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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Germany 3 Turkey 2 BBC 0

Tonight was not one of the BBC's more distinguished nights.

It was passing strange even before the signal was lost. 5Live's desperate need to pass on information as soon as they have it was manifest in the first half when John Murray interrupted his commentary to tell us the verdict in a deeply sad murder case; a second later he had to change gear from sober news reader to rattle-twirling Turk-for-a-day as the unfancied side went into the lead. The effect was distasteful.

The intermittent loss of signal underlined once more the great truth of TV sportscasting. This is that the person not there knows more than the person who is there. You would have thought that the BBC would have left one person at home in front of their TV whose job it was to tell them when they were broadcasting, with what signals and to whom. It was evident throughout the evening that they didn't know.

Finally there wasn't a voice anywhere on the network prepared to concede that the reason Germany had won was because they had scored three perfectly legitimate goals to the Turks' two and that while their performance was far from distinguished it was not dreadful. Had a British side gone through under the same circs they would have regarded it as a hard-earned victory.

Asked beforehand if he thought the Germans would be complacent, Hansen said "The Germans do arrogance but they don't do complacency." He presumably forgot to add that they don't like it up 'em.