Ah the romance is back in football

isn’t that what ITV kept telling you?

The romance was in evidence at the Lane that no one wanted to show it in all it’s glory, as there seemed a world wide blackout on the Spurs v Charlton third round game. So most were reduced to the radio. Which is maybe what they mean when they talk of bringing the good old days back to the competition.

All in all not much happened in the game anyway so most of this post will be about said radio commentary and how bad it was.

So the game, first half a non event. Some action but with ‘Arry fielding a side containing two defensive midfielders against a team fifth in the old third division it didn’t hold out much promise from the start. I suppose Sandro needs some games and well everybody else needs a rest, after some recent performances, so Palacios was beside them. And with Kranjcar wide left – doing not much more than his previous games, where he’s not really shown any desire to fight it out for his place – there was the chance of this going pear shaped. Though would ‘Arry actually be quite happy at that outcome, what with everything else to play for?

Only bright spot was the debut – that’s pronounced day-boo in an Australian whine – of 19 year old Andros Townsend. He took his chance, yes it was only Charlton but you gotta start somewhere and he contributed the only stuff in the first half.

Second half started with a welcome change as finally a playmaker came on as Sgt. Wilson made way for Modric. The Croat as he has done much of late totally changed the game and quite frankly could have been substituted 15 minutes later to protect him with the job done three nil, next round.

First up Townsend capped his day off with a – deflected – outside of the box shot going past the ‘keeper. Then Defoe showed something we haven’t seen enough of from him, finesse. A good run across the pitch that created space and he guided the ball back across goal into the net. A couple of minutes later he was back mazing his way through the Charlton defence, bit of luck with some leg pinball and then back to the old Defoe of banging it straight at the ‘keeper, this time another bit of luck as it bounced straight back and he nicely placed it in the net.

Yes Charlton had chances, Cudicini had some saves to make but the weren’t really in it and it was game over.

I didn’t glean much of this from the commentary inflicted on he listener from BBC Radio 5 Live Extra as they employed the screeching bint Jaqui Oatley to tell us all what was happening. Because telling us what is happening isn’t the role of a BBC radio commentator. Telling us everything else apart from what’s happening is.

It’s the main problem with having two people do the commentary at the same time, main person and the colour man. It just leads to banal chit-chat between the pair, something Oatley is far better at than commentating. Though it did make a change knowing that this was an actual live performance because so many of her MotD appearances have that deadened background sound which makes you believe it’s a dubbed over later in the studio job.

She is not alone though, someone at the Beeb needs to train these people in the art of radio commentary. Someone has point out to them sometime that the listener cannot see what’s going on, so they need to be told. I’ve heard a few games recently and they’ve all been atrocious. Again it’s the chit-chat. While you can hear something is happening on the pitch through the crowd noise these two muppets are discussing how hard it was for one to get to the game or we’re getting Alan Greene’s usual “it’s all about me and Sir Alex” crap. That’s not when they’re not telling you about some other game, with their favourite teams playing, which if we were interested about we’d actually be listening to.

One of the last games I tuned into involved Mark “you now” Bright and some other bloke just waffling on to each other for about five minutes during which they never mentioned the game we all wanted to hear about, while the crowd were reacting in a way that meant something was building and then out of nowhere Bright shouted “chance”. But that was it, just the word, nothing stating who had the chance, either player or team, nothing describing the build up and nothing about the aftermath of the “chance”. Just back to their cosy little chit-chat.

While the TV commentators rabbit on and on about what you can see with your own eyes with those on radio it seems that’s the last thing they want to talk about.

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