Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Tag: itv

Saturday Night Movie: The Battle for Britain’s Breakfast

A documentary about the early days of breakfast television might not immediately sound that promising. But this is excellent, and has quite the tale to tell. Sure, it ticks a few nostalgia boxes for those of us who were up early in the 1980s, but it also is a telling case study of how the same mistakes can be made again and again, that boardroom shenanigans can destroy the best intentions and the fine line between being considered a creative genius and creating a flop.

And if you find this enjoyable, then do check out the book “Morning Glory: A History of British Breakfast Television” by Ian Jones – a brilliant read that fills in a lot of the gaps, and also takes the story into the early 2000s…

Why I won’t be watching the England/Holland game tonight – addendum

Well, for various reasons I and my Significant Other didn’t make it out for dinner last night. And I was almost a man of my word when it came to not watching the England/Holland game. Admittedly I listened to the first half on the radio while I cooked dinner. Dinner was eaten without TV. After that, I even did the washing-up, a rare moment of awesome-boyfriend-ness. With the radio commentary on, but still.

In fact, I only watched the game when I returned to the living room to find that my S.O. had turned the television on to watch it herself. What a girl she is.

So, I caught the last 25 minutes, plus I saw the goals in the dreadful punditry roundup that followed. Surely ITV could find some more eloquent people than Andy Townsend and Teddy Sheringham?

My thoughts:

  • Friendly or not, there can be no excuse for the lapses in concentration that let in Holland for their two goals.
  • England would never have got back in the game if it wasn’t a friendly, with the substitutions (that Holland wouldn’t have made in a competitive game) unsettling the Dutch.
  • Defoe took his first goal really well, and did a good job poaching the second, yet for some reason I’m still not convinced he is international quality.
  • James Milner looked really good – very assured. A fine debut.
  • I enjoyed the Babel/Johnson duel. I thought Babel looked good, but his final ball still leaves a lot to be desired.

Why I won’t be watching the England/Holland game tonight

OK, so I agreed to an evening out with my Significant Other tonight, forgeting a game was on, but that’s not the reason. Genuinely. Honest.

Even if I wasn’t spending this evening with my S.O. I’m not so sure I’d go out of my way so see tonight’s game, even though ITV are showing it – so I could potentially watch in the comfort of my very own Land of Leather recliner. Mmm. Cheap leather sofa.

But why?

1. Friendlies aren’t much fun

Has there ever been a more meaningless pre-season friendly? I can see that in the year prior to a major tournament it makes sense to have your squad to play together as much as possible. It’s certainly worked in the past for smaller footballing nations such as USA in ’94 and South Korea in 2002. But this doesn’t necessarily make for great viewing. Non-competitive England games tend to fizzle out in a sea of substitutions soon after half-time. It’s hard to get excited over a game that doesn’t matter, essentially an extended training exercise.

2. Terrible, terrible timing

Who schedules an international friendly now? Clubs are reluctant to release players at the best of times, so having an international as Europe’s seasons begin is idiotic. Why not start the season a week earlier and have an international break further into the season?

3. The players don’t want to play

The players themselves aren’t going to want to over-exert themselves for fear of injuring themselves (or even tiring themselves) before the season has even properly begun. Or, in the case of Steven Gerrard and others, they’ll remove themselves entirely, to be fit for the weekend. Sensible, I say.

4. Clive Tyldesley

Clive Tyldesley will probably be commentating. And probably trying to shoehorn in Champions League 99 and 05 references at inappropriate moments.

5. Pizza Express is nicer than pre-season internationals

And we have a voucher! Cheap pizza!