Let's cut to the chase. This fella is getting on my tits.
For those of you who don't recognise this smug pug-nosed smarmball, this is ITV's chief football commentator, Clive Tyldesley.
Manchester United worshipping Clive has been ITVs main commentator for a goodly number of years now, remembered best I guess for being in the right place at the right time to commentate on United's two late goals in the Champions League final of 1999.
I have had no previous beef with Clive, largely speaking. But something seems to have happened to him on entering this World Cup. Instead of the relaxed jovial Clive, he seems to have morphed into some sort of cross between a headline writer on a tabloid newspaper and Tony Blair. His commentary, such as it is, has turned from accurate and informative football chitchat into a series of screaming soundbite tabloid headlines. Take his introduction to last night's game:
"The last time England beat Sweden," he said, "Abba were six years from winning the Eurovision Song Contest, Bjorn Borg was eight years away from winning Wimbledon, Ikea were 20 years away from opening their first store in Britain, and ... Ulrika was only nine months old...."
In his defence, working alongside Gareth Southgate (a man who makes the Archbishop of Canterbury look like Jonathan Ross) he hasn't much to go on. Still, quite why he feels the necessity to talk in snapshot soundbites rather than full sentences, I am not sure.
Although ITVs coverage in general has been pretty poor. Steve Rider with his Gloria Hunniford hair would clearly far rather be watching the golf. And, anyone else infuriated by the fact that we will have watched a scintillating half of football, they come back from the adverts and the first thing they do is "....bring us the latest from the England camp" at which point grumpy eejit Gabriel Clarke gives us the lowdown on what flavour Oatso Simple Wayne Bridge had for breakfast? I don't give a flying f*ck whether Gary Neville has been doing some light training, get back to the game I was watching and analyse that. Useless beggars.
Plus they have David Pleat who has a God-given inability to pronounce anyone's name correctly. Tonight he pronounced Abramovich "ab-ram-oh-vich", with pretty much those pauses between syllables.
Anyway, I wonder how long it will be before ITV promote to full service the often entertaining duo of Brad Lescargo and Hal Butchgrass?
BBC aren't prefect, mind, but at least they have some tactical knowhow to share. Ignoring Mick McCarthy for a moment (most people thankfully do) and Gary Lineker (a man in danger of disappearing up his own fundament) the BBC pundits are generally pretty handy. Hansen, Strachan and O'Neill are an ideal line up. Lee Dixon is improving, and even the likes of Leonardo and Desailly have proved to be useful additions.
Ian Wright, however, should be forced to sit in a darkened room and listen to tapes of himself for hours on end. Either be a football pundit, or present "This Is My Moment". I haven't seen Martine McCutcheon or Kate Thornton alongside Adrian Chiles recently, so why should he be there? Talentless light-entertainment muppet.
Motty and Lawro all the way now. For the murment, anyway (as Lawro would say)....
[Predictions back on Thursday teatime (hopefully)]