Thursday, 17 June 2010

Send The Big Man On

I know this probably won't be read in South Africa...

Given that we're hearing that Fabio Capello is thinking of choosing between Defoe and Heskey as the 2nd striker against Algeria, here are some facts that might be of interest:

Heskey: 7 international goals (4 in friendlies) in 10 years. 57 caps. Scored in 12% of games played.
Defoe: 11 international goals (5 in friendlies) in 6 years. 40 caps. Scored in 27% of games played.
Crouch: 21 international goals (11 in friendlies) in 4 years. 38 caps. Scored in 55% of games played.

So Peter Crouch is twice as likely to score as Defoe and 4.5 times more likely than Heskey.

The argument given against Crouch is that he hasn't scored against any "big" teams. OK - Defoe scored against Holland in a friendly last year, but Crouch has scored against Greece, Uruguay, Croatia, Mexico - teams that are in the current World Cup.

My Capello, you would be mad not to make Peter Crouch your first choice striker to support Rooney up-front. Why else did you give him the number 9 shirt?

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Getting Something Off My Chest

Do bear with me...
Dear ITV,

I logged onto your World Cup website this morning to see the headline "No excuse for blunder - Wilson". I assumed that Bob Wilson had been criticising the ridiculous error which meant that I, and thousands of other HD viewers, had missed England's opening goal of the World Cup.

But no. It was all about Robert Green. Your website contains lots of chat about Robert's blunder, but none about your own.

On your website you say "Green howler denies England" - where is the "ITV howler denies England fans" story? And "Capello rues Green error"? How about "Chiles rues error in moving to second-rate broadcaster"?

Adrian Chiles apologised for "a brief interruption in coverage" without acknowledging that ITV had failed to show us the most important part of the game, from an England fan's point of view. In fact, he was off-hand, rather than sincerely apologetic. There was no captioned apology, no apology from the commentators. It was, all round, a completely shoddy and amateurish mistake.

I say "amateurish" because I would have thought that a professional broadcasting organisation would have learned from its mistake when this happened in that Everton match last year.

Football fans have, for years, put up with ITV's presenters and pundits being second-rate, dull, uninformative and lacking in charisma. Now it seems we also have to put up with your engineers sabotaging huge matches.

If the BBC had done what you did last night, the national newspapers (especially the rabid Murdoch press) would be up in arms, demanding an end to the TV licence and de-construction of the Beeb. But this ridiculous blunder just gets ignored.

I have copied my MP into this message. Maybe there is something Parliament could to to stop ITV showing major football matches in the future? Possibly by passing a law to give the BBC sole rights to all England football and cricket coverage?

I'll be watching the next match (should you bother to provide pictures) with the sound off, listening to the BBC Five Live commentary.

ITV - you really are rubbish!
Thank you for letting me vent. Normal programming will follow shortly...