While SI.com’s Richard Deitsch hails ESPN’s use of Everton manager Roberto Martinez as a studio analyst for the 2014 World Cup, the Guardian’s Simon Brunton is far less impressed with UK TV commentary thus far :
Twelve years after Gareth Southgate complained about Sven-Goran Eriksson’s World Cup half-time team-talk, saying “we were expecting Winston Churchill and instead we got Iain Duncan-Smith”, the nation would have been perfectly happy with Iain Duncan-Smith and instead got a small and unremarkable pebble, viewed from a distance, in thick fog. As England v Italy kicked off on Saturday night, commentator Guy Mowbray turned to the man beside him. “Shall we just try to enjoy it, Phil?” he asked. “It’s always difficult. As an English supporter. To enjoy these occasions,” jawed Neville. And they were probably the truest words said all night.
The following day on ITV, Countdown-contesting PFA brainbox Clarke Carlisle glowingly informed us that Ecuador’s attack must be good if a talent as bright as Porto’s Jackson Martínez can’t even get in the team, forgetting that the team he can’t get into is Colombia’s. Despite their brilliant attack, Ecuador fell to a dramatic defeat at the hands of Switzerland, Haris Seferovic finding a way past Alexander Dominguez deep into stoppage time. Which is incredible when you think about it, because Dominguez is so good even Lev Yashin can’t get in the team. To complete a bad weekend for British television commentators [and Richard Keys – O Fiverão Ed], during France v Honduras the BBC’s Jonathan Pearce totally failed to grasp the fact that when the ball crosses the line between the posts and under the bar, it is not widely considered controversial if the referee then awards a goal.