Today we went on a bike ride through Soweto which was real eye-opener to see how some people have to live over here. The kids were all really happy though, we played football with them and they were jumping all over us.

Have you had any other contact with many of the locals?
We have had a bit in bars and at the fan fest we played football with some who also had a few drinks with us afterwards. They have been very friendly on the whole and just happy to be hosting it.
That first day was awesome when they had their first game. People were out on the streets dressed up everywhere. It took us hours to get to the ground as the traffic was just backed up but was a really good atmosphere. It was good when they beat France too and a shame when they went out as it was fun having them in the tournament.

Today in Soweto everyone was very friendly and waving and posing for pictures. The kids would run and try and high five us as we rode past and then when we walked round the houses they walked with us and were holding hands and jumping on everyone.

Great stuff, you had much/any contact with many travelling fans from the various teams?
We’ve had a fair bit of contact with travelling fans when we go out at night. There have been a lot of South Americans staying round here, first it was mainly Argentina fans about and then a lot of Mexicans. There’s even been some New Zealand fans (DTVSr: To be fair they were in the tournament Cheets) and we generally just get talking to people after a few beers.

I've also had to go out with a camera man as he films all the crowds arriving at the games to get fan shots and colour which has been good seeing the different fans and how they act. The Chile fans at their game v Spain game were awesome, best I’ve seen so far

Back to your work then, do you get to do much hob-nobbing with the celebs of the ITV sports team? How do they react to you lads on the technical side?
To be honest we don't really see that side of things. We are just at the games doing actual match coverage. All the presentation for ITV is in a building called the IBC that is near Soccer City so they are all in a studio there rather than at the ground. I saw Adrian Chiles, Southgate and Townsend in a bar that we go in quite a lot. Kevin Keegan was in a restaurant we went in one night and when we watched England v Algeria Danny Mills and Robbie Savage walked into our hotel bar and watched it in there.

Any funny stories from that side of things?

A refreshingly brisk answer Cheets. Do you have to deal with foreign TV crews as well? Is there a power struggle (ala sun loungers around the pool) for equipment use/good spots?
The foreign crews are mainly doing games in other areas of the country so we don’t really see them. There is a French crew that we see about but don’t really have much to do with them. There is a rivalry as when you watch the other crew's games you look for how they are doing it to see if it’s any better or worse than how we do things.

This is the first one I’ve been on so am new to it all but from what people say the English crews are generally regarded as doing the best match coverage. Then again there could be a French team also saying that so who knows? There’s no battling for sun loungers moments as such but if there was I think there’s more of us so we’d have them.

That's the spirit! To the action then, who’s impressed you so far? What did you make of England?
England were awful. Can’t believe how bad we were, thought winning the group and avoiding Germany would be massive and we couldn’t even do that although not sure we’d have done any better against Ghana. I actually watched the game in the fan park and there were a lot of Germans about. The disallowed goal was a big moment but they carved us open so many times that I don’t think it made much difference.

I’ve been impressed with the usual lot. Argentina have looked good. Brazil have looked decent. The Germans have been good and I think they might win it if they can beat Argentina. Also Chile and Uruguay have all looked pretty decent. As for players Messi has looked good even though he’s not scored. I thought Veron was awesome in the last group game and he’s still one of my favourite players. Ozil for Germany looks very good and I want United to sign him
but I think that’s very unlikely (DTVSr: Fortunately it is Cheets.) David Villa looks awesome, David Silva can f*** off (DTVSr: bit harsh.) Sneijder is quality too.

What are you missing about home (other than the Dave’sTVSports team obviously?)
Just Dave of Dave’sTVSports. That’s it! I don’t know really, it’s gone really quick and been pretty busy so I haven’t really had that much time to think about home that much. It’s been a bit weird living in a hotel for a month though, I feel like Partridge.

I kind of miss being home to watch all the matches. It’s weird that I’m over here working on the World Cup and I don’t think I’ve ever seen less games in a tournament. We generally miss the other games being played the same days we work so I only see the ones we work on and then some on our days off. If I was at home I reckon I’d have seen pretty much every game.

What I am going to miss about being here is being fed and given beer every time I finish a shift. As we are at the ground all day we get a meal when we get there and then when we finish we have our dinner (DTVSr: It’s ‘tea’ Cheets, we’re Northern) and there is beer in a cool box and wine on the table. I don’t think I’ll get that when I get back home.

Have you been able to keep up with the comings and goings of the last ever Big Brother?
I’ve not seen a single thing from Big Brother, I’m gutted. I haven’t even seen pictures of anyone that’s in it. Think that’s probably a good thing but it’ll be the first one I haven’t watched from start to finish.

Did you know a match at Wimbledon went to 70-68 in the last set?
I did see that about the tennis and the guy got knocked out a couple of days later because he was exhausted. I also hear Murray is playing well. Not seen any of it and if he gets to the final it’s the day we travel home so not sure if we will even get to see that...but tennis is gay so who cares. I’ve seen a bit of the cricket as well. Nice to hear us having a bit of success in that at least.

Well I’m sure if Novak Djokovic, Sue Barker or Jeremy Bates were reading this they’re not anymore. To finish, aren’t Vuvuzelas great?
Vuvuzelas are f****** loud! The first few days everyone had one. In the streets, shops, bars, restaurants…everywhere. That was quite annoying if you were trying to eat a meal and someone’s blowing one of them down your ear hole. It calmed down a bit after a few days though. I don’t mind them at the grounds and I’ve not really noticed it that much when I watch on TV or am working on the game. I’m definitely bringing one back if I can cram it in my suitcase.

Well we look forward to a genuine South African Vuvuzela arriving at DTVSr towers early next week. Many thanks for the interview Cheets.
No probs.

Steve will have worked on ITV1's highlights programme featuring Spain v Paraguay this Saturday at 22:30.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Dave’s TV Sports Review: World Cup. Days 1-4

2010 Fifa World Cup. Days 1-4

We’re hiding behind a stag-doo as an excuse for a lack of blogging during this 2010 FIFA World Cup (not quite sure what I can come up with for the last couple of months…oh alright then, drinking) so far as it took up days 1,2 and 3 (and 4 in a recovery stage) but as we settle down during day 5 it’s time to get this show on the road as it were.

So far then Mark ‘Lawro’ Lawrenson has been my most annoying TV 'personality.' Watched bits of Japan v Cameroon yesterday and he just proceeded to moan about everything in the style of a 60 year old man who hadn’t watched a game since the 86 FA Cup Final (‘now that Lawrenson feller for Liverpool, he was a player’ is what I would’ve loved him to have said in my fantasy extension of his old bloke miserable-sodness yesterday) combined with a moody teenager.

*Guy Mowbray: So Cameroon have a chance to test Kawashima in the Japan goal with this free-kick.
Lawro: Yeah that’s gonna happen.
Balls sails 10 yards over bar.
Lawro: Told yer.

*I actually made this transcript up but like to think it gives a flavour of what we were subjected to.

Would go along with the startlingly obvious consensus that Germany have been the best team so far. England and Italy both respected tradition by being ‘disappointing’ in their opening game. Too much is being made about the ball, the vuvuzela’s (‘What are those I hear you ask?’…No I already tried that gag yesterday on twitter) and the fact there’s a few empty seats in some stadiums. It’s appears a modern phenomenon that a stadium always has to be full and if it isn’t then ‘questions have to be asked’ of someone and something.

Whilst on the issue of stadiums and crowds I am somewhat disappointed we don’t seem to see as much of the choreographed group dancing that ‘lit-up’ last years Confederation’s Cup. You know the type, about 50 locals turning around, moving back and forward to a tune of ‘der der-der der-der HEY’ that always ends with them giving the guy next to them the high-tens. Then again
maybe they did form part of that booze fuelled first few days and if so I apologise.

Quite liked Mick McCarthy’s summarising during Italy Paraguay yesterday. This may cause some derision but I think he is genuinely good at offering some insight despite his broad Yorkshire tones. I’m not denying he will offer predictable opinions on tactics though but these raise a smile for yours truly. Not to the same extent as after 20 minutes of Portugal v Denmark in Euro 96, with the Danes seemingly not having touched the ball and Portugal cutting through at ease, great mate and eldest brother Jon laughed at Jack Charlton saying ‘he’d like to see a big lad up front' but I grin nonetheless.

Will hopefully provide more in-depth analysis on the in-depth analysis as the tournament goes on which should benefit from me being actually sat in front of a screen where I can hear our expert commentators, panellists and summariser.

Happy Viewing folks. Dave


World Cup games are shown daily on BBC1 and ITV1 kicking of at 12.30, 15.30 and 19.30 throughout the group stages.