Sunday, June 18, 2006

John Motson Should be Pensioned Off

The Sunday Times has a good article on how useless the BBC Wordl Cup coverage is. Apparently people are switching off the TV sound and turning on 5 Live's commentary instead. I'm one of them. I've never understood why they continue to use John Motson as their main commentator. Alan Green and Jonathan Pearce radiate an enthusiasm and insight which Motson could never aspire to. Instead Motson continues to trot out a whole host of rehearsed lines which you can tell he's decided to use come what may.

But whatever Motson's failings are they are not quite on the level of this exchange between a Canadian presenter and ex West Ham goalkeeper and Candadian international Craig Forrest.

Presenter: Craig, how will the Mexican goalkeeper approach this game given what has happened to him this week?
Craig Forrest: Well his father passed away on Thursday. He'll be disappointed with that.

UPDATE: I was driving to London yesterday evening when I heard this classic line from 5 Live's Mark Pougatsch just before the Italy v USA game. "Well, it's Italy v the USA, lots of totty on the terraces and even a Totti on the pitch." Even the commentator was a bit taken aback by that. Such a shame Des Lyname isn;t still around. You can just imnagine him saying that with his customary wink...

23 comments:

Tim said...

The thing is, I find the ITV commentators even duller. You can hardly tell them apart- no variation, nobody who is unique.

I agree re Green. How many commentators are prepared to give strong personal opinions on every match? At his best when he annoyed.

Anonymous said...

I SO agree with you. In a lot of the TV coverage it is difficult to recognise the England player making the great/awful pass and I expect Motson to identify this player. Instead he's either silent or goes on to spout his pre-rehearsed stuff. Five Live is good to listen to even without watching the pictures.

nadders said...

I've always hated Motson and it's so good to find out I don't have strange tastes or odd hearing etc. He is completely crap and ruins every game he commentates on. Why the BBC favoured him over Barry Davis is simply beyond belief, unless he has the type of black Prescott has, with all the dirt and sexual going's on of the senior BBC management

Any way thank you BBC for the radio commentary - at least it now seems to run at the same time as the TV - no time lag anymore, ecept when Mick MaCarthy is on and he makes Motson sound good. At least you can just have the match sound only

Gregor said...

The BBC do seriously need to sort the wheat from the chaff. Lineker and Hansen are excellent, know what they are talking about and provide some good insight. Wright and the rest are terrible, they should be cut off without hesitation as one would a gangrenous limb. The problem with ITV is that they are dull and seem overly smug to me.

Commentary is incidental really, I turn it off and switch to the game sound via the red button, you can make up your own mind that way.

chris doidge said...

From what I've seen online, the consensus seems to be that the Beeb's coverage is considerably better than ITV's, with the exception of Motson and Ian Wright.

ITV is a joke, with most of its match analysis given over to the latest non-existant news from Baden-Baden. In the Ghana game yesterday, it took the commentator five minutes to tell us about two substitutions that had happened at half time. Useless. At least with the BBC's coverage you feel like you're learning something about the game.

Persuade Alan Green to do television and all will be well. But then there's always the red button now.

DT said...

loving the new banner iain :-)

Martin Curtis said...

Personally I can't stand listening to Alan Green. Commentators should commentate not rant.

Michael Oakeshott said...

Well I like Motson and only wish I could hear him(the BBC put the live coverage on their website and then bar it to people viewing abroad). He has been around so long he is part of the occasion. But they have a few dummies. Wright realises how useless Eriksson is, but provides no insight. Only Hansen and Lineker are worth listening to.

Alan Green on the other hand is superb. I can't remember the last time I disagreed with him about anything to do with football(and the Beeb haven't censored him for us yet).

Theo Spark said...

He's nearly as bad as our overpaid underachieving football team.

Hughes Views said...

As others have said, the least worst you can say about the BBC TV commentators is that they're not as bad as the ITV mob. And on digital you do get the option of a synchronised Radio Five commentary. With ITV I haven't managed to get the wireless commentary in sync with the TV picture no matter what combination of analogue or digital TV/Radio/Internet I've tried. Still it's ok for the dull matches, because, if the radio’s ahead, at least you know when it’s worth looking up....

IMHO Alan Green’s wit and wisdom provide good value for the whole of my licence fee, I therefore get Melvyn Bragg, Andrew Marr and the rest for free....

Neil said...

The BBC coverage is poor compared to previous World Cups. Certain members of the studio team frequently lapse into personal abuse, whilst Motson has always been incompetant.

In the Paraguay game he started ranting at the referee because he couldn't understand a decision made. He didn't know if it was offside or dangerous play. The ball had clearly gone off and it was a goal kick.

What annoys me most is the unashamed xenophobia whereby any official from South America is deemed either inept or psychotic, and it is truly unbelievable if a European team loses to an African nation.

phone cam foolery said...

Ian Wright is an imbecile who mistakes wearing hats for wit.

Gary Linneker poisons our children and I could you a few other things about him.

Mark Lawrenson could make a battle look boring.

Allan handsome wears eye liner and is unintelliable.

I say bring back the good old days of Dickie Davies, Brian Moore and saturday wrestling, come to think of it, real beef Bovril as well.

Peter from Putney said...

Don't be too hard on Mottie, he's done sterling work over the years and has become something of an institution.

I think it's more a case of commenting styles changing over time - you only have to listen to Kenneth Wolstenholme to appreciate this - speaking of whom, I have always believed that his immortal words "It is now" in the '66 World Cup Final are uttered nano-seconds before Geoff Hurst actually strikes the ball for his third goal from distance - anyone else agree?

Dave Hill said...

I've quite warmed to Mottie over the years. This may be something to do with the way he dunked his biscuits in his tea when I interviewed him a few years back. And he's nothing like as gruesome as ITV's Clive Tyldesley, As for Greenie, I'm a fan in spite of (or maybe because of) the fact that he gets on my nerves at times. It's a bit like sitting next to some of mad old codgers you get down at Leyton Orient. But I don't think he'd work so well on telly somehow.

bebopper said...

The BBC people make the mistake of thinking only ex-football professionals can talk about football. It doesn't seem to occur to them that intelligent, articulate journalists will usually offer more insights. Some of these journalists will have been talented players in their youth, but opted for university and a career rather than risk being discarded by a club when it's too late to do anything else. The same thing happens in the music world. the profession is so risky and underpaid for the vast majority, that talented yougsters will opt if they can to be lawyers and doctors.
The other advantage of using journalists as pundits is that they are less likely to be criticised for criticising their own. (See Lampard's views this week) As writers they will also be more aware of avoiding cliches.

Greg said...

The words "Alan Green" and "radiate enthusiasm" should NEVER be used in the same sentence.

Andrew B said...

Mark Saggers is evidently having a fantastic tournament. He introduced the hosts playing Poland as "West Germany". Talk about stuck in the past...

Andrew Woodman said...

Jonathan Pearce grates on me so I have to mute him. Ian Wright should not be let near a camera ever again. Just dreadful. Pundits are just a bunch of cliche ridden PC arselickers. Shame Brian Clough isn't around anymore. He would have shaken it up.

The TaxCutter said...

The News of the World was spot on today on the Motson topic but he has always been dreadful, Barry Davies is not much better. It only slightly improves at half-time, Leonardo knows almost as little English as Ian Wright does. ITV is no better, if I wanted to listen to David Pleat I'd go stand on a street corner, and El Tel and Big Sam sound like 2 blokes 6 pints down.

Fantasy commentory team: Martin Tyler is streets ahead of the other telly commentators and radio's finest Alan Green could pick up the rest. Richard Littlejohn would be a great anchor and Alan Partridge and Paxman should share the post-match interviews.

Anonymous said...

The Beeb's football coverage can't be worse than their coverage of the local elections, comparing Sir John Major to a knuckledragging ape and being so slow to update that they dragged 30-40 minutes behind Sky. Still, at least I can switch channels and stop paying for it. Oh, wait ...

Paul Linford said...

Part of the charm of the BBC is that it always lets its old commentators go on too long, so that eventually they become parodies of themselves. David Coleman tripping over his tongue while attempting to describe the Olympic 100m final....Murray Walker's hilarious F1 commentaries....Dan Maskell's "ooh I say's" at Wimbledon...Peter Alliss's side-splitting stuff about wishing he was back home with "a nice steak and a single malt" when Van der Velde messed up in the Open - the list goes on.

That said, I think Motty probably has a couple of World Cups left in him before he reaches that stage...

Peter from Putney said...

Paul, above, - Haven't you forgotten the two Daddies of them all them all, Brian Johnson and Henry Longhurst who once said:


"They say practice makes perfect. Of course, it doesn't. For the vast majority of golfers it merely consolidates imperfection"

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